It’s unfortunate, but auto accidents are a daily occurrence in most cities in America. In 2017, Duval County had an average of 67.7 accidents every day. While many of the accidents don’t involve injuries, there are still many legal concerns that arise from any kind of auto accident. A common question of people involved in a collision is “Do I need a lawyer for an auto accident?” The short answer is “yes” but this article will explain some of the reasons it’s best to have legal representation for dealing with an auto accident.
To put it simply, a driver involved in an auto accident should get legal representation to ensure they get the proper compensation from the insurance companies. No matter who is at fault, as soon as insurance companies hear that someone they insure was in an accident, they begin looking for ways to reduce the amount they could have to pay out. This is a legitimate thing for an insurance company to do but without legal guidance, drivers can find themselves getting the short end of the stick.
One of the most common reasons for seeking legal advice following an auto accident is to deal with injury-related issues. Fewer than half of all auto accidents lead to an injury, but that’s still an average of nearly 28 injury accidents every day. Florida law gives accident victims a limited amount of time to make an injury claim related to the accident.
There are several reasons why it’s good to have a lawyer help with injury claims related to an accident. First, an attorney who has worked with many accident victims knows what injuries to check for and what deadlines may apply. Many accident victims end up not getting the injury compensation they deserve because of an issue they didn’t know about that a lawyer would. Auto accident lawyers know the best medical experts for a victim to see and knows which tests they need to get performed. Medical records are often essential for getting an insurance claim and people without attorneys can find themselves without the records they need.
Another reason to hire a lawyer quickly after an accident is that the longer you wait, the more likely it becomes that critical things like physical evidence from the site of the accident or key witnesses are lost, destroyed or become less reliable. Asking someone to recall an accident they saw a day or two ago will lead to more accurate results than asking someone weeks or months later. Similarly, within a day of an accident, much of the physical debris has been moved from the crash site. If there weren’t enough pictures taken to support a claim, it’s almost impossible to get the same quality of photos after the fact.
In many ways, being a good auto accident attorney is about educating the client. Navigating the various elements of an insurance claim can be tricky and drivers who rely on the advice of their insurance agency can find themselves significantly disadvantaged later. For example, insurance adjusters often appear to be extremely helpful but trying to convince the injured victims to take a lower settlement payment than they really should.
As was stated before, this is how insurance companies work. While they do want to provide good service to their clients, they are also trying to keep their payouts as low as possible. This means the insurance adjuster has an incentive to not mention all of the legally available damages when speaking to an auto accident victim without an attorney. For example, the adjuster may give you a good settlement for the damages to the car and the immediate medical expenses, but not explain that the victim could be entitled to future medical expenses, pain and suffering damages, as well as payments for any lost wages. Having an auto accident lawyer on your side ensures everything is properly considered when the offer is made.
Auto accidents are an everyday occurrence, but they can quickly turn into complicated affairs for the unprepared. While there will be some simple fender benders that can be handled without a legal team, it’s best to be sure by talking to a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. If you or someone you know has been in an auto accident, contact the Law Firm of Steve Watrel, P.A. to get a free consultation about your case.