Even if you’re doing everything right—hands on the wheel, phone away, practicing defensive driving, and so on—you can only control your own vehicle. Unfortunately, not everyone who operates a motor vehicle is necessarily doing those same things. And that’s when car accidents happen.
Whether a minor-seeming fender bender or an accident with significant injuries, there’s work to be done. When it comes to settling a car accident personal injury claim, where do you start? Do you need a lawyer? Where do I find a car accident attorney?
In this blog, we’re going to explore that very question, breaking down what you’re actually paying for when you bring a lawyer into the conversation—and what you might risk by not hiring a lawyer.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
After a car accident, a qualified lawyer serves as your advocate, helping you get fair and full compensation for your harms and losses. These range from relatively straightforward items like medical bills and vehicle repair or replacement, to lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
A car accident lawyer also helps you understand your rights and the relevant laws that affect your claim.. They’ll work to prevent you from being taken advantage of by the insurance companies or the defendant.
Next, let’s look at exactly what a car accident lawyer does, so you can determine for yourself if it’s worth getting a lawyer.
Investigate the Accident
A car accident lawyer will examine evidence, starting at the scene of the crash, to begin building your claim. This includes reviewing photos and videos of the scene and damages, gathering witness statements, and talking with police, tow truck drivers, and paramedics as needed. The attorney may hire an accident reconstructionist to help interpret the evidence. While you might be able to gather some evidence on your own, when it comes to interpreting that evidence to determine who’s at fault in the accident and how much compensation is appropriate, hiring a lawyer will help to ensure the full story is understood.
Calculate Your Losses
A car accident lawyer helps itemize various losses that will make up your claim. This includes obvious expenses like medical bills and vehicle repair or replacement, as well as lost wages and potential compensation for pain and suffering. While you might feel confident in your ability to list your losses, a lawyer will help make sure you’re covering all bases—with proof.
Submit a Settlement Offer
Next, a lawyer will submit a settlement offer to the appropriate insurance company, to get the process really moving. From there, the insurance company will respond—typically either denying liability or making a counter-offer.
File a Lawsuit
If the offer to settle doesn’t elicit an acceptable settlement, then a lawsuit may need to be filed. This engages the defendant, getting the claim process really moving.
The litigation process may also require a discovery phase. This is a legal process allowing each side to gather and study the other party’s evidence. There may be questions to answer in writing and even an in-person deposition. Your lawyer will advise and prepare you for what can otherwise be a stressful process.
Negotiate a Settlement
The back-and-forth between insurance companies can be exhausting. When you hire a car accident lawyer, the process becomes much simpler. As the settlement is negotiated, your lawyer will present various offers to you, and talk you through the decision of whether to accept or keep negotiating. Once you accept an offer, the lawyer can finalize it and secure your compensation—sometimes within just days.
Go To Trial
If negotiations don’t result in an acceptable settlement, your lawyer will take your case to trial. If it comes to this, the lawyer will be fully prepared to present a convincing and well-supported case. At Broadwing Legal, we will work with you every step of the way, making sure you understand what’s happening.
When Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
You should always at least entertain a free consultation. While the circumstances of your accident might seem straightforward or minor, you probably (hopefully!) haven’t experienced too many car accidents. Car accident attorneys that specialize in getting the victims of car crashes money for their harms and losses have worked on hundreds of car accident claims. They are uniquely positioned to provide the experience and expertise to understand and navigate your unique situation.
How Do I Settle a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer?
Again, while it is possible to settle your personal injury claim on your own, without a lawyer, you would be wise to at least take advantage of a free consultation with a professional. There’s just too much at stake here—if you want fair compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and more, then you’ll likely need an expert on your side.
Where Do I Find the Best Car Accident Lawyer Near Me?
When evaluating the best car accident lawyer near me, here are the most important qualities to look for as you begin engaging with them:
- Do they communicate clearly, responding in a timely manner?
- Do they ask a lot of questions about you and your accident, rather than making assumptions?
- Can they provide references?
- Do they have experience with cases like yours?
Ready for a Consultation? Let’s Talk!
When you need an experienced Indiana car accident lawyer, look no further than Broadwing Legal. We’re focused on you, not just your compensation. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you deserve more than just a lawyer—you deserve an advocate. You deserve transparency, honesty, and dedication. You deserve Broadwing Legal. Learn more about us on our website, or reach out for your free consultation today.