If you have recently been involved in a collision, you might be wondering, “Do I need a lawyer for my car crash?” While you want to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, you also don’t want to waste anyone’s time if you are better off handling your situation on your own. So, when does it make sense to hire a lawyer?
The Bakersfield car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Mick Fine have extensive experience in a range of car wreck cases. We understand the complexities of California law, and we can pursue the full and fair compensation to which you may be entitled. Car crash victims who hire an attorney to represent them generally recover higher settlements and verdicts than those who choose to represent themselves. If you were injured in a car crash, it’s important to understand if a lawyer can help.
Why You Need a Lawyer if You Suffered Injuries in Your Car Accident
If you were injured in your car crash, there are several ways a lawyer can help you. This includes not only dealing with the insurance companies on your behalf, but also taking steps that require in-depth knowledge of the insurance companies’ defense tactics and California’s personal injury laws. For example, when you hire a lawyer to handle your claim, your lawyer will:
1. Conduct an Investigation to Determine Liability
Seeking financial compensation for your injuries requires proof of liability. If you can’t prove that the other driver (or a third party) caused the accident, you won’t be able to collect the compensation you deserve. Proving liability requires evidence, and gathering evidence requires a prompt and comprehensive investigation.
2. Calculate Your Current and Future Economic Losses
Your “economic losses” are those that have a direct impact on your bank account. They include things like medical bills, transportation costs, and loss of income. If someone else was at fault in your car crash, you are entitled to just compensation for your current and future economic losses. Calculating these losses requires an understanding of the long-term effects of your injuries and the methods used to calculate future losses under California law.
3. Calculate Just Compensation for Your Pain and Suffering
In addition to your economic losses, you are entitled to just compensation for your “non-economic” losses after a car crash in Bakersfield. This includes your pain and suffering. But, to collect just compensation for your pain and suffering, you need to prove them, and you need to know how to quantify pain and suffering damages.
4. Calculate Just Compensation for Your Other Non-Economic Losses
Along with pain and suffering, other forms of non-economic loss include emotional distress, loss of consortium and companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. You will need a lawyer to prove and quantify these losses as well.
5. Determine if You Should Seek Punitive Damages
While punitive damages awards are relatively rare in California, these damages are available in some cases. You will need an experienced car accident lawyer to determine if you have a claim for punitive damages; and, if you have a claim, you will need a lawyer to formulate and present this claim on your behalf.
6. Negotiate for a Fair Insurance Settlement
There are insurance settlements, and then there are fair insurance settlements. While you might be able to obtain a settlement on your own, there is almost no chance that the amount you receive will reflect the amount you are actually owed. In contrast, when you hire a lawyer to represent you, you can feel confident that your lawyer is negotiating for just compensation.
7. File a Lawsuit (and Go to Court) if Necessary
If the insurance companies refuse to settle, your lawyer can file a lawsuit; and, if necessary, your lawyer can take your lawsuit to court. With most insurance companies, hiring a lawyer triggers an entirely different set of claim handling procedures—because the insurance companies want to avoid getting sued (and incurring the costs of litigation) if possible. If a fair settlement isn’t on the table and you need to go to court, you will need an experienced lawyer who can fight for the compensation you deserve.
Talk to a Bakersfield Car Accident Lawyer Today for Free
A car crash can leave you facing disability, high medical bills, and time away from work. Don’t face your injuries alone. A Bakersfield car accident lawyer can help you pursue the justice and compensation you rightfully deserve.
If you are wondering whether you need a lawyer for your car crash in Bakersfield, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call (661) 333-3333 or inquire online to schedule an appointment today.