When you’re in an auto accident, there are a lot of things going through your mind. You may be worried about your injuries, the damage to your vehicle, and how the accident will affect your life. With everything happening so fast, it can be tempting to let insurance handle everything. This is especially true if you aren’t at fault or don’t have any visible injuries. But this can be a grave mistake.
Car accident cases can get complicated very fast. Hidden injuries, contributory negligence, lost wages, and expensive medical bills may turn the settlement process into a nightmare. That’s why it is always in your best interest to work with an experienced car accident attorney, even if you think the case will be straightforward.
Here are four specific reasons to consider an attorney after a car accident.
A Lawyer Has Experience in Car Accident Cases
Accident lawyers deal with car accident cases daily, so they know how to navigate the legal process and build strong cases. They’re also aware of an accident’s short- and long-term implications and how much the claim is worth. Beyond that, a lawyer knows Arizona law and how to apply it in your case. They will examine your case for negligence on the other driver’s part and prove fault before the insurance company or court. They will also advise you on the statute of limitation to ensure you file your claim within the state’s timeframe of 2 years.
With a legal counsel in your corner, you can rest no stone is left unturned in securing the best possible outcome for your case.
A Lawyer Will Help Prove Fault
Most states follow a comparative negligence rule when it comes to car accidents. This rule states that each driver is only as responsible for an accident as their actions contributed to the crash. Like if you were speeding and the other driver ran a stop sign, you would be responsible for your degree of fault in the accident. On the other hand, if another driver crashed into you because they were under the influence or driving while intoxicated, they would be liable for the accident.
The problem with this rule is that the insurance companies will always try to assign as much fault to you as they can to minimize their payout. An experienced car accident lawyer will know how to investigate your case and collect evidence to prove that the other driver was liable. This evidence may include:
- Photos and videos of the accident scene
- The police report
- Eyewitness testimony
- Surveillance footage
- Expert opinion – reconstruction and medical evaluations
A Lawyer Will Negotiate With The Insurance Firm
After an accident, the insurance company will contact you to try and settle your case. They may even offer you a quick settlement to avoid paying more later. But you should never accept the first offer without consulting with a lawyer first.
Insurers are in the business of making money, not paying out claims. They will do everything they can to lowball you on your settlement. And since they know you aren’t an expert, they won’t be motivated to investigate each opportunity to give you more money. A lawyer reinforces your case because the insurer will know they’re dealing with an expert. A car accident lawyer will know how to negotiate with the insurance company to get you the full amount you’re entitled to.
A Lawyer Will Negotiate Settlement
Most importantly, a lawyer will fight for you to get the settlement you deserve – one that covers all of your damages. This includes:
- Any present and future medical expenses that you incur due to the accident.
- Lost wages if you’re unable to work.
- Property damage, which includes the cost to repair or replace your car.
- Pain and suffering caused by the accident and your injuries.
- Wrongful death if a family member was killed in the accident
- Loss of enjoyment of life if your injuries prevent you from participating in activities you once enjoyed
- Punitive damages in rare cases where the other driver’s actions were grossly negligent.
Without a lawyer, you’re at the mercy of the insurance company. You may end up accepting a fraction of what you’re owed or, worse, getting nothing at all. The best way to ensure you get a fair settlement is to have an accident lawyer representing you. They will know how to calculate all of your economic and non-economic damages to get you the most money possible.
Contact an Arizona Car Accident Lawyer Today
After a car accident, it is always in your best interest to work with an experienced car accident attorney. A seasoned car accident lawyer in Arizona will investigate your case, collect evidence to prove fault, negotiate with the insurer, and fight for you to get the settlement you deserve. They will also advise you on the statute of limitations and ensure you file your claim within the state’s timeframe. If you’ve been involved in an auto wreck, you should talk to a car accident lawyer.