You’re driving home from work when another driver carelessly cuts you off. You’re able to react quickly and avoid hitting their car, but in the process, you clip a ditch and end up with some minor cosmetic damage to your bumper. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and you haven’t even left yet, so you can stay and exchange information.
But what do you do next? Do you take your car to the auto body shop or just leave it as is? Do you file a small-claims lawsuit against the other driver or just let it go? If the latter, why not?
A common question after an auto accident is whether or not to hire an attorney. While it is not necessary for every situation, there are plenty of instances when speaking with an attorney will be beneficial. The following are five situations when contacting an attorney after a car accident makes sense:
When Your Vehicle Has Been Totaled
If your vehicle has been deemed a total loss, the insurance company may attempt to pay out less than you think you are due. As part of your insurance policy, you are entitled to a “loss of use” coverage, which means the insurance company will pay you for the reduced value of the vehicle.
But if you need the money right away, or if the vehicle is older and has reduced value, it may not be worth repairing it. When this happens, you may be tempted to take the insurance company’s settlement offer and be done with it. But a lawyer can advise you on whether or not you should accept the settlement offer, and if the insurance company is undervaluing your vehicle, they can help you get a fair settlement.
When There Is Bodily Harm
If you or another person involved in the accident is seriously injured, you may not be able to determine whether or not to hire a lawyer. In this case, you should hire an attorney, even if the other person’s insurance company is willing to pay for your medical bills.
That way, your attorney can negotiate with the other person’s insurance company for a better settlement. It’s also important to note that if you are the one at fault, your bodily injury insurance coverage may not cover any damages you caused. In this case, you may need to hire an attorney to help cover any expenses incurred as a result of your negligence.
When You Need to Know Your Rights
When you are in an auto accident, it may be difficult to determine whether or not you were at fault. Your insurance company will want to know this information as well. If you were at fault, you may be responsible for paying for the damage to the other party involved.
But if the other party was at fault, you may be able to seek compensation for any damages you incurred. In either case, you should seek legal counsel. An attorney can advise you on your rights and help you navigate the legal system to get the best possible outcome in your situation.
When There Is Property Damage
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, you may not just be responsible for bodily injury. Depending on the state where the accident occurs, you could also be held responsible for property damage caused by the accident. In this case, you may want to hire an attorney. Your attorney can help you calculate the cost of the repair and negotiate a settlement with the other party’s insurance company.
When You Want to Sue for Monetary Compensation
If one party was at fault for the accident and has no insurance, you may be tempted to let it go. In this case, it is important to remember that you can still sue for monetary compensation, even if you don’t have insurance. Hiring an attorney can help you navigate the legal system and get the compensation you deserve.
After a car accident, it can be difficult to determine what your next steps should be. In many cases, hiring an attorney can help you navigate the legal system and get the compensation you deserve. And if you were at fault for the accident, hiring an attorney can help you avoid paying out of your pocket. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to speak with an attorney. They can help you determine your best course of action given the circumstances of your accident.