When to Hire an Attorney for a Car Accident
When people suffer injuries in a car accident, they are often sure if and when to hire a car accident attorney. While accidents resulting in only minor property damage may not require a personal injury attorney’s services, those with bodily injury usually do. The best time to speak with and ultimately retain an experienced car accident attorney is before making any statements to the insurance company.
The following is an overview of the guidance, protection, and services provided by car accident attorneys. Always seek the advice of a personal injury attorney for answers to specific claim questions.
Insurance Companies are Working to Protect Their Bottom Line
Car accident attorneys are working to protect the best interests of their clients. Insurance companies are interested in protecting their bottom line and pleasing their stockholders. This means that insurance companies will work to minimize claims and damages.
Insurance companies have teams of attorneys and adjusters working on their behalves with access to unlimited resources. A victim uneducated in the law or the claims process is at a disadvantage when dealing with these professionals.
A car accident attorney helps to even the playing field. These attorneys have an extensive network of experts, including accident re-constructionists, medical doctors, and financial advisors, to strengthen and negotiate their clients’ claims.
Claims adjusters will make settlement offers immediately to get victims to take for less than they need or deserve for their injuries. Victims’ statements may be used against them to show victim guilt or liability.
Without the advice of an experienced car accident attorney, a victim may accept an offer that they cannot rescind and be unable to recover further compensation for medical treatment. A victim’s interview could be recorded and entered as evidence in any future trial.
A car accident attorney advises their client from start to finish of the claims or trial process. The attorney handles all communications with the insurance company and is available whenever the insurance company needs to speak with the victim.
Any settlement offer is reviewed by the car accident attorney who knows if that amount will cover the accident expenses, both current and future, and any property loss. When a fair settlement is not forthcoming, a car accident attorney will know when to move toward courtroom litigation.
Car accident attorneys know insurance company tactics to minimize, delay, or deny claims altogether.
Building a Case for Compensation
Victims deserve compensation for their injuries and property loss and are entitled to such under state law. Some car accident injuries take weeks to appear and linger for a lifetime, making even the most routine tasks painful. Others require significant surgeries and reconstruction of damaged tissue.
Vehicles and other personal property may need repairing or replaced. A car accident attorney is experienced in collecting and building a case for compensation that will cover any current losses and manage accident-related care in the future.
Car accident attorneys gather evidence to solidify claims like the following:
- Photos of accident scenes;
- Photos of damaged vehicles;
- Police crash reports;
- Eyewitness statements;
- Information from a vehicle’s event data recorders;
- Medical and work records;
- Cell phone records;
- Manufacturer records; and
- Product recall information.
This information, along with expert consultation and witness testimony, helps to negotiate a comprehensive settlement or win a personal injury case in the courtroom.
Identifying Liable Parties
Car accident victims tend to overlook one of the largest potential sources of compensation in an accident. There are often multiple liable parties in a car accident. Car accident attorneys thoroughly investigate accidents to hold all negligent parties responsible for the injuries they cause.
For example, the parties liable in a commercial truck accident could include any of the following and more:
- The truck driver;
- The truck owner;
- The truck manufacturer;
- A truck parts manufacturer;
- The truck maintenance facility; or
- The loading facility.
Demanding and receiving total compensation for car accident losses requires identifying every party liable for an accident.
Documenting Losses and Determining Compensation
Car accident attorneys begin collecting documentation and logging accident-related expenses at the start of a case. This includes much more than initial hospital bills and car repairs. There are several kinds of compensation available in a car accident claim.
Car accident attorneys typically seek the following for their clients:
- Medical expenses, both current and future;
- Lost income;
- Loss of earning potential;
- Property damage;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Mental and emotional trauma.
There are additional damages awarded in car accident claims. A car accident attorney will be able to advise their client on what damages they qualify for on a case-by-case basis.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Right Away
After an accident, life can be chaotic. Unexpected car accident injuries can leave victims jobless, without transportation, and must travel back and forth to doctor visits. Medical expenses can begin to mount up and reach a point where they become unmanageable.
In the midst of all of these challenges is the car accident claim. The insurance company may be asking confusing questions and pushing to settle the case. An overwhelmed victim may be tempted to take an offer to resolve the insurance matter quickly and get the legal claim out of the way.
By retaining a car accident attorney immediately following an accident, an injured victim can leave all legal matters, including any pending bills, up to the attorney. This leaves the victim free to focus on healing from their injuries.
Other reasons to retain a car accident attorney right away are:
- Certain types of car accident evidence disappear with time. Crash site markings and debris is cleaned up or wears away quickly. Building the best possible case means having this information for use during negotiations or at a future trial;
- Witnesses’ memories fade and change with time. Witnesses are human. As such, their memories blur with time. Sharp recollections and details will probably only exist immediately after the car accident;
- The faster a car accident attorney can start work on a case, the sooner it can be settled or set for trial. Waiting only delays compensation and closure for a car accident victim. Also, the best case for a damages award is built using legal evidence and collection methods from the start of the claim;
- There is a statute of limitations or deadline to file a car accident claim in Arizona. After this time, compensation is unavailable to victims of car accidents. Arizona allows victims two years from the date of the accident; and
- Car accident attorneys offer complimentary case evaluations, so there is no risk to a victim. In a consultation, an attorney will review the car accident case and advise the victim of any available legal options.
Consulting a car accident attorney is risk-free and only serves to benefit accident victims. So reach out to an experienced car accident attorney near you immediately if you suffer car accident injuries.
Contact An Experienced Phoenix Car Accident Attorney
If you or your loved one were the victim of a car accident, contact an experienced attorney at Knapp & Roberts for a complimentary case review. Knowledge is power, and you should know your legal rights and any recourse for damages.
One of our car accident attorneys will listen carefully to you and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim. When you need a car accident attorney you can trust to pursue your claim diligently and aggressively, call the Phoenix personal injury firm of Knapp & Roberts.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.