Seeking legal advice after a car accident is always a wise choice, even if the car accident wasn't your fault. Learning about your rights and the compensation you could receive from the at-fault driver helps you know whether to accept a settlement offer from an insurance company.
You should not trust what the insurance adjuster tells you about your car accident claim. The adjuster is working to protect the insurance company from liability.
The best way to know whether you need to hire a lawyer is to talk with a lawyer. Since car accident lawyers offer free consultations, so it does not cost you anything to talk with a lawyer.
Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer for a Crash That Was Not Your Fault
There are many reasons why it might be necessary to get a lawyer for a car accident case. Having a lawyer on your side could result in a better outcome for your case. Also, you have someone with your best interest as their top priority working on getting you the best possible settlement for your claim.
However, there are clear indicators that you need an attorney after a car accident. Factors that indicate you need to seek legal advice about a car accident include:
You Sustained Injuries
If you were injured, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. However, the insurance company might fight your claim. The adjuster will try to undervalue your damages.
Most people are not familiar with the types of damages they can receive after a car accident. As a result, they might not know their claim is worth more than the insurance company offers to settle the claim. If you hire a lawyer to handle your case, you do not need to worry about the insurance company trying to take advantage of your lack of knowledge about claims to cheat you out of the money you deserve.
You Are Being Blamed for Contributing to the Cause of the Crash
Insurance companies often try to shift some of the blame for the cause of the car crash to the accident victim. Under comparative negligence laws, your compensation may be reduced by your level of fault for the accident.
Therefore, if you were 20% at fault for the cause of a car wreck, you could lose 20% of the compensation for your damages. If you are 51% or more at fault, Texas law will not allow you to recover any compensation.
Insurance companies use allegations of comparative negligence to lower the value of an accident claim, even when the accident was not the victim's fault.
You Sustained Permanent Disabilities or Impairments
In addition to past and current damages, you could be entitled to future damages if you sustained impairments or disabilities because of the car crash. Future damages could include diminished earning capacity, ongoing medical treatment, the costs of long-term nursing care, and other damages. The value of future damages could total hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars over a person's lifetime.
A personal injury lawyer hires medical specialties, financial professionals, and other expert witnesses to assist in proving the extent of your injuries and the value of future damages. Without a lawyer, you might not realize that an insurance company is underpaying your claim.
The Time to File a Lawsuit Is Running Out
A statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing lawsuits. If you do not file a lawsuit before the deadline expires, you lose your right to pursue a legal claim against the party who caused the car accident.
Each state sets its deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The Texas statute of limitations for most car accidents is two years from the accident date. However, there are exceptions to these rules. It is best to meet with a lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident to determine the filing deadline in your case.
The Parties Involved Complicate the Case
The parties involved in a car accident case can make it much more complicated to pursue. For example, if a government entity is involved, the deadline for filing claims could be just a few months after the car accident. A commercial trucking company has enormous resources to investigate and fight a truck accident claim.
Another example would be a car accident case involving multiple vehicles. A multi-vehicle accident case often involves disputes regarding fault and liability for damages.
Even in what appears to be a simple rear-end accident, the insurance company for the other driver could engage in bad faith insurance practices. As a result, what should have been a clear-cut case of fault, turns into a disputed claim that leaves you without the money you need to pay medical bills and reimburse you for lost wages.
Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
You should talk with a lawyer if you have any doubts about whether you need an attorney after a car accident. It is always better to have legal advice than to try to go it alone and lose your right to the compensation you deserve.
Mark Anderson and the attorneys at Anderson Injury Lawyers have decades of experience handling car accident claims and have recovered millions for injured clients. We’ve even been named “Top Car Accident Attorneys” by Avvo and ranked among the “Best Car Accident Lawyers in Fort Worth” by Expertise. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Texas car accident lawyers.