The law says that if you are injured because of a negligent driver, you have rights that can protect you from having to physically, personally, and financially pay for that person’s driving behavior. It does not matter if you were driving, walking, or even just sitting in a vehicle parked on the curb; you have rights if you were injured because of the driving behavior of someone else. However, it is not always easy to prove an injury is the fault of someone else, or that they were driving in a negligent manner. If you are considering filing an auto accident claim, you may want to consider seeking legal help. In fact, we will give you ten reasons to hire an attorney to fight for your rights if you have been injured in a car accident.
1. The statute of limitations varies by state. While most states have a time limitation of between one and two years to file a car accident claim, be aware that if you miss the deadline to file, you give up your right to file suit on that accident forever. An attorney will know the statute of limitations for the state where the accident occurred, and how soon you must act.
2. Other time constraints may include a specific period of time in which you have to file reports and notices. Again, the requirements vary by state. An experienced car accident attorney will know the law specific to your state and ensure you do not jeopardize your legal rights by missing an important date or failing to file a required document.
3. Your insurance company may or may not always advocate for your best interest when it comes to compensating you for damages. Even though you have insurance for protection, insurance companies try to keep their overhead low, which means they might not have your best interests at heart. Your attorney will always be your advocate, and will work to get you the compensation you deserve.
4. Potential damages may be available to you that you are unaware of. If you file a claim, you may be able to recover money you paid for medical bills and money you lost if you weren’t able to work. You and your family may even be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and even loss of companionship if you are severely injured. An attorney will know what compensation may be available to you.
5. Personal injury lawsuits are complex and have many legal elements, as trying to prove that someone breached their duty of care can be difficult, even with a police report and eye witness accounts that show the accident was someone else’s fault. An attorney knows the laws that govern personal injury matters. They will also know how to gather and evaluate evidence, interview witnesses, present your case to the courts and what case law to reference in support of your legal position.
6. Auto insurance policies and car accident laws vary widely across the country. In fact, whether or not you can sue after an auto accident depends on your jurisdiction. In some states there are only certain circumstances in which you can file a lawsuit, while in comparative negligence states, a person can sue even if the accident was partially their fault, and in contributory negligence jurisdictions, you cannot sue if you contributed in any way to causing an accident. A car accident lawyer will know the specific laws for your jurisdiction and how they apply to your case.
7. Most car accident personal injury cases end in settlements before ever going to trial because the defendant or his insurance company makes an offer to settle the case out of court. Without an attorney, you may accept an offer that has terms that fall far below what you actually deserve. Be warned, if you accept a settlement offer, you forego your right to sue. Your attorney can help you assess if the accepting the settlement is in your best interest or if you should continue your fight in court.
8. Filing a lawsuit is complicated and strictly guided regarding what is admissible in court as evidence, how the legal brief is to be prepared and how legal precedent cited. Without an attorney, you run the risk of preparing a legal brief or court filing that does not fulfill the courts guidelines. An auto accident attorney is already familiar with these requirements, and will guide you through every step of the filing process.
9. Proving a personal injury case in court is even more complex then preparing the document filings. From the discovery process, to evidence evaluation and presentation, to expert witnesses and cross-examinations, you need experience to be able to convince the court to rule on your behalf, especially if you are working to sway a jury to see your side. Also, your attorney will know how to conduct the legal research needed to support your case.
10. Having an attorney guide you through the legal process, ensuring documents are filed within deadlines, that evidence and research support your case, and making sure you don’t settle for less then what you deserve to be compensated is worth far more than the risk of trying to represent yourself and possibly losing your only chance to seek recovery for injuries caused by negligence of others.car accident