After an auto accident, many people ask the same question: “Do I need to hire a car accident attorney?” The answer is really that it depends!
For example, let’s look a car accident. If the damage caused by the accident is minimal property damage and you know that everyone involved is unhurt, then you probably don’t need a lawyer. Most property damage settlements are fairly straightforward.
If you have a minor injury from the accident, like a scrape or a bruise, and your doctor says you’re fine, that is another situation where you probably do not need an attorney. However, if you have suffered a significant injury, it’s time to call a personal injury lawyer. Another common situation is an accident that has multiple parties with potential liability–it’s also a good idea to call an attorney in this case.
Of course, every accident is different. It is difficult to provide a clear and definite cutoff, as a heuristic, it may be useful to note that to take a case to trial, it often costs around $5,000 for a typical personal injury case. Generally, an expert is needed (that creates the bulk of the cost) and filing fees, depositions, medical records requests all add up. What that means in simple terms is that if the damages are not above $5,000, many firms may not take that case on. Calling an attorney to determine if your case is one for which an attorney is necessary, however, is never a bad move. Many firms, if unable to help you, will either provide a referral or a list of suggestions that may help you handle the matter on you own.
Insurance companies’ own figures have shown that if you are hurt or have lost a loved one, on average, you are more likely to receive two to three times more compensation if you have an attorney on your side. Insurance adjusters are highly trained to make sure the insurance carrier keeps as much of its money as possible (and that you get as little as possible) for your injury or death claim. “Justice” is not their goal. If you or a friend or family member gets hurt, or worse, get a good lawyer early in the process. You have nothing to lose.
This may be your first time dealing with the ins and outs of an accident claim, but injury attorneys have dealt with all manner of claims and a variety of insurance companies. They have experience obtaining the necessary evidence to support your claim, including gathering police reports, witness statements, medical records and bills, and employment and lost wage information.
Your attorney will organize the evidence and prepare a settlement demand letter for the insurance company. If you are unable to settle your accident case, your attorney can take care of filing the necessary paperwork to start a court case and can deal with the defense attorneys on your behalf. Having someone knowledgeable handling the hard work of your case eases the burden on you, which is especially important if you have been seriously injured and are trying to recover from your injuries.
Perhaps the most important way an attorney can help you with your car accident case is by being your advocate. Your attorney acts on your behalf and for your benefit throughout the entire claims process (negotiating with the automobile insurance company) and even in court if a lawsuit becomes necessary. He or she will be your champion before the judge, jury and other attorneys, making sure that your side of the story is heard and that you are compensated for all of your losses.
An experienced personal injury attorney can ease some of the burden by doing the research, gathering the necessary documentation, and crafting concise and thorough demands for settlement of your claim. Northland Injury Law helps victims injured in car accidents recover the compensation they need. If you have been personally injured, call 816-400-4878 for a Missouri automobile accident lawyer today.