You might think you do not need to contact a lawyer unless you leave the scene of an accident in an ambulance. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes accident victims are more seriously injured than they initially think.
Even if you were able to walk away from the accident, it may be a good idea to call an experienced car accident lawyer. Generally, if you suffered an injury that required medical treatment, it makes sense to seek legal assistance.
Many car accident victims mistakenly think the liable insurance company will take care of them. They do not realize that insurance companies have different priorities. Insurers would prefer to pay out a small amount of compensation in a claim – or no compensation at all.
Victims and most injury lawyers have the same goal, which is to secure maximum compensation. That is why claimants represented by attorneys often recover more compensation compared to those who go it alone.
When Can a Lawyer Help a Victim of Negligence?
There is no way to know for sure if a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer can help you unless you call to discuss your accident. That said, attorneys are often able to help those who were involved in accidents that:
- Caused catastrophic injuries, such as injuries to the brain, spinal cord, limbs or internal organs
- Caused severe fractures or soft-tissue damage
- Were caused by reckless or intentional conduct
- Resulted in a lowball settlement offer from the liable insurance company
Sometimes victims assume they do not have a case, or that an attorney cannot help them. Victims are often wrong about this, however. Not fully knowing their rights may enable the insurance company to settle their claim for much less than it is worth.
If you were injured and have questions about your claim or the insurance company’s offer of compensation, you should strongly consider meeting with a qualified lawyer.
Many “minor” accidents could also cause significant injuries. Despite what the insurance company may say, whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries that may result from these accidents can be quite painful.
How Can a Lawyer Help Accident Victims?
One of the benefits of contacting a lawyer is getting answers to your legal questions. For example, an experienced lawyer can explain if you may have a case. A lawyer can also explain how he or she can assist you with each step of the legal process.
Sometimes victims do not call a lawyer until after they have filed a claim and had it denied by the insurance company. In this situation, a lawyer may be able to help the victim appeal the denied claim and negotiate for favorable compensation.
Your lawyer can also conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. This includes gathering evidence to help establish fault and calculating the full extent of the damages you suffered. When the insurance company investigates the accident, they are looking for evidence they can use to devalue or deny your claim. For example, they may try to find a reason to claim you are at fault for the accident or evidence that you are not injured.
When you hire a lawyer, he or she can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. An experienced lawyer has done this numerous times. There is even a good chance he or she has negotiated many claims like yours in the past. An experienced lawyer also knows how to assess and calculate how much compensation you need.
Filing a Lawsuit
While many injury claims are settled, it may sometimes be necessary to file a lawsuit to secure compensation. For example, the insurance company may have denied the claim or may be offering much less compensation than you need for your damages.
Victims who are looking for a lawyer should look for one who has courtroom experience and is prepared to file a lawsuit if necessary. If your lawyer rarely takes cases to court, the insurance company may be particularly difficult during negotiations. They may not increase their offer, even if your lawyer has strong evidence for your claim.
The potential for a lawsuit is something that can cause insurance companies to offer more compensation to victims. In fact, many times the filing of a lawsuit is enough to cause the insurance company to make a better offer to the victim.
Do You Need a Lawyer for Your Injury Claim?
Most injury lawyers offer a free legal consultation to discuss your claim. That means there is nothing to lose by contacting an attorney.
You can find out if you may have a case and if you may need a lawyer to help you secure full compensation for your damages. Without a lawyer, you may have a much more difficult time obtaining compensation. This could leave you paying medical bills and other damages out of your own pocket. You may also be unable to get all the medical treatment doctors are recommending.