Car accidents range in severity. Though, regardless of how severe your accident was, you should consider contacting a lawyer to help you seek compensation for your damages. While it may not seem necessary to leverage the assistance of a lawyer, doing so can ensure that you recover the maximum possible amount of compensation from the at-fault party.
Knowing when to call a lawyer can help you make the right decision following an accident. If you are already considering speaking with a car accident attorney, you can reach a member of the Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC team today by filling out the contact form on this page.
You Just Got in a Car Accident, What Now?
Moments after a car accident, you may be panicking and wondering what to do next. In the ideal scenario, you would exchange information with any involved drivers, take pictures of the scene, contact the police to have them file a report, then go to the hospital to receive appropriate treatment. These steps do not have to be performed in this order, or at all for that matter.
Though, if you choose not to take proper precautions, you may not be able to file a successful car accident claim. For this reason, people involved in car accidents should never leave the scene unless they are suffering from severe injuries. Leaving may minimize the amount of evidence available when the time comes to file a claim.
If you did leave the scene, do not worry — all is not lost. As long as you exchanged information with the other drivers, you can still work to make a claim through their insurance. If this does not work, you will need to file a lawsuit. If this seems overwhelming to you, consider speaking to a lawyer to get assistance today.
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Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer to File a Claim?
A car accident lawyer is not always necessary to file a personal injury claim related to an accident. For example, accidents that only cause minor property damage can likely be handled by speaking to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You do not stand to gain much compensation through a legal claim, so there is likely no need to contact a lawyer.
With that said, even a minor accident can have severe outcomes if you or another person were injured. Even if the injury seems insignificant, you may benefit from reaching out to a lawyer to discuss how much compensation you could recover if a claim was filed. Many people underestimate their ongoing health care costs when it comes to minor injuries, so get the counsel you need to make a good decision.
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Will a Lawyer Speak to the Insurance Company for You?
Lawyers are skilled and effective negotiators most of the time. When your claim enters the negotiation phase, an experienced lawyer can work on your behalf to get the insurance company to agree to a reasonable settlement. Understand that a vast majority of all car accident claims end with the insurance company offering a settlement and it is accepted.
Still, you need to be prepared to take your case to court if necessary. Having legal counsel representing you will make this part of the process easier to handle. The same negotiation skills your lawyer used during the negotiation phase will prove essential if the case needs to be argued in court.
Without a lawyer, you may still win compensation, but it will likely be less than the full amount you deserve.
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Should You Tell Your Insurance Company About a Car Accident?
Depending on what type of coverage you have, your insurance company may be willing to help you pay for damages you suffered in an accident. Speak to them immediately about any accidents you were involved in so that they can explain to you whether those damages are covered by your policy. This is even more necessary in cases where the at-fault driver’s insurer refuses to accept responsibility for your losses.
When speaking to your insurance company, provide them with the insurance information of the other driver involved in the accident. They also need to know who responded to the accident as well as when and where it took place. The circumstances will dictate how they handle the case, but they could levy a claim against the driver or their insurance company themselves.
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How Soon do You Need to Contact a Lawyer?
Following a crash, we recommend that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Doing so will maximize your chances of recovering fair compensation from the at-fault party. If you wait to speak to a lawyer, you may be caught off-guard by the at-fault person’s insurance company.
The person who hit you will normally tell their insurance company about the accident immediately. Then, their insurance company will try to contact you to get more information about the accident. Do NOT speak to them about the details of the accident.
Anything you say can be used against you once you file a claim. Instead of speaking to the insurance adjusters, speak to an attorney. Your lawyer will look out for your best interests and help you build an effective case.
The insurance company’s main objective is to place the blame on you or someone else, so do not fall for their trap. With an attorney acting on your behalf, you have a knowledgeable ally who is familiar with the games that insurance companies play to get out of paying out fair settlements.
Statute of Limitations
Acting quickly is also important because all states have a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time you have to file a car accident claim. This statute of limitations varies from state to state, so speak with a lawyer to find out how much time you have to file. If you miss the deadline, you could lose your opportunity to seek any compensation from the at-fault driver.
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The Lawyers You Can Trust
If you were in a car accident, you need a lawyer to represent you in your legal claim. For the best results, choose a law firm that offers extensive expertise and experience. Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC is one such law firm.
We have a long track record of successfully claiming compensation on the behalf of car accident victims. Therefore, you can trust us to fight for your rights and fair compensation. The process starts with a free consultation with one of our lawyers. To schedule, use the contact form on this page.