Reasons to Consult an Accident Attorney
Consider hiring an accident attorney if any of the following apply to you.
Auto Accident Injuries
Generally, the severity of your personal injuries is measured by the:
- Type of injury (or injuries) you’ve sustained.
- Length of time it takes (or will take) for you to recover.
- Cost of medical bills (and any other therapeutic procedures) you’ve incurred.
- This also can include the estimated cost of future medical procedures.
Long-Term or Permanently Disabling Injuries
Generally speaking, a long-term injury is one that lasts for around a year or longer, while a permanent injury is one that disables you for life. These types of personal injuries seriously affect your ability to become and stay employed—not to mention the quality of your life.
Proving long-term and permanently disabling injuries can be tricky business, and your personal injury attorney probably will consult with each medical professional you’ve seen. He or she even might request the presence of your medical professionals during any legal proceedings.
When an insurance company disputes its policyholder’s liability for the car crash, the company is basically saying that the policyholder is not at fault (or is at least claiming you don’t have enough proof of fault) and, therefore, the insurance company is not responsible for paying for your damages.
An accident attorney will help you provide this proof and show that the other party was indeed at fault.
Refusal to Pay
Refusal to pay (which can but doesn’t necessarily stem from a disputed liability) or refusal to pay a fair amount is when an insurance company outright won’t make a fair settlement offer—or any offer at all.
Tips for Hiring an Accident Lawyer
Because of possible situations such as statutes of limitations (which can vary by state), it’s important to hire a personal injury attorney and get the claims process going as quickly as possible; however, you don’t want to hire the first attorney for whom you see a billboard on the highway.
Consider these tips as you look for the right accident lawyer.
Personal Injury Focus
Just as there are many different doctors who focus on many different areas of medicine, there is a wide range of lawyers from which to choose.
As you choose your accident lawyer, make sure he or she focuses on personal injury accidents.
NOTE: Some states’ State Bar websites have directories of attorneys organized by their areas of practice.
Car Accident Experience
Not all personal injury attorneys have experience with cases that deal with personal injury caused by a car accident. Some focus more on slip-and-fall accidents, others on work-related injuries, and others still on premise liability cases.
Make sure the attorney you choose has represented individuals who’ve suffered personal injuries specifically related to car crashes.
Perhaps nothing spreads reputation more powerfully than word of mouth, and in this day and age you can go beyond just talking to people about their own personal injury attorney experiences to actually researching these attorneys yourself. Simply hop online, search the attorneys’ names, and see what others have to say about him or her.