When you get in your car, do you think about the possibility of being in a car crash? Unfortunately, car accidents are a frighteningly real part of everyday life. In the United States alone there are over ten million car accidents estimated to occur; that averages out to over nineteen accidents every minute. Many car accidents that take place are trivial: fender-benders, parking accidents and the like. However, at the other end of the spectrum, there are serious crashes that can cause severe and permanent injuries, both physical and mental, and this will impact your financial situation. In any and all of these cases you may need to hire a lawyer to help you understand your legal rights and protect your peace of mind.
Why do I Need a Lawyer?
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes for personal injury claims in the United States. Many of these accidents are minor and can be handled directly with your insurance provider. However, even a fender-bender can cause whiplash, a term that describes a wide range of neck injuries. Even these minor injuries can cause loss of time and wages and medical costs. Furthermore, if the accident is more serious it can lead to major property damage, permanent injury or even death. In the case of injuries or any kind of extensive damage, it would be highly beneficial to contact a lawyer to help you get you the proper compensation for losses occurred during the accident.
How Soon Should I Hire a Lawyer?
The first few minutes after a car accident can be some of the most difficult. You must try to keep a level head while checking to see if anyone involved has sustained injuries, file a report with the police and exchange information with everyone who was effected by the accident, as well as those who might have been witnesses. This is much easier said than done. Some lawyers offer free phone consultations, if you know of one that does, it may be wise to call as soon as you have made initial contact with the police. A lawyer can be very helpful in guiding you through what should be told to the police and your insurance provider. Otherwise, if there is serious damage or injury you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible, but definitely before reaching a settlement with the insurance company.
What Should I Look for in a Lawyer?
Lawyers in this field cover a wide range of issues, such as property destruction, personal injury, wrongful death and determining responsibility and cause. When looking for a lawyer, you must focus on their proficiency and experience in dealing with these issues. You should also research their level of commitment, fee structure and track record.
For example, your attorney should be knowledgeable of state and national transportation and traffic laws. They should also know how to deal with insurance and healthcare companies. In the case of fee structure, a good lawyer will base his payment on the outcome of settlement. This means that if you lose there will be no charge.
Be wary of any lawyers that do not hold up to any and all of these standards. If you do your research you will be able to find many upstanding auto accident lawyers.