A car accident can be traumatic, and it’s easy to find yourself in shock and unsure what to do right after an accident happens. While the most important first steps are always to get medical treatment and call the relevant authorities, it’s also important that you think about getting an attorney. Calling a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident could save you trouble down the line. How do you know if you need an attorney? Here are some indications that you might need a lawyer on your side.
Your Accident is Very Serious
If the accident involved serious injuries to anyone, and especially if someone was killed, the best way to safeguard your rights moving forward is to make sure you have competent legal aid on your side. Whether or not it was your fault, make sure you are protected.
The Police Got It Wrong
If you believe the police report is not accurate, particularly if the police have blamed you when you believe the other party was at fault, a lawyer may be able to help you. Just like anyone in any job, a police officer can get tired and rush too quickly. It’s important that the police accident report be filled out carefully and accurately. If it’s not, you need to take steps immediately with your lawyer to help.
The Insurance Company Is Denying Coverage
It is not unknown for insurance companies to reflexively deny coverage to force you to take extra steps to prove they should honor their contractual agreements. Insurance companies act in bad faith all too often, refusing to pay before even investigating an accident or refusing to pay quickly. In this situation, the insurance company typically has all the power and lots of expertise. A car accident lawyer can help you even the playing field.
Your Current Claims Are Running Into Trouble
If you started the process of dealing with your accident on your own and are now running into difficulties, it’s time to talk to a lawyer. If you’re having trouble managing the paperwork, discussing and negotiating with insurers, or even dealing with repairs on your vehicle, a lawyer can smooth the road, help you prioritize, and give your case the confidence it needs.
Your Liability Insurance Limits Are Very Low
If you are at fault, or if it is unclear who is at fault, you could be in a very serious situation if your insurance liability is too low to cover claims that might arise from the accident. Even if you’re unsure, it can be a good idea to get an attorney on your side immediately as you sort out who was responsible and what claims are going to be brought.
You’re Unsure If You Have a Personal Injury Claim
Even if the accident was clearly the fault of the other person, it may not be a foregone conclusion that you are entitled to a personal injury claim. It’s a good idea to ask a lawyer to thoroughly investigate the accident and help you understand your rights and what steps you should take to pursue them.
You Need the Help of Other Experts
In the aftermath of an accident, things can get tricky. You may need an accident reconstruction expert to help you understand what happened, a medical expert beyond your own personal doctor, an economist to help you understand the long-term impact of your injuries, or a life-care planning expert. A car accident attorney will have a relationship with capable people in all of these fields and can help quickly find the assistance you need.
If you’re experiencing any of these problems or are in doubt of what to do, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. This will give you not only the help you need, but peace of mind, as well.