You might have a legal claim for financial compensation if someone else caused a car accident that injured you. However, pursuing a car accident case can quickly become a complex, time-consuming endeavor, especially if you have serious injuries or this is your first time taking legal action.
You may already know you could hire an attorney to help you seek financial relief from those at fault for your injuries. But you may not realize what exactly a lawyer can do for you or just how important legal representation can be.
Car accident lawyers offer numerous benefits to injured victims. These benefits can include legal advice on how to proceed when pursuing compensation for injuries and losses, a thorough investigation of the car accident, preparation of compelling arguments and effective case strategy, and advocacy to protect an accident victim’s rights and interests. Keep reading to learn more about how a lawyer could help you pursue compensation.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer?
Recovering from a car accident can be a stressful, isolating experience. You may not know what steps to take to protect your health and seek compensation, especially if you have not been in a wreck before.
You might also feel overwhelmed dealing with insurance companies, medical providers, and bill collectors. By hiring a car accident lawyer following a crash, you can benefit from having someone who will serve as a resource for you during your recovery process.
A car accident lawyer will advocate for your rights and interests as you pursue compensation and accountability from those at fault for the car crash. Experienced legal representation can give you peace of mind and the freedom to focus on treating and rehabilitating your injuries, knowing that your lawyer will fight to protect your interests.
Some of the specific benefits that a car accident lawyer can provide include:
A Car Accident Lawyer Knows How to Investigate Crashes
A successful car accident claim begins with a thorough investigation of the crash. However, you may not know where to look to obtain information and evidence you can use to build your case. A car accident attorney will. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the more quickly they can investigate the accident, allowing them to secure valuable evidence before anyone loses or destroys it.
The evidence that your car accident lawyer can help you obtain for your case includes:
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Surveillance and traffic camera footage
- Dashcam footage
- Eyewitness statements
- Police crash reports
- Driver cell phone records
- Vehicle event data recorder (“black box”) logs from large trucks in the crash
- Post-crash vehicle inspection or repair reports
- Medical records from the treatment of your injuries
- Expert opinion testimony from accident reconstruction, engineering, medical, vocational, and financial experts
A thorough investigation will help you determine what caused the car accident and identify the party or parties you can hold liable to compensate you for your injuries and property damage.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Document Your Injuries and Losses
Car accident victims who try to handle their legal cases on their own often end up recovering less compensation than they would have with the assistance of a lawyer. Car accident attorneys know that injured victims often continue to have medical expenses and other financial and personal losses long after settling their claims against the at-fault driver or insurance company. However, these victims can’t go back for more money once they’ve settled their cases.
An experienced lawyer will thoroughly document your injuries and losses to ensure you demand fair compensation for your past, ongoing, and future anticipated losses. Documenting your injuries and losses will include obtaining your medical records, talking to your treating physicians, and consulting with medical, vocational, and financial experts to determine your future medical needs and calculate lost future earning potential.
You can only secure financial relief once from liable parties after a car accident. An attorney can help you maximize the compensation you receive.
A Car Accident Lawyer Will Explain Your Legal Rights and Options and Prepare You For the Claims Process
You may not know the full extent of your legal options for pursuing compensation after a car accident. For example, you might know you can file a legal claim against the driver who hit you, but did you know you may also have a claim against the at-fault driver’s employer if the accident occurred while that driver was working?
You might also have a case against the owner of the vehicle that hit you if it was someone other than the driver. Or you could have product liability claims against a car or auto part manufacturer if defective parts or vehicles contributed to the accident. A car accident lawyer can discuss your legal options after thoroughly investigating the crash to determine the causes.
Your lawyer can also prepare you for what to expect as you pursue a car accident claim. A lawyer can advise you on steps you need to take to get ready for your case, such as protecting your social media accounts to prevent insurers from using your posts to damage your case. Your attorney can also help you prepare testimony for a deposition or trial.
Because legal claims can take months or even years to resolve, injured car accident victims can become frustrated while waiting to recover compensation. An experienced attorney can help you understand what occurs in the claims process and keep you updated on the progress of your case.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Obtain Medical Treatment
Many car accident victims have trouble obtaining the medical care they need for their injuries, especially if they require specialist treatment such as burn or wound care, occupational or vocational therapy, or orthopedic surgery. Many car accident lawyers have professional contacts in the medical field and can connect you with the healthcare providers you need for your physical and emotional recovery.
Your attorney will also ensure you follow through with your treatment plan and do not jeopardize your physical recovery or car accident claim. An attorney can also help you obtain copies of your medical records from the treatment and rehabilitation of your injuries. Your lawyer can also assist you in dealing with medical bills and liens you may incur from treatment, communicating with hospitals, insurance companies, and bill collectors on your behalf.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Bring in Expert Witnesses
Car accident claims often require written reports and testimony from expert witnesses in various fields, including accident reconstruction, automotive engineering, medicine, vocational consulting, and finance.
Experts can provide persuasive opinion testimony to bolster your arguments for who caused the accident, who should be liable for your injuries, the severity of your injuries, and the extent of the expenses and losses you have incurred due to the accident.
Experienced car accident lawyers will have connections with expert witnesses who lead their respective fields of expertise and who can lend their credentials to strengthen your case. Compelling expert witness testimony can make a difference in the outcome of a car accident claim.
A Car Accident Lawyer Will Communicate With At-fault Parties and Insurance Companies
You deserve to spend your time and energy on healing physically and emotionally from a devastating car crash. A car accident lawyer can handle communicating with all the relevant parties in your case on your behalf, so you have the freedom to focus on your medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Insurance adjusters may contact you soon after the car accident to ask questions about your injuries, obtain a release to secure your medical records, or request a written or recorded statement about the accident. However, adjusters want to get comments from you they can later use to deny your claim or minimize your compensation, such as statements the insurers can interpret as an admission of fault for the accident or minimizing the severity of your injuries.
A car accident attorney can protect you from the tactics insurers might use to deny or minimize your claim. Your attorney can communicate with insurance adjusters and defense lawyers on your behalf, providing insurers and opposing parties only with the information they need to process your claim. Doing so prevents them from going on a fishing expedition to dig up anything they can use to attack your case or your credibility.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Prepare Demand Letters
Your car accident attorney can prepare and file insurance claims and demand letters on your behalf after completing an investigation of the accident and securing all available evidence. A demand letter is the formal notice of your claim to the party or parties from whom you seek compensation.
Demand letters also usually begin the settlement negotiations process in car accident claims. The first settlement offer often sets the tone for negotiations, so a robust and persuasive demand letter can improve your chances of maximizing your compensation in a settlement. A car accident lawyer will have extensive experience drafting demand letters and persuasively arguing why their client deserves full compensation.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Represent You in Settlement Negotiations and Other Alternative Dispute Resolution
Most car accident cases resolve through settlements rather than trials. A settlement can provide you with financial compensation more quickly without spending time in litigation or risking losing your case at trial.
A seasoned car accident lawyer can aggressively negotiate on your behalf to push the insurance company or liable parties to agree to pay you full and fair compensation in a settlement. Your lawyer can also pursue other avenues for resolving your claims without the need for a trial.
One such option is mediation, a structured negotiation process facilitated by a neutral third party called a mediator. Another is arbitration, a quicker, more informal trial-like process in which an impartial referee or arbitrator issues a binding ruling on your claims.
A Car Accident Lawyer Will File Lawsuits in Court on Your Behalf
Your car accident lawyer can timely file a lawsuit on your behalf if litigation becomes necessary to continue pursuing the compensation you deserve. California’s statute of limitations requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of the car accident to seek compensation for personal injury or three years for property damage.
Cases begin with filing a complaint, a formal court document that sets forth your allegations regarding what happened in the car accident and who or what caused the crash. The complaint also demands relief in the form of financial compensation or any other remedies that the court may decide.
Making mistakes in your complaint can lead to the dismissal of your lawsuit, and you could lose your chance to seek compensation in civil court. Working with an experienced litigation attorney will help you avoid errors when filing a lawsuit that may jeopardize your case.
A Car Accident Lawyer Will Advocate Your Case
A car accident attorney can guide you through each step of the litigation process, including the initial pleadings, discovery, motion practice, and trial. Your lawyer can fight motions the defendant’s lawyer might file to dismiss your case, seek information and evidence from the opposing side, and respond to requests for information during discovery.
An experienced litigator can persuasively argue on your behalf if your case reaches trial, presenting evidence and testimony to support your claims and challenging the evidence and arguments of the opposing parties. Having a seasoned trial attorney in your corner can give you the best chance of obtaining a verdict in your favor at trial. Your attorney can also help you get the compensation you win if the jury or judge renders a judgment in your favor.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can File an Appeal in Your Case if Necessary
Your personal injury lawyer can also appeal your case if you lose at trial to challenge any legal errors the trial court made. Conversely, your attorney can also argue for the correctness of the trial proceedings if the opposing side appeals a verdict and judgment entered in your favor. If you would like to discuss your claim with a legal professional schedule a free consultation or learn what questions you should ask your attorney.