After a serious car accident with injuries, a natural step is to call a personal injury attorney. However, there are many other instances that this decision it is not as clear cut.
It is very important to know when you should call a personal injury attorney, because there are time limits – known as statutes of limitations – for filing a claim. In addition, the compensation you might receive for your injuries are related to the severity of your injuries. Insurance policies typically have limits on what is paid. When several people are injured in the same accident compensation is divided among the injured, too. A personal injury attorney will assess how your injuries impact your earning ability over the course of a lifetime and will work to capture all forms of available compensation.
After an accident with an injury, especially a car accident, it is important to contact a reputable personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Always select a personal injury attorney who has experience with your type of accident.
From the start you will receive legal counsel, which is important because your attorney will advise you on the legal and insurance process. In most cases personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. In other words, the general agreement is that you do not pay a retainer upfront and the fees are taken from the settlement or a court ordered award.
Keep in mind that even though a simple “fender bender” with no injuries can be handled by the insurance companies, it does not mean an issue won’t arise. A conversation with an attorney about what happened can provide you with peace of mind.
When to call a personal injury attorney
If you answer yes to any of the following questions, pick up the phone and talk to a personal injury attorney.
- Is there permanent damage? Did you break a bone or become paralyzed?
- Were you hospitalized because of the injuries sustained?
- Did someone die?
- Did you lose considerable time from work, school or being able to perform your normal household duties?
- Is it clear that the other party is at fault?
- Are you partially at-fault for the accident? If so, counterclaims and cross-claims by other parties involved in an accident will require legal counsel.
Another time to call an personal injury attorney specializing in auto accidents is when your insurance company is giving you push back on paying the claim.
- Did the police officer claim you were at fault for the accident and you feel the report information is not correct?
- Did the accident take place in a construction zone?
- Were pedestrians or passengers involved in the accident?
- Does your liability coverage have low limits? Do you have no insurance?
- Is your insurance company giving you a hard time such as stating you did not pay your premium?
- Has the insurance company involved its legal counsel?
The gray area
Then, there are those situations when you are not sure a call to an attorney is necessary. Consider contacting an attorney if you answer yes to any of these following questions.
- Are you curious about your options or the types of claims that are filed and what damages are paid?
- Do you feel that your insurance company is not representing you fairly?
- Are you not sure if an insurance claim can be filed under your homeowners’ or another insurance policy?
- Is an insurance company offering you a settlement and you need help with the negotiation or the terms of the agreement? Do you need someone to review paperwork?
- Are you confused about the process? Your insurance policy? Your rights?
Each situation is unique. Attorneys at Citywide Law Group are personal injury experts who specialize in auto accidents. For a no-cost consultation call (424) 320-6546.