When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident?

Type of Motor Vehicle Accident I T-Bone Accident

After a car accident, you recover compensation. Hire an attorney to handle your car accident claim. A personal injury lawyer can substantially increase your chances of recovering the maximum amount of compensation in your case.

But how do you know when to get an attorney for a car accident? In this post, we’ll discuss seven circumstances when you should hire a car accident lawyer in Bakersfield.

Seven Circumstances When You Should Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident Claim

Consult a lawyer if :

1. The Accident Involved Serious Injuries

If you, or anyone else involved, sustained severe injuries that required medical treatment, hospitalization, surgeries, or long-term care, consult a lawyer as soon as possible to initiate a personal injury claim. This will help you obtain appropriate compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages. Hiring a lawyer for your car accident claim allows you to focus on your recovery.

2. You Suffered Long-Term or Permanent Injuries

In cases where the accident caused lasting or permanent injuries or disabilities, or affects your ability to work, an attorney can evaluate potential long-term expenses and aid in pursuing compensation for ongoing medical bills and lost income. Debilitating injuries may require home or vehicle modifications, specialized equipment, or personal care attendants, and your lawyer can work towards securing the necessary resources to pay for them. Additionally, if your injuries prevent you from returning to work in your previous capacity, your attorney can help you seek compensation for loss of future earnings.

3. Fatalities Resulted From the Accident

If a family member lost their life in a fatal car accident due to another person’s negligence, you may not think about seeking compensation. However, surviving family members may recover compensation to cover funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages on their behalf. While no amount of compensation can replace your loved one, pursuing justice against the responsible party may provide some closure.

4. There’s Disputed Liability

When there’s disagreement about fault for the accident, consult an attorney as soon as possible. Some accidents involve shared liability, where multiple parties, including the injured party, bear responsibility. California is one of a handful of states allowing accident victims to recover compensation for their injuries, even if they are mostly at fault. However, the compensation they receive decreases based on their percentage of fault. Retaining a car accident lawyer early allows for a thorough investigation, evidence gathering, and liability establishment.

5. There Are Multiple Parties Involved

The legal complexities multiply when multiple vehicles or parties are in an accident. An attorney can navigate intricate legal issues stemming from multiple liability claims. Often, accident victims may not know about all of the parties that contributed to the accident.

For instance, if a road hazard played a role, you can hold the government entity responsible for road maintenance might. You can hold the manufacturer accountable for a vehicle’s manufacturing defect. An experienced personal injury attorney will assess the liability of all potential parties, pursuing compensation from each, ultimately maximizing your recovery.

6. You’re Unfamiliar with the Legal Process

Lawyers undergo rigorous legal training to comprehend the intricacies of the law, honing their skills under seasoned mentors. When you hire an experienced attorney, you can trust them to guide you through the claims process while keeping your best interests in mind.

Car accident cases often involve complicated legal procedures and settlements with insurance adjusters. If you lack familiarity with the legal terrain or find yourself grappling with uncooperative insurance companies, an attorney can provide invaluable guidance.

7. You’re Dealing with Insurance Companies

After an accident, insurance companies may contact you with offers to compensate you for your injuries. However, if you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer without consulting an attorney to find out the true value of your claim, you could leave money on the table — compensation you need and deserve. You also may waive your right to collect more compensation if your injuries require more long-term medical care. A lawyer can assess your case, determine the true value of your damages, demand fair compensation, negotiate with the insurer, and vigorously advocate for your complete and just compensation.

When Should I Contact a Lawyer for My Car Accident Claim?

Each state has a deadline for filing personal injury claims based on negligence. California’s deadline, also called a statute of limitations, is two years from the date of the injury. Some exceptions to this statute may shorten or lengthen this deadline. If you miss the specific deadline for your case, you cannot pursue compensation through the civil court.

If you wish to pursue fair compensation for your injuries, consult a car accident lawyer as soon as possible to hear your legal options. Your lawyer may negotiate with the insurance companies for maximum compensation before filing your claim in civil court. But, if insurers refuse to accept a fair offer, your lawyer can file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations for an injury claim runs out, provided you have retained them in time.

What Damages Can I Be Compensated for in a Car Accident Case?

In California, if you’re in a car accident and are seeking compensation for your damages, you may recover economic damages and non-economic damages. Here’s an overview:

Economic Damages

  • Medical Expenses: This includes all reasonable and necessary medical costs related to your injuries, such as ambulance fees, hospital bills, surgery costs, medication expenses, physical therapy, and future medical expenses.
  • Property Damage: This covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident.
  • Loss of Income Earnings: If your injuries prevent you from working, you can seek compensation for the income you would have earned during the recovery period.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity: If your injuries result in a long-term or permanent disability affecting your living ability, you may recover compensation for your reduced earning capacity.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and Suffering: These damages compensate you for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident and your injuries.
  • Emotional Distress: If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or other emotional trauma as a result of the physical injuries you suffered in the accident, you may seek damages for these psychological injuries.
  • Loss of Companionship: These damages are available to the injured party’s spouse or domestic partner and compensate them for the loss of consortium and support.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injuries have significantly diminished your ability to enjoy life and engage in activities you once did, you can seek compensation for this loss.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: If the accident resulted in permanent scars or disfigurement, you may recover damages for the physical and emotional impact of such changes to your appearance.

How Can a Lawyer Help with My Car Accident Claim?

Mickey Fine, Car Accident Attorney

Mickey Fine, Car Accident Attorney

A lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of a car accident claim. They understand the laws that affect your case and can inform you of your rights and obligations. Lawyers can thoroughly investigate the accident, gather any necessary evidence to support your claim and deal with insurance companies that may try to minimize or deny it altogether.

If negotiations fail, your lawyer can advise you on whether to pursue a lawsuit and, if so, represent you in court and advocate for your rights. An experienced car accident lawyer can handle legal matters on your behalf, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

If your accident resulted in serious or debilitating injuries, it involved multiple parties, or the parties dispute liability, you will benefit from seeking legal counsel from a personal injury lawyer who handles car accident claims.

Many lawyers, including the Bakersfield personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Mickey Fine, offer free initial consultations to assess the merits of your case and discuss how they can assist you.

Car Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Last updated on - Originally published on