When Should You Hire An Attorney After A Car Accident?
The minutes, hours and days following a car accident can bring some of the most stressful and overwhelming moments of your life. All the more so if you or a loved one sustains an injury and you are unsure of what steps to take next.
It can be difficult to make the right choices when navigating the complexities of filing an insurance claim, managing your daily life if your vehicle is a total loss and attending medical appointments in the event of an accident-related injury. By understanding the role of an attorney after a car accident and the overall process you should follow after experiencing a collision, you can make the best decision about when to seek legal help.
What Can an Attorney Do for You After a Car Accident?
When you experience bodily harm or damage to your property due to a car accident, you have the right to pursue financial compensation. You will typically pursue this compensation by filing a claim with your insurance provider or the insurer of the other driver involved in your accident if they are at fault.
It may even be that receiving the compensation you are due after an accident is the only way you can reasonably afford the medical treatment you need after sustaining an injury in an accident. Your attorney can advocate for you in a legal capacity to give you the best chance at securing a fair settlement. Not only can your legal team negotiate on your behalf in settlement discussions, but they can also represent you if the matter goes to court.
What Steps Should You Take After a Car Accident?
Following the appropriate steps in the moments following a collision will ensure your own safety and fairness toward yourself and other parties involved, as well as give you a strong start toward a favorable outcome in the claims process. The essential post-accident tasks to complete are:
- Call 911 and seek medical attention
- Exchange information with others involved at the scene
- Document the accident
- Notify your insurance company and file a claim
- Contact your attorney
Familiarizing yourself with the best process to follow ahead of time can help you stay calm and focused if you do find yourself in an accident at some point in the future.
Seek Medical Attention
Your first priority after a collision is to check for injuries on yourself and your passengers. If you are able, call 911 immediately to request an officer at the scene and to get an emergency response to any injuries you notice as a result of the accident. Keep in mind that many types of injuries might not become apparent until some time later, so it is always a wise course of action to seek medical attention even if you feel fine at the moment.
It is necessary to exchange insurance information with other drivers involved in an accident for the sake of properly filing a claim. The information that each party should share includes:
- Full name and contact information
- Insurance provider and policy number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Make, model and color of vehicle
All parties should also be on the same page regarding the exact location of the accident, however, it is good practice to avoid discussing fault or other unnecessary details during this exchange of information.
Document the Accident
In preparation for the possibility that you might need to defend your accident or injury claim, documenting the accident’s details can strengthen your case. Get names and badge numbers from the officers at the scene, take photos of the accident and the damages and request contact information from any nearby witnesses.
Notify Your Insurance Company
It is important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after an accident to start the claims process. Be sure to only provide the essential details during your initial call with the insurance company, as any accidental admission of fault could harm your claim. You can elaborate on the details of the incident at a later time, once you’ve had the chance to collect your thoughts and consult with your attorney.
Contact Your Attorney
It can be prudent to contact your attorney immediately after an accident, even if it does not initially seem like legal action will be necessary. Having an attorney close at hand is also a good idea if your insurance company starts requesting additional details about the accident. Your legal advocate can guide you on what you should or should not say in order to get the best outcome
What Can You Do To Pursue Compensation for an Injury?
Filing an insurance claim is the first step toward securing the compensation you deserve. After investigating the incident, the insurance company will likely offer a settlement if they approve your claim. Be wary of a settlement offer that comes surprisingly fast, especially before a medical professional can evaluate your injuries. You should expect that your insurance settlement will at least pay for your medical treatment following an accident, and anything less may indicate an attempt to lowball you.
It can be a lucrative decision to hire an attorney who will advocate for you when negotiating a personal injury claim. Doing so can help even the playing field if it seems like the insurance company is offering an unfair settlement. It may sometimes be the case that the threat of legal action will spur an insurer to offer a more reasonable settlement so as to avoid the publicity of a trial.
If an insurer denies your claim or refuses to offer a fair settlement amount, resorting to litigation may seem like the only way to pursue a favorable outcome. Proving your case in court will guarantee that the insurance company pays out what you deserve for your pain and suffering, but bear in mind that winning your trial is never an absolute certainty. There are also additional costs associated with litigation, so it is best to consult with your legal team on what the best path forward is for your situation.
When Should You Hire a Michigan Car Accident Attorney?
The Michigan State Police reports 71,246 traffic crash injuries in the state for the year 2021. Many injury symptoms go unnoticed until quite a while after the occurrence of an accident, so it is important to always seek medical attention after a crash and to get an attorney on your side early in the process. Involving your Michigan personal injury lawyer as part of your negotiation strategy can help ensure that you get a fair settlement even when the insurance company tries to lowball you or deny your claim outright.
You can try to represent yourself in high-stakes discussions with your insurer and attempt to sway an insurance agent with evidence and witness testimony that you personally collect at the scene of the accident, but it pays to have the constant support of a legal team that knows how to navigate complex personal injury claims with practiced precision. Get in touch with us at 855-MIKE-WINS (855-645-3946) or contact us online to voice your concerns. We want to provide the legal assistance you need at a time when you feel like the odds are against you.