​When to Get an Attorney for a Car Accident

Personal Injuries

A car accident with another driver is stressful and can significantly affect your life and future. If you were involved in a car crash with a negligent or reckless driver and sustained severe injuries, you shouldn’t be left to deal with rising medical costs on your own.

After an accident where you’ve suffered injuries, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention of you and your loved ones if needed. Next, once the safety of all those involved in the accident is ensured, try to collect as many photos and witness statements of the accident, as well as the other party’s auto insurance.  Finally, consider hiring an experienced car accident attorney who will take on the insurance company and fight for full and fair compensation on your behalf.

Offering accident victims low-ball settlements is a tactic used by the insurance companies to protect their bottom line and the best interests of their shareholders. Don’t get pressured into signing a settlement covering only a fraction of what you need to recover from your injuries and losses.

Call an experienced auto accident lawyer to secure the financial compensation you need to move forward after a car accident. Meanwhile, read on to discover when to get a car accident lawyer.

Most Common Injuries After a Car Accident

when to get an attorney for a car accidentCar accident claims are often anything but straightforward, especially in cases where accident victims sustained severe injuries. After a car accident, you may need to be hospitalized, require surgical intervention, suffer from disfiguring injuries or post-traumatic stress, or have a long-term injury affecting your current and future employment prospects.

In fact, injuries are fairly common after car accidents, and accident victims are fortunate whenever they walk away without being injured. When a negligent driver causes an accident, they should be held liable for covering the cost of the accident victim’s hospital expenses, physical therapy costs, and lost wages.

Here are some of the most common that result from motor vehicle collisions:

  • Neck injuries: These injuries often happen when car accident victims are in a rear-end accident. After this type of accident, the accident victim may suffer from whiplash or a neck strain injury. Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury caused when an individual’s head moves back and forth unexpectedly. When this happens, the muscles in your neck may be stretched beyond your normal range of motion, causing pain, difficulties with vision, and limiting your head and neck’s range of motion. If you experience a more severe neck injury like damaged discs or cervical dislocation, it can lead to serious complications that may worsen if left untreated.
  • Facial injuries and scars: An impact by the steering wheel, other hard surfaces of the car, or anywhere broken glass shatters can result in an accident victim sustaining facial scarring or disfigurement. If a chemical spill or fire starts, the accident victim may experience burns to the face or other parts of their body. Treating scars that result from cuts, burns, or chemical damage that occurs due to an auto accident may require the help of special burn doctors or plastic surgery which can quickly become costly. Disfigurement results from a car accident can take a toll on the accident victims’ self-esteem. Scarring may damage their nerves and muscles and impact motor control functions in severe cases.
  • Broken bones: When a car accident inflicts extreme force on a motorist in a car accident, it may cause them to suffer broken or fractured bones. These injuries are common in accidents involving multiple vehicles or vehicle rollovers. Depending on which bones are broken, it may take a significant length of time to heal, and the accident victim can require physical therapy. More serious broken bone injuries like broken ribs can lead to other internal injuries like a punctured lung that may be difficult to treat. If you suffer a spinal injury, broken pelvis, hip fracture, broken or fractured risk seek care from a medical professional as soon as possible.
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Car accident victims are extremely susceptible to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) when people hit their head on the steering wheel, windows, side airbags, or another hard part of the car. Although symptoms of TBIs may not show up right away, head injuries should always be cause for concern. If you hit your head during a collision with another vehicle, you should get in touch with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Diagnosing and treating TBI injuries immediately after an accident is the best way to prevent long-term complications with brain function.
  • Back injuries: Your back is essential to everything you need to do, and an injury to it can negatively impact your life in several ways. From sleeping to driving, car accident victims who suffer from herniated discs, sprained backs, fractured or broken vertebrae may experience extreme pain, significantly limited mobility, and require long-term and costly physical therapy to heal, if they can heal at all. A mild spinal cord injury can result in a herniated disc, which can be incredibly painful. These injuries happen when at least one of your vertebrae shifts out of place, breaks into pieces, or ruptures. A spinal cord injury may result in total body paralysis in severe cases.

When to Call a Car Accident Lawyer After an Accident?

Handling the aftermath of a car accident may seem easier to do on your own; however, if your accident is severe or complex, you should consider hiring an experienced auto accident attorney. A car accident lawyer can build a solid case on your behalf, dealing exclusively with insurance adjusters and defense counsel (if any) while you focus on recovering from your injuries.

It is oftentimes advised to retain legal representation after:

  • An accident resulting in significant injury or property damage
  • An accident involving multiple vehicles
  • A collision involving a pedestrian, another motorist, truck driver, or bike rider
  • Auto accidents with company owned vehicles, trucks, or cars
  • Accidents with semi-trucks or 18-wheelers
  • Accidents involving an uninsured or underinsured driver
  • If the insurance company is making it difficult for you to recover compensation

Finally, your lawyer can file a car accident claim or a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary. Having advocated for over 1,000 auto accident victims, the attorneys at Hughey Law Firm are experienced at navigating the complex legal system to ensure your preparedness for your case.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today

Our lawyers have the resources and experience to handle all aspects of your car accident case. When a car accident caused by a negligent motorist derails your life and results in severe injuries or lifelong disabilities, you deserve compensation for your losses. Let our auto accident attorneys fight to protect your rights and recover the compensation you deserve for your losses.

What should I provide a car accident attorney with during the initial consultation?

Our lawyers are ready to help you file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party to recover damages for your losses if the insurance company denies your claim or attempts to shift blame.

Some examples of what to provide your car accident lawyer during an initial consultation:

  • A written account of the accident containing key details
  • Photos or videos of the accident scene
  • Contact information you’ve obtained from the other drivers, witnesses and insurance adjusters
  • A copy of the traffic accident report

Once your car accident attorney has thoroughly reviewed all aspects of your case, they will begin negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.

The other driver’s insurance company offered me a settlement; why do I need an attorney?

As for-profit businesses, the primary goal of insurance companies is to make money for their shareholders. For this reason, they are less likely to offer you the compensation you deserve after a car accident. In some cases, they may even deny your claim or place some of the blame on your actions. A skilled auto accident lawyer knows how to talk to insurance adjusters and can help estimate the value of your claim while taking future expenses for your injuries into account.

How much is my car accident case worth?

Several factors, including medical expenses you’ve incurred and will incur in the future, damage to your vehicle, emotional pain, suffering, and whether you had to take time off work, determine the value of your auto accident claim. Every case is unique, so you should consider consulting with a car accident lawyer who can provide you with an estimate of what your case may be worth.

Will my case go to trial?

Most personal injury claims settle out of court; however, our car accident lawyers are ready to take any case to court if we cannot reach a fair settlement.

What if I was involved in a hit-and-run accident?

If you were involved in a hit and run accident, call the police, provide them with a detailed description of the vehicle that fled, and gather as much evidence as possible. Next, you should file a claim with your insurance company for the damages. For hit-and-run accidents, it is often best to retain an attorney to deal with your own insurance company and pursue uninsured motorist coverage.

What Steps Must I Take After a Car Accident?

Predicting whether you’ll be involved in a car accident is impossible. However, keeping a checklist that outlines what steps you should take after a car crash can help you stay calm and protect your right to fair compensation for your losses.

Take these steps after a motor vehicle collision:

  • Report the accident to the police: The first step you should take after an accident is to stay calm and ensure everyone involved is safe. If anyone is injured, remain calm, call 911, and request emergency services. Take photos and videos of the accident, then move any disabled cars to the side of the road if it is safe to do so. When an investigating officer arrives at the accident scene, they will create a police report. Requesting a copy of the police report is essential to your case and can serve as an invaluable piece of evidence in support of your claims.
  • Exchange information with anyone involved: Ask for the names, phone numbers, and insurance information of any drivers involved in the crash. If any witnesses were present, you should ask for their names and phone number. Witness statements can serve as a critical piece of evidence in a car accident claim. Never admit fault and be careful when speaking to the police officer. Stick to the facts and avoid going into details of the accident as much as possible. Capture photos or videos of street signs, intersections, license plates, and any vehicle damage sustained on all cars involved in the accident.
  • Seek medical treatment: Even if you feel fine immediately following a car accident, you may need to seek a medical evaluation from your primary care doctor if you begin to feel unwell. Symptoms of certain injuries after a car accident may not present themselves at first, and failure to treat them promptly can put your future health at risk. A medical professional can thoroughly examine any injuries you’ve sustained after a car accident. A physician can also alert you to any serious injuries you’ve suffered that don’t immediately appear, such as whiplash or a spinal cord injury.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company: Call your insurance company and report the crash without giving away more information than is necessary. If a claims adjuster from the liable party’s insurance party calls and requests a recorded statement, you should politely decline and consult with an auto accident lawyer. Before meeting with your lawyer, keep all necessary documents together and include a copy of the traffic accident report, information about the other drivers involved, your injury treatment plan, and any other accident-related documents. We will request copies of any and all medical records and medical bills, so you do not have to worry about providing those.

Contact an experienced car accident lawyer: Discuss your case with an auto accident attorney who can protect you from the predatory tactics often used by insurance adjusters to pressure accident victims into accepting low-ball settlement offers. A lawyer can evaluate your case during an initial consultation and explain your legal options.