An at-fault driver can completely turn your life around. If you or a loved one, such as a family member or friend, have been affected by a car accident, it’s critical to contact a qualified law firm as soon as possible.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the most common car accidents (in order) involve older drivers, younger drivers, speeding, commercial vehicles, alcohol, and motorcycles. There are more than 1,000 vehicle-related fatalities every year in Missouri and tens of thousands of accidents that result in minor to severe injuries.
It’s important to find an effective, well-reviewed injury firm if you or a family member have been in a car accident. Accidents happen all the time, and most of them are entirely avoidable.
Even a minor car accident can cause serious financial repercussions like physical rehabilitation, repairs, time off work, and so on.
When You Need a Car Accident Lawyer
A ding from a shopping cart is one thing, but an actual injury is another. If, for example, you were rear-ended in a seemingly minor accident, you could easily get compensated for repairs and call it a day.
However, you may find out a few weeks later you have whiplash or a related complication.
It is important to remember that a disc in your spine can become herniated with very little force, despite it being contrary to common sense.
If you or a child or family member have been injured in a car crash, driven off the road, or were even hit as pedestrians, a lawyer can streamline the compensation process.
Signs You Should Hire a Car Accident Attorney
It can be bewildering figuring out what to do after an accident. However, here are some obvious signs you should hire an attorney after a car accident:
- The accident resulted in pain that does not go away within a day or two after the crash
- The accident resulted in serious injuries such as broken bones or wrongful death
- The accident was caused by negligent behavior like texting
- The accident was a hit and run and you need to collect evidence quickly.
- The accident involved an uninsured motorist or multiple drivers
- An accident injury requires you to need ongoing care and you cannot go back to work
What Happens If You Are at Fault in a Car Accident?
Whether you’re asking yourself “Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault?” or “Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that was my fault?” the answer is the same: you need legal advice as soon as possible.
Car accidents are far more complex than most people realize and it is difficult to determine who is at fault in an automobile accident.
How an Attorney Can Help With Your Car Accident Claim
It’s simply not a good idea to face a large insurance company without legal representation. You need a personal injury lawyer to represent you in a car accident case if you want to file a personal injury claim with an insurer.
A good attorney will not only strive to reduce your medical expenses but also make sure you get maximum compensation for your personal injury case.
How Will a Lawyer Handle the Insurance Company?
When you file your insurance claim, you should work with a personal injury attorney. He or she has the legal knowledge and experience to gauge the value of your claim and evaluate if the insurance adjusters abided by the laws and regulations in your insurance policy.
A good attorney will also ensure that you get a fair settlement offer or take your case to trial if the insurance company is trying to save money at your expense by offering you less than your case is worth.
How to Get a Larger Settlement
One of the biggest mistakes car accident victims make is settling without knowing the full extent of their injuries. It is tempting to take whatever offer the insurance companies give you.
You might have bills piling up, have been missing work, and are paying for alternative transportation.
Insurers are happy to toss you a check because when they do, that’s that. It’s a win-win for the insurance companies, both the at-fault driver and yours if you take an initial settlement without considering all your needs.
The best way to get a larger (and fairer) settlement is to secure legal representation. Why?
- You’re probably not in the best position to negotiate/haggle with insurers. If you’ve suffered any major injuries, your focus should be to get well and manage finances as best as you can.
- A skilled car accident lawyer will help you gather useful evidence for fighting a claim. This may include witness testimonies, pictures, medical bills, x-rays, and other palpable evidence that proves you were injured by a negligent party.
- From a practical standpoint, an insurer offering what may seem like a fair settlement will hesitate when a lawyer becomes involved. They can no longer “buy you out” based on policy caps, and frequently reconsider with a higher counteroffer.
Sending a prompt and effective demand letter is equally important. An attorney can help you formulate your case and back it up with facts, figures, and other information that justifies your claim. Learn more about calculating personal injury damages here.
Our firm has experience in negotiating with insurance companies. There are steps to take after an accident, reports and records to collect, and possible medical issues.
Another component of getting the most compensation after a car accident is to seek medical treatment without letting too much time pass.
This is often detrimental to your health and insurance companies will often try to claim that you were not injured because you waited a few days to get care.
You may be eligible to receive compensation for special and general damages if you were involved in a car accident. The main ones include:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Income
- Property Damage
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Life
- Emotional Distress
Proving these damages is essential for justifying a claim. A serious wreck, or even witnessing one, can cause psychological damage that deserves compensation.
How Long Do You Have to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Although the statute of limitations after a car accident is usually a few years, varying between states, try to hire an auto accident attorney without delay even if you have not fully recovered from your injuries because the sooner your lawyer can get a copy of the police report, the easier it will be to collect all the evidence about the accident, which may include photographs of lacerations, bruises and wounds, the scene of the crash, damaged vehicles, and conducting witness interviews.
You can be sure the insurance companies are performing an investigation to help them save money, and it is important you have someone fighting for you.
How Much Does an Attorney Cost for a Car Accident?
Don’t second guess yourself by asking, “Should I get an attorney after a car accident?” Instead, you should be asking, “Who is the best car accident lawyer near me?”
Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer after a motor vehicle accident will help you determine liability and allow you to get the fair compensation you deserve. If you try to figure out how to settle a car accident claim without a lawyer, you may end up stuck with lost income from missed work, paying a doctor, covering the expense of a rehabilitation clinic, or getting your car repaired at your own expense.
Although you may be afraid to pay a high car accident lawyer fee, most injury lawyers work under a contingency fee agreement. Under this agreement, the lawyer may agree to only get paid a certain percentage of the recovery after you receive compensation for your personal injury case.
The percentage depends on the complexity of the case. If the attorney thinks recovery will be easy, the fee may be around 20% to 25%. If the attorney thinks the recovery will be difficult, the fee may be around 35% to 40%.
Recovery could occur through a court judgment or a settlement.
Need a Car Accident Lawyer? Contact us for a Free Consultation
If you or a family member were injured in a car or truck accident, the Dixon Injury Firm offers free consultations and case reviews. Your free case evaluation with an experienced car accident attorney includes attorney-client relationship privilege.
As a victim, you are eligible for fair compensation and it’s our job to make the reimbursement process as smooth as possible. Get in touch with our St. Louis-based car accident lawyers today. Feel free to contact us on our website or call our free consultation phone number (314) 208-2808 for more information.