What Can a Lawyer Do for You After a Car Accident?

June 15, 2024 | Gary Annes
What Can a Lawyer Do for You After a Car Accident?

A lawyer can do much for you after a car accident, including handling every detail of your insurance claim. If necessary, a lawyer will file and pursue a lawsuit on your behalf, even taking your case to court if you need.

Attorneys provide essential services, but they also provide sound advice and peace of mind.

Having a lawyer after a car accident could spare you further health ailments, stress, and the immense harm of not securing all the compensation you deserve. Your car accident attorney will work long hours to ensure you receive the money you deserve.

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Services a Car Accident Lawyer Will Provide You

A car accident lawyer will do everything that your unique case requires of them. Some of these responsibilities you might be able to handle on your own, but most you probably would not (due to injuries, inexperience, and other challenges).

Attorneys usually complete car accident cases by:

Setting a Personalized Strategy for the Client

Your car accident lawyer will develop a customized case strategy based on:

  • Who caused your accident
  • The insurance circumstances of all involved in the accident
  • Coverage limits and other considerations related to insurance
  • The cost of your damages

Strategies usually develop as cases move forward. For instance, if insurance companies deny your claim or don’t negotiate in good faith, you and your attorney may pursue a lawsuit.

Handling Insurers

Insurance companies are usually involved in the post-accident process, and will often provide a fair settlement.

Car Accident Lawyer Working on a Case

That said, dealing with insurance companies can be:

  • Time-consuming
  • Annoying, especially if you are dealing with difficult injuries
  • Risky, as insurance companies may try to pay you as little as possible

Dealing with insurance companies is a necessary responsibility, but not one you have to worry about. If you hire a lawyer, they will handle every interaction with insurance providers.

Working with Experts

Expert witnesses can provide key contributions to a car accident case, often by:

  • Reconstructing the accident (often digitally)
  • Explaining who is at fault for the accident
  • Testifying about the victim’s damages (doctors and mental health professionals can be particularly helpful)
  • Helping the attorney calculate damages, including future harm the car accident victim will endure

Lawyers’ contingency fee arrangements may include expenses like expert fees. If so, you won’t pay out of your pocket for any experts your lawyer hires.

Obtaining Evidence

Your attorney will start their case by establishing who caused your accident.

They may make this case with:

  • Video from security cameras, traffic cameras, or other cameras
  • Eyewitness testimony about how the accident happened
  • A police report detailing relevant information about the collision
  • Photographs of damage to vehicles

If necessary, your lawyer may hire an expert to reconstruct the accident based on witness accounts and other intel. This could make up for a lack of video footage.

Documenting Damages

Documentation of your accident-related damages may include:

  • All accident-related medical records
  • Medical images (which can include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs)
  • Accident-related medical bills
  • Your past income statements, which can show the income losses you’ve suffered since the accident
  • Mental health experts’ diagnoses of any post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other pain and suffering
  • Your own account of how the accident has affected you
  • Invoices for vehicle repairs

Obtaining this documentation is one of your lawyer’s most critical duties. They will work with any qualified experts to prove your damages, as insurance companies may challenge the nature or financial value of those damages.

Calculating a Case Value

Your lawyer will consider all of your damages to determine how much compensation you deserve.

The more serious your injuries, the more expensive your damages. However, you should never assume that your accident caused minor injuries. Let a lawyer determine exactly how much money you deserve.

Negotiating a Settlement

Your attorney will enter settlement negotiations with a clear understanding of your damages. They will document your losses and a detailed calculation of your case value with them.

Settlement negotiations are not always friendly, and experienced lawyers are comfortable amidst the tension. Your attorney will secure the compensation you deserve, and they will keep their eye on the prize as they negotiate on your behalf.

Filing a Lawsuit (at the Client’s Request)

Your lawyer will evaluate settlement offers with you.

You may need to file a lawsuit if:

  • The party responsible for your accident does not have insurance (or is underinsured)
  • One or more insurance companies blame you for causing the accident
  • One or more insurance companies deny your claim
  • One or more insurance companies dispute your losses or fail to value the losses accurately

If you do not receive a fair insurance settlement for any reason, you may need to file a lawsuit. Your attorney will guide you through both the claims process and legal process, if your case leads there.

Going to Trial (Also at the Client’s Request)

If you file a lawsuit, your lawyer may give liable parties the opportunity to settle before trial. If they do not take advantage of the opportunity and continue to lowball you, your lawyer will likely take your case to court.

You maintain complete control over your case’s outcome. Your lawyer will handle the responsibility of completing your claim or lawsuit, but you have final say over whether to accept a settlement or go to trial.

Added Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

You now know the many services lawyers perform on behalf of car accident victims. However, these services do not capture the total benefit of hiring an attorney.

Those who hire a car accident lawyer:

  • Can put their health first: Car accidents are associated with both physical and psychological ailments, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rest and regular treatment may be critical to your recovery. With a lawyer on your case, you have one less (major) responsibility standing in the way of the recovery process.
  • Have a support system: Many car accidents feel alone as they suffer from injuries and fall prey to bad-faith insurance tactics. When you have a lawyer, you are never alone. In fact, you have an entire legal team as your support system.
  • Have a lawyer’s protection: An attorney prevents anyone from violating your rights. Bad-faith tactics are unfortunately common after car accidents, with insurance companies being among those who use them. Your attorney will stand between you and anyone who might try to violate your rights.
  • Don’t lose sleep over their case: Those who handle their own claim might constantly wonder about whether they are seeking a fair amount of compensation, whether the insurance company is taking advantage of them, and other legitimate concerns. When you hire a lawyer, you can dismiss these concerns.
  • Can move forward from their accident as soon as possible: Moving on from your accident is not possible until you resolve your claim. Your lawyer will work to secure fair compensation that allows you to move forward with your life, and to secure it as soon as possible.

Allow your attorney to make the post-accident process easier.

Lawyers Also Provide Complete Financial Support for Clients’ Cases

An attorney can also provide welcomed financial relief after your accident by:

  • Offering a contingency fee: Contingency fees make the lawyer’s payment contingent on the case’s outcome. You won’t pay any upfront cost to your lawyer. They will receive their fee as part of any settlement or verdict they secure for you.
  • Covering case costs: Your attorney will spare you from filing costs, expert fees, and other expenses associated with your car accident claim or lawsuit. Where you might look to minimize case expenses, your attorney will merely build the strongest case possible—the firm’s financial resources will allow this.
  • Striving to deliver all the compensation you deserve: The best way to provide financial relief to car accident victims is through a fair settlement or judgment. Your attorney will work hard to deliver the compensation you need and deserve.

Car accidents can impose unexpected financial burdens that are difficult to bear. An attorney will work to relieve those burdens quickly and comprehensively.

Hiring a Lawyer Spares You from Dealing with Insurers

Insurance companies provide a useful service, but that does not mean they are your advocate. An insurer has a financial responsibility to its owners and stakeholders, which often means trying to save as much money as possible on claim-related payments.

Your car accident lawyer will shield you from the bad-faith tactics so many claimants face, including:

  • Denial: Countless car accident victims have received claim denials without legitimate justification. Your attorney will exercise appeals and all other options for overcoming an unjust claim denial.
  • Delays: Insurance companies may delay a claim for several reasons, including to increase the financial pressure on the claimant. Attorneys have ways to report and discourage bad-faith insurance tactics, including delays. Your lawyer will act urgently to resolve your claim, tolerating no avoidable delays.
  • Disputes: The insurance company may dispute the types of harm you’ve suffered, the severity of those damages, or the financial value of those losses. Your attorney will present documentation that removes all doubt about the nature and cost of your covered losses.
  • Lowball offers: Even if the insurance company knows your settlement demands are fair, it may try to pay as little as possible. Experienced lawyers present a compelling case during settlement negotiations. If necessary, those attorneys exercise their client’s right to sue.

Lawyers are no stranger to insurance companies’ strategies. Your lawyer will have a multi-faceted gamplean for overcoming any challenges posed to your claim.

Your Damages Will Be Your Lawyer’s Central Focus

Compensation Calim

Damages are the types of harm you experience because of someone else’s negligence. Any motorist, municipality, manufacturer, or other party liable for your accident must pay you fairly for:

Medical Costs

Never dismiss an injury as too minor to hire a lawyer. Don’t tough it out or suck it up when you have symptoms. It is your right and obligation to yourself to fight for fair compensation.

Otherwise you may pay out of your own pocket for:

  • Diagnostic procedures, including examinations and imaging
  • Surgeries
  • Hospital services
  • Medications
  • Rehab services
  • Any other medical services or items you require for accident-related injuries

You may also receive compensation to cover transportation to and from your medical appointments.

Pain and Suffering

Car accident lawyers consider their clients’ emotional and psychological hardship, which can include:

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety, including fear of motor vehicle transport
  • Depression
  • Personality and mood disorders
  • Lost quality of life
  • Sleep problems

Physical pain may also qualify as pain and suffering and entitle the accident victim to compensation. If you seek mental health services after the accident, your lawyer will factor the cost into your case.

Professional Damages

Injuries and mental health problems from car accidents can lead to:

  • Lost income
  • Lost earning power
  • Inability to earn performance incentives, such as bonuses and overtime pay
  • Lost progress towards promotions
  • Other professional harm

Whether you are back working, are slated to return to work, or disabled, your attorney will demand fair compensation for professional harm.

Vehicle Repairs and Replacement of Damaged Property

You should receive compensation for the repair or replacement of your vehicle. Insurance often covers such damages, but an award from a lawsuit can too.

Your lawyer will also calculate the cost of replacing any electronics, jewelry, clothing, and other property damaged during your car accident.

What Should I Do Once I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

Once you seek medical attention and hire a capable car accident attorney, you must simply:

  • Follow your doctor’s treatment and recovery plan
  • Follow your lawyer’s advice and look for their phone calls regarding your case
  • Make decisions related to your case, including whether to accept a settlement, pursue a lawsuit, or go to trial

If you trust in qualified medical and legal professionals, you can focus on your recovery and personal life. Don’t wait to hire your personal injury attorney and move forward from your crash and injuries.

Gary Annes Author Image

Gary Annes

Partner

Personal Injury Lawyer With Over Twenty Years Of Experience

Gary Annes, a partner at Abels & Annes, P.C., has dedicated over two decades to practicing personal injury law, specializing in auto accidents, premises liability, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and sexual abuse. Since earning his law degree in 1995, Gary has led numerous jury trials, and adeptly resolved cases through arbitration and mediation, securing millions in compensation for his clients.

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