When to Get an Attorney for a Car AccidentFebruary 25, 2021
In the event of a car accident, it can be confusing to know exactly what to do next. Do I call 911? Do I need to file a police report? If there aren’t any major injuries or damages, do I have to call my insurance company? And of course—do I even need a car accident attorney?
In most cases, the answer to the last question is yes. Even if the car crash seems insignificant and the fault seems obvious, a car accident attorney can provide the knowledge, experience, and care to help you navigate the aftermath of the crash. If the situation warrants it, these professionals can even help you receive financial compensation.
In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at car accidents and when you should definitely consider calling a car accident attorney. We also help to clarify whether or not you can settle a car accident claim without a lawyer. Hopefully, you never find yourself in a car accident, but if you do, don’t hesitate to reach out and Call Paul for more information.
Here at the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm, we’re dedicated to defending the rights of anyone involved in car accidents, truck accidents, bike accidents, and many other types of personal injury cases. Even if you believe you’re partially at fault, give us a call so we can help you understand your rights and whether or not you’re entitled to legal compensation.
MOST COMMON TYPES OF CAR ACCIDENTS
According to data accumulated by Driver Knowledge, there are roughly 6 million car accidents in the United States every year. These accidents result in more than 90 deaths each day and over 30 million injuries annually. Clearly, car accidents are a significant issue in this country and we believe it’s the responsibility of every driver to work to minimize these numbers. We can all do our part to make the roads a safer place.
While every auto accident is unique, there are several common types of accidents. By becoming aware of these common types, this additional awareness could cut down on the overall number of car accidents. Here’s a quick look at the most common types of car accidents:
1. Rear-end collisions.
A rear-end crash is the most common type of car accident. Accounting for almost a third of all car accidents, these occur when one driver collides into the rear of a car in front of them. On a busy highway, these collisions can quickly pile up into multi-car accidents and cause significant damages and injuries.
2. Side-impact collisions.
A “T-bone” collision occurs when one vehicle hits the side of another. These are especially common at intersections when drivers are distracted and fail to stop at a light or stop sign. These crashes may also occur when drivers are merging into other lanes.
3. Head-on collisions.
Head-on collisions are some of the most dangerous types of auto accidents. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these collisions cause the most occupant deaths in car crashes in the United States.
4. Single-car collisions.
A car accident doesn’t always require two cars. If a driver loses control of their car, often due to distracted or impaired driving, they can quickly run off the road and collide with a tree, lamppost, guard rail, or another object. These accidents are known as single-car collisions.
CAN YOU SETTLE A CAR ACCIDENT CLAIM WITHOUT A LAWYER?
In most cases, you definitely want to work with a car accident law firm in the event of a crash. These professionals can offer guidance, support, recommend medical care, and if necessary, fight for your case in court.
However, there may be some instances when a car accident lawyer is not necessary. If there is minimal to no damage to the vehicles and no one is hurt, you can most likely settle the incident through your insurance companies. If you’re at fault for the accident, your insurance premium may go up. For very minor car accidents, this could be the only consequence.
But in most cases, you do want to reach out to a car accident attorney. Even if your car accident seems like an “open and shut case,” dealing with insurance companies can be challenging because they usually try to avoid paying out the full compensation on a claim. Remember: at the end of the day, insurance companies are still for-profit companies.
WHEN TO GET AN ATTORNEY FOR A CAR ACCIDENT
So, when exactly should you get an attorney for a car accident? We believe it’s never a bad idea to work with an auto accident attorney since they can utilize their knowledge and experience to help you understand your individual case. If needed, they’ll defend your case in court and can help you receive financial compensation. Here are some situations where you should definitely be working with a trusted attorney:
1. Death and significant injuries.
In the event of a crash that causes death or significant injuries, you should always work with a car accident lawyer. These crashes will commonly lead to criminal charges that should not be taken lightly.
2. Issues of fault.
The issue of fault may not always be crystal clear. In many cases, each driver may deny fault and it will come down to the police report or any eyewitnesses. Some states have shared fault laws that divvy up the percentage of fault between both drivers, which impacts your eligibility for legal compensation.
3. Construction zones.
If a car accident occurs in a construction zone, multiple parties are now involved and the fines and penalties become more excessive. An auto accident attorney will help you understand your rights in these unique situations.
4. Additional parties.
While the majority of car accidents are between two vehicles, multi-car crashes or those involving pedestrians or private businesses (like trucking companies) can become much more complex. When additional parties become involved, you’ll want an experienced car accident attorney on your side to help you navigate the legal logistics.
5. Bad faith insurance.
If an insurance company fails to pay out on a valid claim, doesn’t honor the entire claim, or otherwise makes the process too complex, lengthy, or convoluted, this is called bad faith insurance. A car accident attorney can make sure that your insurance company holds up its end of the bargain by honoring any valid claims.
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT
In addition to reaching out to a car accident attorney, there are other important steps you should take following a car accident. These steps not only ensure your safety and health, but can be critical to your case if it goes to trial. After a car accident, regardless of severity, you should always do the following:
- Receive medical attention as needed.
- Call the police.
- Obtain an official police report.
- Gather photographic evidence from the scene of the accident.
- Exchange insurance information with other parties.
- Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
- Contact a car accident attorney to learn more about your rights.
CONCLUSION – WHEN TO GET AN ATTORNEY FOR A CAR ACCIDENT
Car accidents are a frightening experience for anyone. Even in the event of a minor accident, it can be confusing to know what actions to take. Always contact the police to receive an official police report and seek medical attention immediately. Once you’re safe, contact a professional car accident attorney. Even if you believe you’re at fault or your case never goes to trial, these lawyers can help you understand your legal rights, assess your case, and determine what to do next.
After a personal injury accident of any kind, the last thing you should be worrying about is paying for medical bills, recovering wages, or the long and drawn-out process of fighting your case in the courts. Since our goal is based on getting you the compensation you deserve, the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm operates strictly on contingency fees. This means that our firm only gets paid if you do.
Contact us at the Paul Wilkinson Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation to see the options available for you and your case. Allow us the privilege to be the ones to help you on the road to recovery.