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When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney: Essential Advice & Tips

A car accident is never a good thing. Fortunately, most car accidents in Indiana don’t involve injuries and are of the run-of-the-mill fender-bender variety, with minor cosmetic damage to the vehicles, if any. However, what do you do when an accident you don’t feel is your fault leaves your car with costly damage and causes your or your passengers’ injuries? You may ask yourself, “When is it time to hire a car accident attorney?”

If you’ve been involved in a car crash, no matter how minor, you may be uncertain if you should involve a personal injury attorney. Let’s take a look at what factors could influence your decision.

When to Hire a Car Accident Attorney

When to Call a Car Accident Lawyer in Indiana

While a car accident that doesn’t result in physical injury or any major damage to the vehicles involved may not need to involve a lawyer, anything more than this is most likely grounds to at least pick up the phone and inquire about your rights.

Some likely scenarios when you should get legal advice or representation can include:

  • Physical injuries: If you’ve been injured in any way from a car accident, you should contact a car accident lawyer after seeking medical treatment. This ensures that you seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages you may not realize.
  • Liability concerns: If there’s some doubt about who was liable for the accident, a lawyer can help gather evidence and negotiate with insurance companies.
  • Insurance issues: A lawyer can help you navigate the sometimes complex insurance claims process. Many insurance companies are quick to deny claims, and without legal representation, you could be left paying for bills that legally aren’t your responsibility.
  • Significant vehicle damage: Any car crash that leaves your vehicle with significant costly repairs is grounds for legal representation. Your car accident attorney can help to ensure you receive fair compensation for repairs or vehicle replacement.
  • Settlement offers: It’s important to note that claims adjusters and insurance companies primarily want to limit liability and reduce financial losses. An attorney can negotiate with them to ensure you receive compensation for all damages.
  • Emotional distress: Not all car accident injuries are physical. An accident can cause mental trauma, and hiring a personal injury attorney helps to ensure that you’re compensated for non-economic damages.

If you have doubts about whether to consult with a lawyer, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Most car accident personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your case, so there’s nothing to lose by inquiring. If they feel your case is worth pursuing, many will take it pro bono. This means that they’ll only be paid when and if you receive a settlement.

Do I Need a Lawyer for an Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

Do I Need a Lawyer for an Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

Even in cases where a driver’s negligence is apparent, and you’ve already been offered a settlement by the insurance company, you should still retain a lawyer. Here’s why:

  • Fair compensation: A personal injury attorney will ensure that you’re not only compensated for medical bills but also for other things like loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages that may not be as obvious.
  • Lowball offers: Insurance companies are notorious for offering settlement amounts far below the financial hardships suffered by the injured party. Remember, their primary role is to keep costs low and to limit their liabilities. You could easily leave money on the table without an attorney assisting with the negotiations.
  • Peace of mind: Dealing with the legal aspects of a car accident can be stressful. By hiring a car accident lawyer, you’ll know they’re fighting for you to ensure that you receive every penny of compensation you deserve and that justice and accountability are served.
  • Gathering evidence: To prove negligence and ensure you’ve added all possible damages to your claim, a personal injury lawyer can help you gather all the required evidence. This evidence can include medical bills and other expenses, accident reports, eyewitnesses, and expert testimonies.

When Is It Too Late to Get a Car Accident Lawyer?

There are two obvious and distinct scenarios when it’s too late to seek the assistance of a car accident attorney. The first would be if you’ve already signed on the dotted line and accepted an insurance company’s settlement or you’ve signed a release stating that the other driver isn’t liable. By this point, you’ve signed your rights away, and not even the best legal team could do much to change the situation in your favor.

The other reason deals with time. In Indiana, the car accident statute of limitations is set at two years from the accident date or, in some cases, the date you discovered your injuries. Once two years have passed, you won’t be able to claim compensation for your damages.

Consult with a personal injury attorney after a car accident

Tips for What to Do After a Car Accident

No matter who was at fault, your first priority is seeking medical attention. Many times, due to your body being flooded with endorphins after a frightening experience, accident victim’s injuries are masked. This highlights the importance of being checked out by a medical professional, either at the scene of the accident by EMS, a visit to the emergency room, or by your primary care physician. Any medical treatment delay could damage your case if you seek compensation later.

After you’ve sought medical attention, accident victims should:

Consult with a personal injury attorney: A car accident attorney can help to ensure you receive full and fair compensation, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and protect your rights.

Be careful with social media posts: Sometimes, posting to your social media about your accident and/or pending lawsuit can come back to haunt you. It’s best to avoid posting anything until the case has concluded.

Never agree to a recorded statement: Unscrupulous claims adjusters may contact you under the guise of allowing you to tell your side of the story. Unfortunately, they could be fishing for you to admit partial liability. If they contact you, direct them to speak with your attorney.

Know When to Call an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer

To safeguard your right to fair compensation, contact a personal injury lawyer. While you are on the mend, let a team of car accident attorneys evaluate your case, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurance companies. The aftermath of an accident can be devastating and life-changing. Contact Yosha Law today to protect your rights.

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