Car accidents happen suddenly and may leave you stressed and confused. You may consider filing a claim or even a personal injury lawsuit. But you might be wondering, Should I hire a lawyer for a car accident? In many cases, yes, hiring an attorney is the best decision. However, in other situations, you may not need the help of a lawyer.
When you do need a skilled personal injury attorney on your side, The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C. is ready to help get you on the road to recovery.
When You Don’t Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident
The option to hire an attorney is always available, but in certain instances, you may not need one. Every accident is different, and the need to hire a lawyer depends on the situation.
You Did Not Suffer Significant Injuries
While accidents can be scary and unexpected, they do not always result in serious injuries. Some accidents do end in damage to your vehicle or personal property but leave you relatively unscathed. If you suffer little to no injury after a car accident, you may be able to handle your claim directly with the insurance company. Under these circumstances, you are unlikely to need a lawyer’s help.
You Do Not Need Compensation
In the most fortunate cases, you may not need compensation after an accident. You might find yourself involved in a small fender bender and not want to make a “fuss” by involving insurance companies and attorneys. If damages are not serious, you can move along without an attorney.
You Are at Fault for the Accident
If you are the cause of the accident and you have car insurance, you will not need a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies have attorneys they work with who will handle your claim for you.
When To Get an Attorney for a Car Accident
There are a variety of reasons you may need the help of an attorney after a car accident. Having a lawyer on your side can benefit you and your claim, helping to give you a more favorable outcome.
You Were Not at Fault for the Accident
If you were the victim of a car accident, an attorney can help protect your rights. You may be entitled to compensation, and a lawyer can help you build a strong case to help win the financial recovery you need.
Your Accident Resulted in Injuries
If you suffered significant injuries after your car accident, a personal injury attorney can provide much help. Your lawyer will fight for your rights and work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.
The Insurance Company Gave You a Low Settlement Offer
In many cases, the other driver’s insurance company will try to resolve the claim as quickly as possible. This often entails providing an extremely low or unfair settlement offer. Many individuals often accept these offers, not knowing better or fully understanding how much they’re entitled to. An attorney can negotiate to help get you a better settlement.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Do Immediately After a Car Accident?
Accidents usually catch you off guard, but it is important to keep certain steps in mind. What you do after an accident can have an impact on your case and likelihood of recovering for your injuries.
Call 911 and request police assistance. If you or anyone else involved is injured, be sure to request medical aid as well.
Seek Medical Attention
Injuries resulting from car accidents can be tricky. Even if you do not physically see or feel any injuries right after your accident, this does not mean you have not sustained any injuries at all. Unfortunately, some injuries take hours or even days to surface. Visiting an emergency room or your primary care physician for an examination may bring your injuries to light. Your doctor will also keep a detailed record, which can greatly help your case.
If possible, begin collecting evidence as soon as possible. Helpful evidence can include:
- Photos and videos;
- The other driver’s information; and
- Witness information.
Eventually, as they become available, other pieces of information can be used to strengthen your case, including police reports and medical records.
Avoid Speaking to Insurance Companies
You can almost surely expect to receive a phone call from the other party’s insurer asking for details and a statement. It is important you do not speak to anyone about your accident. More often than not, insurance companies use your words against you to avoid paying you what you are owed. Speaking to an insurance company may have a negative impact on your claim.
Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney
The sooner you discuss your case with a lawyer, the better. Your attorney will gather details and answer any questions you may have. If pursuing a personal injury claim is the best way to go, your lawyer will represent you every step of the way, working to get you just compensation.
What Damages Am I Entitled to After an Accident?
The amount of damages you are entitled to after a car accident is completely dependent on the details of your accident. Damages can be economic and non-economic.
Economic damages serve to compensate you for the damages incurred after your accident. These include:
- Medical expenses,
- Property damage, and
- Lost wages.
Non-economic damages are also directly related to your accident but are slightly more challenging to calculate. They include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Mental and emotional distress, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Punitive damages may also be available in some cases. Punitive damages serve to punish the defendant if their actions were intentional or grossly negligent.
A personal injury attorney will review the details of your case to be able to successfully calculate the appropriate amount of compensation available to you.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?
If you are planning to file a personal injury lawsuit, you do not have forever to do so. Statutes of limitations are laws that exist to limit the amount of time an individual has to file their claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injuries is two years from the date of the injury.
If you fail to file your claim within the two-year period, you will give up any rights you had to compensation. It is crucial that you consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to avoid missing your opportunity for financial recovery.
Discuss Your Accident With a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney
The Zimmerman Law Firm, P.C., has been proudly helping injured clients since 1962. Our firm has had the pleasure of successfully representing thousands of clients throughout the years, using our knowledge and skills to achieve the best possible outcome. We strive to provide the highest quality legal representation when our clients need it most. Contact us today to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys.