Do I need to hire a lawyer if I have a car accident?

car accident attorneys

The moment you are involved in a car accident, you feel vulnerable and overwhelmed by the situation. It is common to feel confused about what steps to take next, especially at the time of filling a claim.

Filling a claim can be confusing and complicated. Insurance companies know this and will take advantage of your lack of knowledge about the laws and your insurance policy to dismiss your claim or to pay you less than fair compensations. That's why having a car accident lawyer is a must. Your lawyer will represent you and protect your benefits so that the insurance company does not take advantage of your lack of knowledge about what you are entitled to.

The insurance claim process

This is the first step in getting compensation for your injuries received in a car accident. After the accident, you must file your claim within 24 hours. For this you must report everything that happened in the accident. This is the time to give the information you gathered at the scene of the accident. The information about the accident, the other driver's personal and contact information, information about your insurance and description of your vehicle are the most important pieces of information you have to give.

Once your initial statement is made, the at-fault party's insurance company will begin the investigation. You will be asked to undergo a medical evaluation by a medical specialist of the at-fault party's insurance company choice. Then, the insurance company will proceed to make its settlement offer.

The appeals process

There are several reasons for an appeal. Your claim may have been rejected because you did not meet the deadlines or did not undergo a medical evaluation. In other cases, your claim may be approved but the at-fault party's insurance offers you a much smaller settlement than you are entitled to. In either case, you can appeal that decision. For that, you will need to start an appeal process.

If your claim is denied, you will receive a notification from the insurance letting you know that and your lawyer will tell you what steps to take to begin the appeal process. Since each insurance company has its own policies, they often have specific appeal processes as well. Your lawyer will help you understand what to do and guide you through the process. You may need to make additional statements to give more detailed information about the accident and undergo a further medical examination.

If necessary, your lawyer will go further and contact experts to help determine your innocence in the case and the extent of your injuries received in the accident. If questions arise as to who is at fault, your lawyer will consult with experts to recreate the accident scene and prove that the other party was negligent.

Negligence Law

Each state has its own laws and its own way of determining liability in a case. In the state of California, the negligence system is implemented. Most car accidents are caused by the negligence of one of the parties involved. Sometimes, both parties are at fault in the accident and it is necessary to determine the percentage of fault of each party involved in order to determine the percentage of liability of each party.

It is considered negligence when a driver does not respect traffic laws and drives irresponsible and ends up causing damage to others. Factors such as ignoring traffic signals, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, are considered negligence. A judge or a lawyer will use the evidence available to determine what percentage of negligence each party has committed and must compensate the other party for that percentage of the damages costs.

Why is having a lawyer the right thing to do?

When having a car accident, it is advisable to have the assistance of an expert. A Los Angeles car accident lawyer can help you through the process of making your claim and getting the best compensation possible. In the event that you are involved in a situation like this, do not waste any time and hire your lawyer as soon as possible. These are some of the reasons why you should not wait:

Deadlines

When you make your claim, you must respect several parameters. Among them, one of the most important is to do everything according to the legal deadline. This may represent the approval or rejection of your claim. Each insurance company has specific deadlines to meet but the most common is the statute of limitation, which stipulates the time in which your case must be filed with the trial court. Your attorney will make sure everything is done within the stipulated deadlines.

Evidence

Evidence is critical in determining which party was negligent or the percentage of negligence of each party and that is why it must be collected and preserved as soon as possible. Environmental factors, such as wind and rain, can quickly damage the evidence at the scene of the accident. Similarly, the constant flow of traffic can damage or compromise evidence such as road markings or fragments that are detached from vehicles at the time of the collision.

Another important piece of evidence is often the recordings from security cameras near the accident area. They can be critical in determining the degree of negligence of the parties involved. For this, they should be collected as soon as possible to prevent them from being erased.

Witnesses

It is important to have witnesses testify as soon as possible to prevent their memory from being distorted over time and they may no longer remember the details of the accident with the necessary clarity and accuracy.

Medical Examination

Your Los Angeles car accident lawyer needs to prove that your injuries are a result of the accident and not old injuries. This is one of the reasons why a complete and professional medical examination is recommended as soon as possible. Your lawyer can get you in touch with medical specialists who will examine you to make sure your injuries are not more severe than they appear. A medical specialist can also help you and serve as a witness, and your medical report can help you build a strong case for your claim.

Dealing with the Insurance Company

Insurance companies represent one of the most lucrative businesses today. They have done this by using tricks to pay as little compensation as possible. Insurance companies are not your friends and will take advantage of your vulnerability to offer you a settlement that is far below what you are entitled to. Car accidents leave victims with a number of expenses that can quickly eat away at their savings. This is when insurance companies will try to exploit your distress to make you accept a settlement that leaves them with as much money as possible.

Having a Los Angeles car accident lawyer represent you will help you prevent insurance companies from trying to take advantage of you. They know that your attorney will not allow it and will do everything in their power to defend your interests. Even go to trial if needed.

These are the main tricks insurance companies use to dismiss your claim:

  • Delay your car accident settlement.
  • Trying to convince you not to hire a lawyer.
  • Do not assume the medical expenses of the accident.
  • Claiming that your injuries were not caused in the accident but in another way or before the accident.
  • Spy on you in order to prove that your injuries are not as serious as you stated in your claim.

What will the lawyer do for you?

Los Angeles is one of the cities that presents more traffic accidents daily in the United States due to the great affluence of circulating vehicles and the agitated life of its inhabitants. It is important to be a responsible driver to the extent possible to avoid car accidents that can put your life and the lives of others at risk. However, this sometimes gets out of our hands and we cannot avoid getting involved in a car accident.

In the event of an accident, it is important to have a Los Angeles car accident lawyer. Here are some of the things a car accident lawyer does for you:

  • Helps you get the best compensation. This includes present and future medical expenses that may arise from the accident, as well as compensation for lost wages and property damage.
  • Helps you understand your rights. Your attorney will help you understand the traffic laws of Los Angeles as well as your duties and rights after a car accident.
  • Offers legal advice. A car accident attorney is a skilled and experienced specialist with knowledge of the law who will help you make the best decisions.
  • Negotiates and fights for a fair settlement. Your car accident lawyer is not afraid to take on insurance companies. They do it all the time and already know all the tricks they will use against you. Your lawyer will fight for a fair compensation for you.
  • Represents you in court. If you do not get a satisfactory settlement or a good answer after an appeal, your lawyer will have no problem representing you in court and fighting for your rights to get a fair compensation.
  • Does a thorough investigation of the case. Your lawyer will review all the evidence thoroughly and, if necessary, recreate the accident scene with expert accident reconstructionist to further analyze evidence such as skid roads and other evidence left at the accident scene.
  • Contacts witnesses. Your lawyer will contact witnesses to take their statements and preserve that evidence while their memories are fresh.
  • Determines the full extent of your damages. At the time you make your claim, you may not be able to take into account all of the expenses that the accident will cause you in the future. Your Los Angeles car accident lawyer will determine the extent of your damages, both material and to your physical and emotional health. They will also take into account possible future therapies and medical consultations to treat chronic injuries resulting from the accident.
  • Contacts medical professionals. Your lawyer can contact professional medical assistance for you to begin your recovery process and to obtain a detailed medical report of the injuries the accident caused you to use in your claim in order to obtain a solid case.
  • In the event that the accident occurred due to a manufacturing defect in the vehicle, they will help you build a product liability case against the car dealer or manufacturer.
  • In the event of the death of one of the parties involved, they will help you pursue a wrongful death case against the at-fault party. The death of a loved one resulted from an accident is one of the worst-case scenarios that someone can experience after being involved in a car accident in Los Angeles. Although nothing can repair that lost, your lawyer will help you receive compensation.