A staggering 6.4 million motor vehicle incidents occur yearly in the United States alone. Of those crashes, 98% are due to human factors, including negligence and driving errors.
Not all collisions cause deaths, but many of them result in injuries and property losses. According to the most recent data, a property damage-only crash can cost an average of $4,700. That goes up to $101,000 for incidents resulting in disabling injuries.
So if you’ve been in a crash that you didn’t cause and sustained an injury, you deserve compensation. A car accident lawyer can help ensure that you receive such.
But when exactly should you hire an attorney? What are the signs indicating you need professional legal assistance?
This guide lists the top indications you should hire a car accident lawyer ASAP, so keep reading.
1. You Sustained Serious Injuries
About one million Americans suffer from whiplash injuries annually. Many of these neck injuries result from motor vehicle accidents, even low-speed ones.
Whiplash injuries can be minor, but more severe cases can cause pain and loss of mobility. The symptoms can also spread to other areas like the head, shoulders, arms, back, and legs.
Only half of all whiplash patients completely recover. The rest develops long-term disability and symptoms.
Bone fractures are also severe injuries resulting from car accidents. They can cost hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to treat, especially without insurance.
Motor vehicle crashes can also cause traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Some are mild, but others can be disabling, debilitating, or even deadly. Indeed, there were 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020 alone.
Regardless of your crash injuries, your doctor will likely recommend long bed rest. Doing that is for your health’s sake, but it also means you won’t be able to work on your insurance claim immediately.
The thing is, every second counts, as car crash evidence can disappear or degrade. Memories can also fade, causing witnesses to forget vital details about the crash.
Hire a car accident injury lawyer to prevent delays and problems with your claim. You can start your search online and contact these car accident attorneys for a free consult. Once you hire one of them, you can focus on recovering while your lawyer does most of the legwork.
2. You Were in a Multi-Vehicle Crash
More than one party is often negligent in multi-vehicle collisions. Even if you’re not to blame, it still means you have several sources of compensation.
For example, suppose you had an accident with a pickup truck towing a sedan or an RV. You crashed into the towed vehicle because of a problem with the connector cable.
In that case, the truck driver may only be one of the at-fault parties. The other may be the company that manufactured the cable if found defective.
A car accident attorney can identify all negligent parties involved in your crash. That then allows you to demand the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
3. The Other Party Blames You
Some at-fault drivers may try to play the blame game because they don’t have enough insurance or have none at all. Others may do this since they know their auto insurance premiums will increase. At-fault accidents can result in an average premium hike of at least $750.
If that’s the kind of driver you were in an accident with, it may be best to talk to a car accident attorney ASAP. Your lawyer will collect evidence confirming the other party is to blame, not you.
4. The Other Driver Is Uncooperative
When you get into an accident, one of the first things you must do is confirm the other party is okay. That’s one of the only two times you must converse with them. The other is to exchange the following details:
- Complete names
- Contact numbers
- Email addresses
- Driver’s license numbers
- Insurance companies and policy numbers
However, that doesn’t mean the other driver will cooperate and give you those details. As with playing the blame game, some may do this to prevent being at fault and facing higher premiums. They may also ignore you to avoid demerit points or because they may face criminal charges.
If you can’t make the other driver give you their information, call the police immediately. They may try to flee before law enforcers arrive, so take photos of their plate numbers and vehicle.
Even if the other party leaves, wait for the police. It’s also wise to contact a car accident or personal injury attorney at this point.
A lawyer can help track the other party and determine why they fled. A possible reason is that they were driving under the influence, which can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If so, your attorney will gather evidence to prove the other party’s fault and their DUI offense.
5. The Insurance Settlement Is Too Low
U.S. insurance companies make an estimated $1 trillion yearly from premiums alone. That doesn’t include the profits they make through lowball settlement offers. Some insurers have even denied paying claimants despite their claims being valid.
If your insurance company or the other party’s insurer is doing the same, call a car accident lawyer ASAP. Likewise, contact an attorney if you don’t hear back from insurance companies. They might be deliberately ignoring you or delaying attending to your claim.
A car accident attorney can help by pursuing insurers and making them negotiate. They can also take matters to court and sue the insurers for neglect or using bad faith tactics.
Hire a Car Accident Lawyer ASAP
As you can see, hiring a car accident lawyer benefits you from the start, as doing so lets you focus on recovery. But, most importantly, an attorney helps increase your odds of getting maximum compensation.
So, if you’ve been in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, consider contacting a lawyer ASAP. The first consultation is free, anyway, and besides, most don’t charge fees except if they win your case.
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