Other than healing from injuries, the hardest thing about car accidents is dealing with the aftermath. One of the more difficult questions you’ll ask yourself after an accident is, “Do I really need a personal injury lawyer?”
It can be difficult to find an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney. If a car accident lawyer presents themselves in an intimidating manner, you might get a bad feeling. For these and other reasons, some car accident victims try to handle their accident cases on their own. This article will give you five things to think about if you’re wondering whether you need to hire an injury lawyer after your car accident.
Are you injured?
The most obvious reason to hire an injury lawyer after your car accident is that you were seriously injured. Suppose you walk away from the accident with just cuts and bruises or minor property damage. In that case, you might decide that it makes sense to handle your accident case without hiring a Birmingham personal injury lawyer.
Handling your case on your own might seem like a good idea if your medical bills don’t amount to much. However, accident attorneys know that many accident injuries can remain hidden for weeks, months, or years. Worse, the injuries that you know about – even ones that seem minor – can cause pain for years after an accident. For these reasons, it is best to hire an injury lawyer after your car accident.
Do you know who was at fault?
In states with “no-fault” insurance systems, auto insurance policies pay the injured person’s medical bills no matter who caused the accident. Fault is not a factor.
Alabama, however, is an “at-fault” state. This means that in Alabama, the insurance company need only pay your medical bills if you were not at fault. And due to Alabama’s contributory negligence rule, if you were even one percent responsible for causing your accident, the insurance company can deny your claim. If you think there is even a remote chance that the other driver could claim that the accident was your fault, you’ll need an Alabama personal injury attorney on your side.
Even if you didn’t cause the accident, proving fault might be tricky. If you were involved in an accident with multiple cars, proving which driver caused the wreck could be challenging. If you were involved in a trucking accident, the truck driver, the trucking company, or any number of other people or companies could be responsible for your injuries. The trouble with proving fault is one more reason to hire an injury lawyer after your car accident.
Do you know how much your case is worth?
Figuring out how much a car accident case is worth is not easy. Though some people will tell you there is a certain formula that can predict how much your case is worth, the reality is that every case is different. The worth of your personal injury case will turn on many factors including the extent of your injuries and property damage, pain and suffering, and the behavior of the other driver.
If you don’t know how to calculate the value of your case, you’ll be at a disadvantage when negotiating with the insurance company. Remember, car insurance companies want to avoid paying you anything. Even if the insurance company does make you an offer, most insurance injury settlements are too low to cover your losses. A Birmingham personal injury lawyer can help make sure that you get the money you need to cover your injuries.
Are you comfortable talking about legal issues?
Obviously, personal injury cases raise legal issues. Accident claims – even fairly simple ones – often present complex legal issues. Something as simple as when to file the case (lawyers call this the statute of limitations) can be complicated. You should not handle your accident claim on your own unless you are comfortable reading statutes and legal cases. (You should also be comfortable writing about legal issues as lawyers communicate through letters and memos.)
Even if you have some legal knowledge, if the other side has legal representation, it’s a good sign that you should hire an injury lawyer after your car accident.
Do you have time to manage your personal injury case?
It takes many hours to bring even the simplest car accident case to a satisfactory conclusion. However, if you work 40-50 hours a week, you likely won’t have the time to dedicate to legal research, court hearings, finding and interviewing witnesses, and the other things you’ll need to do to win your personal injury claim.
On the other hand, your Alabama personal injury attorney can devote the required hours to your car accident case. (After all, it’s their job!) Even better, your lawyer’s expertise with car crashes means that they will use the time efficiently because they know which questions to ask and where to find the answers.
When you should definitely hire an injury lawyer after a car accident
If you’re wondering whether to hire an injury lawyer after your car accident, here are a few guidelines that should help. You should definitely hire an Alabama personal injury attorney if:
- You suffered a serious injury or were hospitalized after the accident,
- You require continuing medical care,
- The crash aggravated a medical condition that you had before the accident,
- The accident caused you to miss time from work or school,
- There is a chance that you might have caused the accident,
- More than one driver might have caused the accident,
- The accident involved a semi-truck,
- You were hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver,
- A government employee or agency might be responsible,
- The insurance company denies your claim,
- The accident caused emotional injuries as well as physical ones, or
- You believe the crash was caused by a product defect or malfunction.
If you need to hire an injury lawyer after a car accident, please consider Collins Law, LLC. Our clients give us high marks for compassion and customer service. We’ll work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, contact Collins Law online or call 205-588-1411.