Should you contact an Accident Lawyer?
Can an accident attorney help you with your accident case?
What are the essential elements you should know!
In this article, we will break down the notion of Accident Lawyer so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
Let’s dig into our legal profession knowledge!
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Table of Contents
Who Is An Accident Lawyer
An “accident” lawyer, as the name suggests, is a legal professional specialized in the area of seeking compensation for those injured in an accident or to defend individuals against whom complaints are filed.
The term accident is defined as an “unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly or unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury”.
As a result, there are different types of accidents and they include:
- Car accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Semi-truck accident
- Truck accident
- 18-wheeler accident
- Jet ski accident
- Tug boat accident
- Offshore accident
- Slip and fall accident
- Pedestrian accident
- School bus accident
- Traffic collision
- Aviation accident
- Train wrecks
And the list can go on and on.
An accident attorney is a lawyer who primarily deals with cases involving accidents, crashes, collisions, personal injuries and understands the legal basis to hold the responsible of the accident liable for the damages caused.
Conversely, should a person be wrongly charged for having caused injuries as a result of an accident, the accident lawyer will defend against such actions in an attempt to dismiss the case or lower the amount of compensation to be paid.
What Do Accident Lawyers Do
A person involved in an accident suffering financial, emotional, and psychological injuries can seek damages against the person responsible for the cause of the accident.
The victim of the accident may need the service of accident lawyers to help them deal with:
- Documenting the accident and gathering all the necessary legal records for a successful claim
- Investigate the extent of the injuries with medical professionals and health experts
- Study the evidence and define a legal strategy and course of action for seeking compensation
- Seek compensation from the at-fault party or insurance companies involved
- File an accident lawsuit more commonly referred to as a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant
Gathering the most relevant and most credible pieces of evidence is crucial for an attorney to fully understand his or her client’s injuries but also build a compensation case.
Lawyers and law firms will spend a good amount of time going through the evidence, records, and material to assess a case and determine the best litigation strategy.
Personal injury lawyers are also experienced in investigating a case and filling any gaps in the case.
They can reach out to hospitals and doctors to get medical records or ask for further testing, they can collect security camera footage, police records, and potentially identify witnesses that can support the claim.
Another important aspect of what accident lawyers do is they are excellent negotiators.
Having a full understanding of the factual basis of a case along with the applicable laws and statutes, lawyers can negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies or defendants to get compensation that makes sense.
When To Hire Accident Attorneys
An accident happens quickly and can potentially lead to life-changing experiences.
There is no answer set in stone as to when you should hire an accident attorney to deal with your lawsuit, claim, or defense.
Here are the different aspects that you should consider to make a decision.
Accidents such as auto accident, motorcycle accident, collisions with trucks, and so on can raise many questions:
- Who is at fault?
- Was there any property damage?
- Were there bodily injuries?
- Was a police report filed?
- Were witnesses identified?
- Was there negligence or recklessness?
- Do the parties have insurance coverage?
- What are the damages?
- Can the damages be proved?
In many cases, it’s fair to say that shortly following an accident, it may be worth consulting with an attorney.
A consultation represents one or a few sessions with an attorney with the objective of having the lawyer assess the case in general and provide high-level feedback on the matter.
Generally, many lawyers will need to understand the case before accepting to represent the client.
If you are comfortable with the advice that you received, you may choose to handle the remainder of the case yourself.
It may also be useful to mandate an attorney to represent you earlier in the case as opposed to later.
If you have legal representation from the start or early on, the attorney can help you set up your case and gather the necessary evidence that you need.
Lawyers are also quite careful in making statements and representations that may not hurt your case or be prejudicial.
Self-represented claimants run the risk of saying something or being forced to admit something that may end up hurting their case and the overall settlement they may get.
Although there is no guarantee that an accident law firm or lawyer can get the compensation that you have in mind, you may have less risk to act prejudicially.
Should You Hire A Lawyer For Accidents
The answer to this question is that it depends.
If you have a very small accident and you are looking to file a small and simple claim, the answer may be quite obvious.
However, not all accidents have simple factual or legal foundations.
A car accident can be quite complex, the facts could be disputed, there may be many involved in the accident with varying levels of responsibility, insurance companies can be actively involved, the causality of the injuries suffered may be in dispute, and so on.
In such cases, although it is not mandatory to hire an attorney, at a minimum it may be worth consulting with one.
To put all the chances on your side, it may be even useful to hire an accident attorney and have the law firm or attorney represent you before the insurance company and the other parties.
For example, filing an insurance claim for a car accident may not be as simple as it appears to be particularly if the facts of the accident are complex.
Also, insurance companies have an inherent objective to either deny claims or pay the least amount of money as possible to the extent permitted by the policy or the law.
Insurance companies have lawyers on staff and are experts in the area of accidents and personal injury, as a result, they are quite sophisticated in their approach.
With an accident attorney you can put the chances on your side by having someone knowledgeable in the law, in accidents, experienced in the field, and able to defend your legal rights.
For the victim of an injury, the ultimate objective in filing a claim with an insurance company or filing a lawsuit is to get an accident settlement covering the economic and noneconomic losses suffered.
On the other hand, for the defendant or the alleged at-fault party, the objective is to fight the claim by proving that he or she was not responsible for the accident so the case is dismissed or attempt to reduce the sums of money it may be required to pay.
No matter what side of the legal action you may be on, accident lawyers and accident law firms can try to estimate the value of your legal claim or legal exposure.
In the United States, state laws vary and the manner to calculate a settlement or compensation may be different.
If you are able to handle it on your own, then it’s great.
However, for many, they may not know the procedures or applicable laws for the calculation of their claim.
Speaking to an attorney will help clarify the matter and provide answers to many questions.
There are many factors that should be considered for a fair settlement for damages caused following an accident.
What victims of an accident should expect to recover is compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost earnings
- Loss of future income
- Cost of future medical expenses
- General damages (stress, mental anguish, pain, suffering etc)
Accident Attorney Takeaways
So, what are the key takeaways with regards to accident lawyers?
In this post, we provided you with an overview of what an accident lawyer is, what they do, should you hire one, and other useful information that you must know about accident lawyers whether you have hired one already or are looking to hire one.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
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