If you've ever been involved in a car accident, you know there are what seems like an infinite number of things that need to be taken care of.
If you were injured, you need to take care of your injuries. If there was damage done to your vehicle, you need to get it fixed.
But first, you need to deal with your insurance.
Then, if there was another driver involved, you need to find out who is going to be held liable.
If the other driver is held liable, you need to figure out how and when your expenses are going to be paid for.
If you're liable, you have to worry about how much extra your premiums will be because of the accident.
And that's just the beginning.
Dealing with a car accident can become very overwhelming, very quickly.
At some point, you are likely to wonder if you should be doing all of this on your own, or if you need to call a lawyer.
If you get to the point where you're wondering if a lawyer is necessary, the answer is a resounding, "Yes!"
There is no disadvantage to contacting an attorney, no matter what the situation.
In fact, in most cases, the sooner the better.
Below we will discuss when and why people call lawyers after their accidents.
When Do Most People Call A Lawyer?
Most people think to call a lawyer right away.
It typically takes one of three situations to occur for accident victims to decide they need help:
- Symptoms start to show up indicating serious injuries
- Becoming overwhelmed by all of the time-consuming tasks you now have to do
- Seeing the start of a financial hardship
You Have Serious Injuries
Most people don't like making a big deal out of things if they don't need to.
They want to avoid as much hassle as possible.
That's understandable. That's why many people don't immediately call a lawyer.
Sometimes they won't even visit their doctor.
Sometimes, though, the pain gets bad enough it can't be ignored anymore.
The injury you sustained in your accident becomes something that obviously won't go away on its own.
It doesn't matter if you went to the E.R. immediately following your accident, or if it took a few days for your symptoms to show up.
If they're serious enough, you need to do something about them.
Your doctor will help you recover physically, and your lawyer will make sure you get the help you need to recover financially.
Dealing with Stress
Between the paperwork, phone calls, hassle, and your injuries, it doesn't take long to feel overwhelmed.
From the very beginning, you're bombarded with an accident and police reports.
At that point, you're probably still shaken up by the accident that you're not really sure what's going on.
Then you start communicating with the insurance companies.
You have to remember claim numbers and answer even more questions.
Soon after that, your mailbox will be packed with letters and forms about your accident.
Even if you're lucky enough to escape without serious injury, the pressure of the added tasks to your daily life can be very frustrating.
You don't have any extra hours in the day to handle everything, much less the extra energy to do so.
When you get to this point, it's best to reach out for help.
A qualified personal injury lawyer can handle all of these burdens so you don't have to.
Your lawyer can't go back in time and keep the accident from happening, but they can make your life easier after it has happened.
When The Bank Account Takes A Hit
If there's one guarantee after being in a car accident, it's that it is bound to get expensive.
Even if you have great insurance, you can still be looking at thousands of dollars in expenses you weren't prepared for.
Property Damage: Even if you weren't responsible in any way, you'd still need to pay some expenses out of pocket. If you have car repairs to pay for, you generally have to wait until you receive your settlement to have them paid for. This means there will be many upfront expenses.
Medical expenses: You most likely have insurance, but it probably won't cover everything. When your medical treatment goes on for weeks and months, those copays can really add up.
Lost wages: Imagine having all of these extra expenses, and then not being able to work. It’s impossible to say right how long you might be out of work. Your family depends on your income, and now it’s suddenly stopped – but your bills haven’t stopped, they've only gone up.
Many accident victims only realize they need to call a personal injury lawyer when they begin to see the financial toll the accident is taking on their family.
Your life is already unpredictable enough right now – when you can’t afford to sacrifice your financial stability, it’s time to get help.
When Should I Get A Lawyer?
As soon as you think there's even the slightest chance that you will need a lawyer, you should call a lawyer.
Every day that passes without you calling an attorney can put your claim at risk.
Your legal rights have an expiration date.
Depending on the state you live in and your specific situation, you may only have a few months to notify the at-fault party that you're going to pursue a claim.
If you wait too long, a lawyer won't be able to help you.
You also need to be able to prove the other person was at fault along with proving how serious your injuries are.
The longer you wait to prove these things, the harder it becomes.
Conditions change, video surveillance footage gets erased, witnesses don't remember exactly what happened, etc.
The sooner you get a lawyer, the easier your claim will be to prove.
Go Ahead And Make The Call
Right now contacting a lawyer might feel like one more phone call and conversation you have to have.
It'll create more paperwork.
But that phone call and paperwork will start to bring normalcy back to your life.
It's a conversation you definitely want to have.
And to give your case the time and attention it deserves, your attorney will need your patience while they work on it. The sooner you call, the sooner they can begin building your case for success.