When Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
After a car accident, a team of experienced claims adjusters, investigators, and lawyers for the insurance company begin working on the case. They begin gathering evidence to prove who caused the accident.
Their goal is to limit the insurance company’s liability for a personal injury claim.
In cases involving government entities, large corporations, or trucking companies, you face the same situation. You are battling against a large entity that has unlimited resources to fight your injury claim.
When you go up against the insurance company or corporation without a lawyer, you are fighting experienced, well-funded lawyers and legal professionals. However, you do not have to fight for fair compensation alone.
You can have a team of legal professionals working to protect your best interests by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer.
When Should You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
Keep in mind that as long as you represent yourself, the playing field is not level. An average person does not have the resources, skills, time, or experience to investigate a car accident case. They are at an immediate disadvantage.
An accident victim may not have the financial resources to hire medical experts, accident reconstructionists, and other experts to assist in building a strong case of fault and liability against the other party.
They may also lack the knowledge necessary to calculate the maximum value of damages. In some cases, an accident victim may not realize they are entitled to compensation for certain damages.
Any one of the above reasons is sufficient reason to consult with a car accident attorney after a wreck. However, if you are still unsure whether you need to hire a car accident lawyer, consider the following seven situations as strong indicators that you need to hire an attorney as soon as possible.
You Sustained Serious Injuries or Permanent Disabilities
Under Florida’s no-fault insurance statute, you must sustain serious injuries to file a claim against the other driver.
Serious injuries are defined as:
- Permanent and significant loss of an important bodily function
- Probably permanent injury supported by reasonable medical evidence
- Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring
The other party or insurance could challenge whether your injuries are considered “serious injuries” to pursue a personal injury claim. An attorney can help you obtain medical evidence to support your claim and ensure that all damages related to the injury are included in your car accident claim.
You are Being Blamed for Contributing to the Cause of the Accident
It can be confusing when an insurance company blames you for a car wreck that the other driver clearly caused. The company may be attempting to lower the value of your injury claim by using the legal theory of comparative fault.
Comparative fault laws in Florida state that your percentage of fault for the cause of the car wreck reduces your compensation for a car accident claim. Therefore, if you are 30 percent to blame for causing the car accident, you receive 30 percent less money for your injury claim.
If the other driver or the insurance provider tries to shift blame to you for causing the collision, do not hesitate to contact a car accident attorney for help. An attorney can investigate the crash to gather evidence refuting the claims of fault by the other party.
A Government Vehicle or Employee was Involved in the Accident
Car accident claims involving government entities have different rules. For example, your time to file a notice of claim is extremely short. Government entities are also protected from some types of negligence claims.
The best way to handle a car accident involving a government vehicle or government employee is to immediately talk to a lawyer. You could have just a few months after the accident to file your notice of claim. A mistake or error could result in a denial of your claim.
A Family Member Died in the Car Crash
When a family member dies in a car accident, the family members may be entitled to compensation under Florida’s wrongful death laws. No amount of money compensates a family for the loss of a loved one.
However, holding the party responsible for the death of your loved one can give your family some justice. The compensation received from a wrongful death action can also help pay for the living expenses and needs.
The wrongful death laws dictate who can file a wrongful death claim after a car accident. The laws also dictate the compensation that the family members might receive for a wrongful death claim.
Your Child Was Injured in the Car Accident
When your child is injured, your entire focus is on your child’s health and wellbeing. Allowing a car accident attorney to handle the legal matters gives you more time to care for your child.
Cases involving childhood injuries can be complicated. A child injured in a car crash could be entitled to future damages. An injury could increase the chance that a child could have lifelong disabilities.
For example, a brain injury could result in physical, emotional, or cognitive impairments. Broken bones and back injuries could result in developmental delays and permanent impairments.
It is crucial to ensure that you seek compensation for future damages. Compensation for future damages can help pay for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and other therapy to help reduce the impact on the child’s growth, development, and enjoyment of life.
The Insurance Company is Not Responding
Sometimes an insurance company may not respond to an insurance claim. The company may be acting in bad faith to avoid paying the injury claim. It could be trying to let the statute of limitations (deadline) to expire so that you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit.
If an insurance company refuses to investigate a claim or respond to your inquiries about your claim, contact an attorney. Your lawyer can take additional acts to force the company to respond, including filing bad faith lawsuit when necessary.
You are Unsure of the Value of Your Damages
If you do not know how much your damages from a car crash are worth, do not settle your personal injury claim. Once you accept an offer and sign a settlement agreement, your case ends. You cannot go back to the insurance company for more money, even if you did not know about an injury.
Settlement agreements are binding contracts. In most cases, you release all parties from future liability and claims, including known and unknown claims and parties. Having an attorney review a settlement agreement is in your best interest.
Remember, experienced lawyers working for the insurance company drafted the agreement. They are looking out for the company’s best interest, not yours. You need someone who is protecting your best interest to review the agreement to ensure it is fair.
Call Our Florida Car Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
Are you confused about whether you need to hire a Florida car accident lawyer to handle your claim? If so, take advantage of our free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and how our law firm can help you seek maximum compensation for all your damages and injuries. Call our Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach law offices today to schedule a free consultation.