Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Should everyone hire a lawyer after a car accident? Not necessarily. Oftentimes, auto accidents bring forth a whole host of questions.
- Who is at fault?
- How do I pay for the damage to my vehicle?
- Who pays for my medical expenses?
- How much can I get for pain and suffering?
- Does the insurance company cover my lost wages?
With an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney, you have someone to help you negotiate and navigate the confusing chaos of insurance claims and accident settlements.
As Houston car accident lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t have to worry about fees unless we win your case. More importantly, this means you don’t have to handle the claim on your own.
Unless the collision was minor, with no injuries or serious damage, a lawyer generally means you have the potential to gain a much higher settlement. Schedule a free case evaluation with our team to see what we can do for you.
Do I HAVE to Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?
Absolutely not. There’s no law that requires you to hire a lawyer after a car accident, or for any other personal injury claim. However, when these cases involve severe injuries or serious property damage, a lawyer fights for the compensation you need.
Even when you share fault in the accident, Texas has a modified comparative fault rule that allows you to pursue compensation. With a dedicated team of lawyers, you have the opportunity to avoid blame and determine whether you are eligible for compensation. After an auto accident, people are often left with expensive repairs and mounting medical bills.
Additionally, you might lose money from time off work or have to cover physical therapy. In severe car wrecks, people sustain injuries that cause a permanent disability.
When you face all this alone, it’s difficult to build your case as you recover. Moreover, the insurance companies often try to limit payouts in settlements, which leaves you to cover leftover costs. With a lawyer on your side, you have a better chance to pursue the compensation necessary to move on with your life.
Legal Expertise and Procedural Knowledge
When you hire a lawyer after a car accident, it means you have a professional on your side. Personal injury claims often require a great deal of knowledge about rules, court procedures, the insurance claim process, and liability.
Additionally, an attorney helps you operate within the statute of limitations. When you miss this crucial deadline, you lose your chance to file a lawsuit against the liable driver. In Texas, you have to file your lawsuit within 2 years of the date of the accident.
After that deadline, you have no opportunity to file a lawsuit. However, there are certain rules in place to extend this deadline. With a knowledgeable attorney, you have someone to help you understand your timeline and ensure you meet it.
Further, your attorney files the lawsuit on your behalf and knows how to mitigate any potential defenses the insurance company raises. Once your case is underway, your Houston motor vehicle accident attorney plays an essential role in preparing for negotiations.
Additionally, when negotiations fail, they know how to fight in court to gain compensation. While a lawsuit isn’t always necessary, even the threat of a lawsuit presents strong leverage in negotiations.
Finally, when you have an attorney who understands the law, you even the playing field for yourself. This is especially helpful when you are up against the vast resources of a large insurance company.
Someone to Do the Legwork
With negotiations for insurance settlements, there’s more work than people realize. When you hire a lawyer after a car accident, you have someone to handle the time-consuming work. This allows you to focus on recovery instead of dealing with insurance representatives and filing paperwork.
While it might be your first time handling an accident claim, your attorney has experience with how to organize claims and how to deal with insurance companies.
Calculate Your Settlement
Working with an auto accident attorney in Houston, TX, helps you avoid legal trouble. Moreover, it gives you a boost towards the compensation you deserve. You might have an estimate from a garage or a bill from the hospital, but an attorney knows how to find the true scope of your financial burden.
With this information, you have someone to help you collect funds to cover the following.
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Punitive damages in severe cases
- Property damage
Although there are different ways to collect compensation after a collision, each case is unique. You don’t want to waste time and money pursuing the wrong type of compensation. When you hire a lawyer after a car accident, we calculate the full value of your claim.
Investigate & Gather Evidence
There’s plenty of writing online about the type of evidence to gather for your case. However, when you sustain a severe injury, you likely don’t have the time or energy to focus on putting documentation together.
As your advocates, we investigate your accident and claim to explore different avenues for compensation and maximize your settlement. To do so, we gather evidence such as the following.
- Documentation of the accident
- Accident reports
- Medical records
- Any video footage of the accident
- Statements from witnesses
- Statements from liable parties
Prove Liability & Negligence
Once we gather evidence, we work to prove fault and liability in your claim. Whether you hire a lawyer after a car accident or not, a successful claim has to prove the following.
- Negligence or inappropriate behavior on the part of the other driver
- The driver violated their duty of care on the road
- Their negligence cause the collision
- You sustained injuries as well as financial and emotional loss as a result of the accident
When You Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident, You Have an Advocate
One of the most important benefits of hiring a lawyer after a car accident is that you have an advocate on your side. This means you have someone to act on your behalf and in your best interest. Throughout the claims process and even in court, they have your future in mind.
Your car accident attorney is your champion before a judge, jury, and other attorneys. They fight to ensure people hear your side of the story. More importantly, they fight to ensure you achieve the compensation you deserve for your losses.
Talking to the Insurance Company
Oftentimes, people wonder whether to provide a statement to their insurance company before they hire a lawyer. Typically, any insurance company wants to pay out a smaller settlement. In severe collisions, this does not cover your current and future costs.
When you make a statement, they try to twist your words and place liability on your shoulders. If successful, they deny your claim or don’t pay the full amount. When you hire a lawyer after a car accident, they help you avoid the pitfalls that beset other victims.
Who Does the Claim Go to?
After an auto accident, there’s potential to file a claim with your insurance company, the other driver’s company, or both. In Texas, the at-fault driver covers the cost of the victims’ property damage and medical bills. However, your insurance may also cover some of these costs.
Without an advocate, it’s difficult to determine when to file a claim and with which insurance company. Our team helps you understand the extent of your claim and determine which insurance company to work with.
As your advocates, we take care of negotiations over the claim and help to ensure you have everything you need. All the while, you have the time and space to focus on your recovery and treatment.
Going to Court
As mentioned above, even the threat of legal action is enough leverage in some cases. However, there are times when insurance companies refuse to offer a fair settlement. In these instances, we take them to court.
When you hire a lawyer after a car accident, you have someone ready to fight for your future. Our team handles every aspect of your case so that you have time to heal.
Should You Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
At AP Law Group, we offer free case evaluations. If you have questions, we know how to help you decide whether to hire a lawyer after a car accident. With a free consultation, you have an opportunity to share your story with us.
From there, we help you understand your legal options and are happy to assist when you want help. Oftentimes, severe car accidents leave people unable to represent themselves. As personal injury attorneys, we strive to help injured Texans hold the liable accountable.
If you sustained an injury in a car accident, you have the potential to pursue compensation. With the help of an attorney, you have a better chance to gain a fair, maximized settlement.
Call our team today to schedule a free case evaluation with our team. Start the fight for your future today.