Should I Get A Lawyer For A Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
If you got into a car accident that was not your fault, you have a right to hire a lawyer. You may assume that because you did not cause the accident, everything will work out in your favor, but you may need to prove that you did not commit any wrongdoing.
While you do not need to seek legal counsel, a car accident lawyer may help you file a claim or lawsuit against a negligent party. Getting into a car accident due to another party’s negligence typically results in stress, frustration, and injuries. Ben Crump Law, PLLC does not want you to worry about tackling everything yourself after an avoidable accident; we can handle the legal process for you.
Focus on Your Health While We Focus on Your Case
You will want to seek medical attention following a car accident, even if you feel fine. Medical records may help you file a claim with your insurance company. Remember that you do not have to accept the initial settlement an insurance company offers you. If you do, you may lose your rights to pursue a lawsuit to receive fair compensation should your injuries prove more devastating in the future.
A car accident lawyer may help you build your case and speak with your insurance company so you can focus on your recovery. Our goal is to reach an out-of-court settlement that you deserve, but we have no issue going to trial and fighting for you there as well.
What a Lawyer May Do for Your Case
There is no reason you should be paying out-of-pocket expenses for property damage and injuries that someone else caused. If you become a client, a lawyer can answer all your questions, discuss your legal options, and keep you updated throughout your case.
The liable party should face the consequences of acting negligently and pay for the losses you suffered. To demonstrate evidence that you suffered at the hands of the defendant’s carelessness, a lawyer may do the following:
- Obtain a police report that details how the accident occurred
- Speak with witnesses and gather testimony from them
- Use the help of expert testimony and accident reconstruction specialists
- Talk to your doctor and get your most recent medical records
An attorney may also bring in the four elements of negligence to prove your innocence in the matter. The elements of negligence include:
- Duty of Care:The other motorist owed you a duty of care.
- Breach of Duty of Care:The other driver violated this duty of care.
- Causation:The liable party’s breach of duty of care caused losses and injuries.
- Damages:You, the plaintiff, suffered economic losses and injuries that a financial award may cover.
Your case may prove that you experienced a preventable accident. You should not have to feel any anxiety about your losses extending into the future if your injuries prove permanent.
The Rule of Thumb When Hiring a Lawyer for Car Accident that Wasn’t My Fault
We’re not here to take your money or to waste your time. Indeed, there is an endless supply of car accidents to litigate. The question you want to know is: Should I hire an attorney to litigate my claim against an at-fault driver.
The rule of thumb is this: You can submit a claim if you want and get some money back but if you have serious injuries, you should hire an attorney. By “serious” we mean any injury that will require you to miss any time from work. If you get out of the accident with a couple of scratches and body damage to your car, the insurance companies are usually pretty good about paying for the repairs.
What they’re not so good about is paying for repairs to you personally. The reason is that there are a number of people that attempt to scam insurance companies by claiming significant irreparable damage to their bodies when none really exist. For that reason, the insurance companies will stress test your case against their policyholder as much as they can. That means poring through your medical records and interpreting ambiguities in the police reports against you. This is, essentially, their job.
What to Look For When Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Auto accident attorneys cover a range of issues stemming from personal injury, wrongful death, property destruction, and liability determinations. When looking for a lawyer, you should concentrate on their experience, skill level, commitment, location, and fee structure.
For example, your attorney should be well versed in state and national transportation laws, know how to deal with insurance and health care companies, and know how to effectively prepare and settle a case. Also, it’s important that you check the attorney’s background, references, and track record.
Lastly, a good lawyer will typically accept your case on a contingency or “no win-no fee” basis if the attorney feels your case has any merit, so it’s important to check the attorney’s standard fee structure.
Should I hire a lawyer for an accident that was my fault?
If you were responsible for the accident, then you cannot claim damages from the other driver’s insurer. In this case, you do not need to hire a personal injury lawyer to sue for damages. If you are at fault, your insurance company will hire a lawyer to defend you.
It is best to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident to ensure you protect yourself. We recommend that you speak with a personal injury lawyer before contacting the insurance company representing the other driver. However, you should speak to your own insurance company as soon as possible.
Here are the main advantages of hiring a car accident lawyer.
- Personal Injury lawyers understand the correct statute of limitations for different types of personal injury cases
If you have been injured in a car crash, under Colorado law, you have a three (3) year statute of limitations. This means that you have three years from the date of your car accident to settle your case or to file a lawsuit.
If you do not settle or file your case within three years, then your case is lost forever and you cannot go back in time to try to resolve your case.
- A skilled car accident attorney can help you find and deal with insurance issues
An insurance company will be involved in almost all car accidents. Why is this? Because most drivers comply with mandatory state laws that require everyone to purchase certain minimum levels of car insurance. Sometimes a driver is involved in an accident and either doesn’t have insurance or let his auto insurance lapse. That poses great difficulties for an injured claimant as there is no bodily injury coverage to assert your claim. In this situation, you can always assert an uninsured motorist claim against your very own car insurance and it will be absolutely necessary if you are injured.
- A good personal injury attorney will prove your auto collision case
- An experienced car accident attorney will be able to prove Liability (which is a legal term for “fault”). Attorneys know how to prove fault and know how to gather the evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault. Fault is something very difficult for you to attempt on your own, so better to leave this in the hands of an experienced attorney.
- Next, your attorney will prove that your injuries were caused by the subject car accident. Again, it is better to leave these legal elements in the hands of your attorney as your attorney will know the correct case law and medical evidence to prove that your injuries were caused by the force and impact of the crash. Photos and damage estimates of both vehicles involved in the car crash can help demonstrate the forces on your body and resulting injuries.
- Finally, an experienced personal injury attorney will be able to prove your damages. Damages are the monetary value or settlement value of your case. Lawyers will prove your damages through medical evidence (medical records, medical bills) and testimony from your treating physicians. Damages are the final key to proving how much money you should get according to the arguments and evidence that your attorney puts forth.
- A good car accident attorney will know when to settle your case
A skilled personal injury attorney will advise you on every settlement offer made by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. For example, if the insurance company offers $10,000 and that just barely covers your medical bills, then your attorney will advise you not to settle at that amount and will make continuing arguments as to why your case is worth more than that amount.
Your attorney will advise you to decline the offer and will advise you on the next settlement offer that you should make. Negotiating settlements is a little like buying a car. Your attorney will make an offer that will be accepted or declined. If it is declined, your attorney will continue pushing and making further settlement offers until a compromise is reached.