Getting into an accident can be a very traumatic and terrifying experience. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, you’re going to feel overwhelmed. You’ll likely need time to recuperate from any injuries that you sustained. Having said all that, there are many reasons why it’s important to contact a lawyer right after the accident.
1. Find Out Who Was At Fault
The first thing to do after you’ve been in an accident is figuring out who was responsible. The police will usually investigate the scene of the crash and determine this, but if they aren’t there yet, take pictures of how bad the damage is on your car and also get witness statements. This information will help your attorney to determine whether you could receive compensation. In the experience of the Brooks Law Group, people aren’t always aware of what proper monetary compensation would be, so it’s important to talk to a lawyer who can look at the situation and tell you where you stand. The same things apply if it was a work accident, a slip-and-fall at a store, or a case of injuries due to medical malpractice. In all of these cases, it’s important to establish liability so you can get the compensation you need.
Regardless of what happened, and how you got hurt, there’s going to be a lot of paperwork to handle. In the midst of all the chaos, you might not always notice what you’re signing, or you may not realize the importance of a document. Calling a lawyer after an accident means protecting your interests. This way, you can be certain that you’ll have all the proper forms signed, and you’ll be in a position to save all the important documents you might need later on. Depending on what kind of accident you were in, there’s a possibility that the other party might try to influence you to sign something, or even wave some kind of compensation. If you’re in an emotionally charged situation, having to deal with the fact that your car is totaled or you’ve suffered injuries, it could be difficult to know what to do. Letting a lawyer handle the paperwork means that you won’t have to worry about any consequences later on down the road.
3. Insurance Issues
Of course, insurance companies are obligated to provide you with everything that’s stipulated in your contract. Unfortunately, though, they are for-profit organizations. That means that their main objective is to make money. Sometimes, this means that they might try to take advantage of you in the aftermath of an accident, and downplay or flat out deny your claims for compensation. This is where having a lawyer will help. A qualified legal professional can ensure that you get everything you’re entitled to under the terms of your contract with your insurance company.
Acting in bad faith with regards to insurance claims is something that can cost an insurance company a lot of money. However, a lot of the time when this happens, the insurance company is banking on the fact that most people aren’t really going to do anything about it, especially if they are already in an emotionally charged situation due to some kind of accident. Hiring a lawyer right after the accident ensures that you’ll have someone on your side making sure you get what’s rightfully yours.
4. Legal Defense
Just as important as the above factors, you need to make sure that you have someone on your side who is looking out for you. Regardless of whether or not it was your fault, if another party tries to sue you after an accident, it’s important to have proper representation. A lawyer will ensure that you have the best possible defense and that your side of the story is told. Even if you were at fault for the accident, it doesn’t necessarily have to mean you were the only responsible party, so you shouldn’t carry all of the burdens.
On the other hand, the person suing you might try to take more than what they’re entitled to. For instance, maybe you got in a car accident where there wasn’t any serious damage, but the other party is asking for $1 million dollars because of neck injuries, and the value of all medical bills that came as part of the discovery process. A lawyer can help establish if this claim has merit and how much if the claim is situated in reality.
5. Work Issues
Depending on what kind of accident you were in, it’s also possible that you might have missed some time at work. When this happens, your employer usually offers sick pay or vacation time as an alternative. If you don’t have a contract with your employer regarding these specific issues, your rights are not protected. It’s important to note that if you ever miss any time at work, depending on your circumstances, you might be liable to pay back the company for lost salary due to missed days. Your lawyer can help ensure that this doesn’t happen by working out an agreement regarding what has transpired with your employer.
Additionally, if you’re not unionized, or are not in a union that is terribly helpful, you might need to show your employer that you are prepared to stand up for yourself and that they need to respect the rights that you are entitled to. A lawyer can help you understand what you are or are not allowed to do in this type of situation, and how best to handle the worst-case scenario if your employer does make life difficult for you after an accident.
6. Filing A Claim
Lastly, it’s important to understand that you have a limited amount of time after the accident to file a claim. There are certain statutes of limitations associated with personal injury law, and if your case does go to trial, those restrictions might affect how much compensation you receive. Apart from that, filing a claim means a lot of paperwork and other administrative work. Instead of trying to go through piles of papers to try and figure out what you need to do, let your lawyer deal with that instead. You can rest assured that everything is being taken care of and you don’t have to worry about making an administrative error.
When accidents happen, it’s important to rely on your instincts. If you feel like something isn’t right and that the insurance company is treating you unfairly, then chances are that’s probably what’s happening. The best thing you can do in this type of situation is to contact a lawyer to help you understand your rights and what you need to do. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side can be a great asset, especially if you want to make sure that the accident doesn’t affect your financial situation too much. With a professional in your corner, you can focus on healing knowing that everything is being handled, and not having to worry about dealing with the headache of sorting things out.