If you have been in a car accident, you may or may not have to…
Have you ever gotten into a fender bender on the road or in a parking lot? It has happened to us all at one point or another! When a minor accident occurs, it can be difficult to know exactly what steps to follow. If the vehicles involved have little to no damage and there are no injuries, a lot of people will go on about their day. However, even in a minor car accident, there are certain steps that you should always follow.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
A car accident lawyer, also known as a personal injury lawyer, specializes in handling legal cases related to car accidents and the resulting injuries or damages. Their primary role is to represent individuals who have been involved in car accidents and help them navigate the legal process to seek compensation for their losses and injuries. The key responsibilities and role of a car accident lawyer includes:
- Legal Consultation and Evaluation
- Legal Advice and Strategy
- Communication and Negotiation
- Legal Representation
- Investigation and Evidence Collection
- Settlement Negotiation and Litigation
- Client Advocacy and Support
Overall, a car accident lawyer plays a critical role in assisting individuals who have been involved in car accidents, helping them obtain the compensation they deserve and navigate the legal process effectively.
How Much Does a Car Accident Lawyer Cost?
The cost of hiring a car accident lawyer can vary depending on several factors, including the lawyer’s experience, location and the complexity of the case. Most of the time, car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they will only receive a percentage of the total compensation that is awarded to their client. If the case is unsuccessful, the lawyer does not charge a fee.
In addition to the attorney’s fees, there may be additional costs and expenses such as court filing fees, expert witness fees, investigative costs, etc. Make sure to discuss and clarify all financial aspects during your initial consultation so you fully understand both the lawyer’s fee structure, and how you will handle any added costs.
Reasons to Get a Lawyer After a Car Accident
There are several reasons to consider getting a lawyer after a car accident, even if it is minor. A car accident lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and options following the accident. They will help guide you on the best course of action based on your specific situation and assist with complex legal structures. Your attorney’s expertise allows them to maximize your compensation, preserve evidence, and negotiate on your behalf. Having a lawyer handle your case can alleviate stress and give you peace of mind so you can focus on your recovery. Seeking legal representation from a car accident lawyer can significantly enhance your chances of a favorable outcome and help you recover the compensation you deserve following an accident.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?
If the car accident wasn’t your fault, it can still be beneficial to hire a lawyer. There are several considerations that can help you determine whether or not hiring a car accident attorney will be beneficial to you:
- Extent of Injuries and Damages: If the accident resulted in injuries, medical expenses, long-term disability, or loss of income, it may be in your best interest to consult with a lawyer to ensure you receive appropriate compensation.
- Liability Dispute: Even if it’s very clear that the accident was not your fault, there could still be disputes about liability or disagreements regarding the extent of damages. Having a lawyer on your side can help establish liability and present a strong case against the at-fault party.
- Dealing With Insurance Companies: If you’re not comfortable negotiating with insurance companies or believe you’re not receiving proper compensation, an attorney can handle all of these communications for you.
- Understanding Legal Processes: Legal processes and complex legal issues can be difficult to navigate. It is beneficial to have a lawyer who understands the legal system and can guide you through the necessary steps to ensure your rights are protected.
- Peace of Mind: Having a lawyer handle the legal aspects of your case can provide peace of mind, knowing that a professional is advocating for your rights and working to achieve the best outcome.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t your fault is a personal one. It’s essential to weigh the factors mentioned above and consider scheduling a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your specific circumstances. At the very least, if you have been involved in an accident, you should never leave the scene without contacting the police. Gather evidence by taking as many pictures as you can and collect phone numbers from potential witnesses. Having this information can be beneficial down the road should you decide to pursue action against the at-fault party or hire an attorney.
When Is It Too Late to Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident?
It is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after an accident. The sooner you seek legal advice, the more time your lawyer will have to assess your case and gather evidence. You generally need to file a lawsuit within the specified time limit set by the statute of limitations. If you fail to file within this period, you may lose the right to pursue legal action and seek compensation. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the accident. While you can seek legal assistance any time during that period, you have the best chance of a successful outcome, when consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
Lawyer for a Car Accident with No Injury
Whether you should get a lawyer for a car accident with no injury largely depends on the specific circumstances of the accident and the extent of damages or losses you have experienced. Some of the considerations to help you determine if you should consult a lawyer are:
- Property Damage and Financial Losses: If the accident resulted in significant property damage to your vehicle or other financial losses such as towing, repairs, or rental car expenses, consulting a lawyer can help ensure you are appropriately compensated.
- Insurance Disputes: If you encounter difficulties or disputes with the insurance company in terms of liability, coverage, or the settlement amount, a lawyer can help negotiate a fair settlement.
- Legal Expertise and Guidance: A lawyer can help guide you through the legal process, helping you make informed decisions and navigate any potential legal complexities.
If you’re unsure whether you need a lawyer for your specific case, consider seeking a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and determine the best course of action.
How to Settle a Car Accident Claim Without a Lawyer
It is important to note that not all car accidents require legal representation, especially if there are no injuries and the damages are minor and straightforward to resolve with the insurance company. While it is possible to settle a claim without legal assistance, it is highly recommended that you seek an initial consultation with an attorney before choosing to settle a car accident claim on your own.
Should you choose to settle the claim on your own, you will need to take the following steps:
- Assess the Situation
- Exchange Information with the Other Party Involved
- Contact Your Insurance Company and Report the Accident
- Gather Evidence Related to the Accident Such as Photos
- Obtain the Police Report
- Estimate Vehicle Damages
- Communicate and Negotiate with Insurance Adjuster
- Receive Settlement Payment and Close the Claim
It is important to be organized and persistent throughout this process. If you encounter challenges or feel overwhelmed, consider seeking guidance from a legal professional to ensure you navigate the settlement process effectively.
If you are unsure whether or not you need a car accident lawyer, schedule a free consultation with one of our expert car accident lawyers at Philpot Law Firm. They will look at the specifics of your case and guide you to the best course of action so that you receive the compensation you deserve.
You’ve Only Got One Shot, Call Philpot!