In 2019, there were 187,211 car crashes that resulted in injury in California. The tally appears to be on a steady incline, prompting the need for legal representation in order to recover financial losses. However, does every case require a car accident lawyer? Here are the top signs of when to hire an attorney for help.
You Were Seriously Injured and Can’t Work
If you were seriously injured in a car accident, you need a car accident lawyer to pursue your personal injury claim. This is especially true if you can’t work due to your injury.
Serious injuries make for complicated cases. The more insurance companies expect to pay back in damages, the more they will debate the amount of your claim. Serious injuries often lead to extensive medical treatment, high medical bills, lost wages, and even permanent disability. In order to recover full compensation, a lawsuit may need to be filed.
Insurance adjusters will hire their own medical experts to try to disprove your claim. However, you have the right to recover compensation for these damages, and an accident lawyer can help you prove your case.
A good car accident attorney knows what evidence the court is looking for from years of experience. If you’re having trouble paying your medical bills, an accident lawyer can help you make arrangements with providers and manage liens from medical insurers. Also, your lawyer can help you pursue compensation for the pain and suffering your injuries have caused you.
Liability Is Being Questioned
If you were injured in an accident that was not your fault, but liability is being disputed, you need an accident lawyer.
There are many reasons why fault becomes questionable after a personal injury accident, even if it seemed clear who was responsible at the time. It’s not uncommon for the at-fault driver to change their story and try to blame you for the accident. They may lie to their insurance company because they don’t want their rates to go up.
In other instances, there are errors in police reports and medical records that can complicate an injury claim, and it’s not always a simple process to get these errors corrected. When you hire an accident lawyer, they know what to look out for to stay ahead of potential issues.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are being blamed for an accident that wasn’t your fault, you need to talk to an accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Remember that it’s never too early to talk to a car accident attorney after an accident, even after a minor car accident. Being represented by an attorney can help you avoid making common mistakes that could lead to your story being questioned.
You Were Partially At-Fault for Negligence
One of the most important things to understand about liability in California when it comes to personal injury cases is the concept of comparative negligence.
Each state has its own law that dictates how injured parties are compensated based on assigned percentages of fault. California follows what is called pure comparative negligence. This means that what you can recover is based on how much of a role you had in causing the accident.
For example, if the courts find that you were 10% at fault for an accident, you can recover 90% of your damages, instead of the full 100%. Your total amount in compensation is reduced by your assigned percentage of fault.
Insurance adjusters will try to pin more fault on you to reduce what they have to pay. An experienced personal injury attorney who knows California’s comparative negligence laws can protect your claim from being severely downsized.
There Were Multiple Parties Involved
The more parties involved in an auto accident, the more complicated things will get, because there will also be multiple insurance companies and lawyers involved.
Comparative negligence can make things particularly complicated with multiple parties assigning blame to one another and demanding compensation.
It can be impossible to manage these many moving parts on your own, and you shouldn’t have to. When you hire an attorney to keep track of everything that is going on with multiple parties and insurance companies, you can focus on resting and recovering.
California also has legal protection in place for victims of personal injury accidents called “joint and several liability.”
Joint and several liability allow victims to recover the full amount of their damages from one of the other parties, even if the other party was not 100 percent responsible. This applies only to economic damages such as medical expenses, property damage, and lost income.
The legal system is complicated, especially when multiple parties are involved. An attorney will manage your case and seize the opportunity to hold every at-fault party accountable.
The At-Fault Driver Was Uninsured
If one or more of the at-fault parties was uninsured or underinsured, you need an accident lawyer. You deserve to be compensated and it’s not fair that a reckless driver wasn’t properly insured. A car accident attorney will help you recover compensation from other sources.
You may have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy. This coverage acts as third-party liability insurance, so you want to treat it like you would another person’s insurance company. In this instance, your personal auto insurance will cover damages.
A Government Entity Is Involved
You only have a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit after your accident. In California, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, there are exceptions.
If a government entity is involved. victims only have six months to file a claim. Hiring a lawyer will ensure you don’t miss the statute of limitations while treating your injuries and protect your right to pursue a claim.
Recovering compensation from a government entity is difficult, but not impossible with the right accident attorney. Government entities have certain exclusions to protect from illegitimate claims. However, it is possible to recover compensation when the government is, in fact, liable.
Pursuing an injury claim against the government is a different process than a regular civil claim. There are special rules, deadlines, and payout caps that come into play. If you intend to pursue a claim against a government entity, you need an attorney who has experience doing so. A single missed deadline can cost you your claim.
Do You Need an Accident Lawyer?
Filing a personal injury claim can seem overwhelmingly complicated – but it doesn’t have to be. The legal system is not designed to be navigated alone. Allow our law firm to provide assistance. To learn more about Belmont Accident Lawyers, click here.
Schedule a free consultation with an accident attorney today.