Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Automobile Accidents: Why You Need an Attorney.
If you've been injured in a car accident due to another driver's negligence, there is no guarantee your medical bills will be covered by that driver's car insurance company. Even if you are paid, you may not be justly compensated.
While a lawyer may not be necessary in every auto accident claim, if you've been injured in an auto accident for which you were not at fault hiring a personal injury attorney can help you receive a fair settlement from your insurance company.
It is possible to obtain a fair settlement without the help of a personal injury attorney, but you run a serious risk of being taken advantage of by the insurance company. Unless you are a law student or personal injury professional, you are likely unfamiliar with all the laws pertaining to personal injury claims. In other words, you probably do not know what you are legally entitled to, and could therefore be taken advantage of an insurance adjuster. Because insurance companies profit by under compensating injured persons, many companies will automatically offer a lower settlement to persons not working with a personal injury attorney. For this reason, many people opt to hire personal injury lawyers even before they have been offered a settlement.
There are many potential damage awards available to people who are injured in a car accident. In addition to medical bills, you may be able to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Your family members may even be able to recover for the loss of your companionship if you have become incapacitated. If you don’t hire an attorney, you may not be aware of all of your potential legal rights to recovery. Even with witnesses and a police report saying the other party is at fault, proving that they were negligent can be difficult. Since there are many elements that go into winning a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to hire an attorney who understands the law and who can provide references to cases, citations and other sources of law that support your position. You may be permitted to “discover’ certain information from the other side, and you may be limited in the types of witnesses and evidence you present. There are even restrictions on the kind of questions and phrasing of questions you ask in court. Furthermore, extensive legal research often needs to be done to convince the court or jury to side with you. As such, it is very difficult to prove personal injury liability on your own.
You have only a limited time to sue: In most states, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim is between one and two years. If you don’t sue within that time, you give up your right to sue forever. You may also need to file a police report or notice within a given period of time. If you don’t sue in time, if you don’t sue for the right damages or sue the right defendants, and if you lose your case as a result of improperly presenting your information, you will be barred from ever suing again. This means you will have used up your only chance for recovery and you will be stuck with all the costs and bills as a result of the accident that someone else carelessly caused.