Do I Need A Lawyer After A Car Accident?sjblog
If you were injured in a car accident you might be asking yourself “Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?”
Despite having many good reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer, many people are uncomfortable talking to a lawyer after an accident. They think the attorney will cost too much money or will take too much of the settlement money that it won’t be worth it.
Actually, on average, injured persons with a lawyer get 3.5 times more money than those without a lawyer.
Some people just don’t want to get involved in a lawsuit. Something I hear all the time from clients is “I’m not the type of person that sues.” Most of us don’t want to sue anyone. If you said to me, “Hey, I can’t wait to sue these people,” you would be the rare exception.
Fortunately, it’s likely you won’t have to sue anyone to recover money for your injuries. Most cases settle before having to file a lawsuit. If you find yourself in the rare circumstance where you need to file a lawsuit, it’s because the insurance company is not being fair.
The legal system is the only way to force the insurance company to pay what’s fair. Nothing is wrong with using the legal system when your case requires it.
If you are having trouble deciding whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer, consider these services that we provide to our clients.
Why should I contact an attorney if I was injured in a car accident?
1. We make sure you get the best treatment.
Depending on the seriousness of your injuries, you may need to see 3-8 different doctors all specializing in various types of medicine. Knowing who to see can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a family doctor managing your care or don’t have health insurance.
For example, Jane was in a car accident. She was t-boned when a car ran a red light. She has neck pain, knee pain in her left knee, and bruising around her torso from the seat belt. Although she’s in pain, she thinks if she goes home and rests, the pain will get better. She refuses the ambulance and has her husband take her home. The next day, her pain is worse. She also sees blood in her urine, so she decides to go to urgent care to get checked out.
The doctor at the urgent care takes an x-ray of the neck and knee and takes a CT scan of her urinary tract. There is nothing unusual or alarming in the imaging. The doctor prescribes pain medication and tells you to go home and rest; if the pain and blood don’t go away after 3-5 days, the doctor says, come back to urgent care.
It’s five days later, and your pain hasn’t gone away. You haven’t had blood in your urine again, but you now notice pain in your hips. What should you do?
This is where an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the different options. Do you go back to urgent care? Do you see a primary care physician? Do you visit a chiropractor or physical therapist? Should you go right to a specialist, such as an orthopedic surgeon or an internist? If so, who should I see?
What if Jane doesn’t have health insurance or a way to pay for the medical treatment? It’s obvious that Jane is in pain and needs medical treatment. A personal injury lawyer can arrange to have you treated with great doctors, then pay the doctors back out of your settlement.
2. We deal with the insurance companies.
It’s not uncommon to have to deal with 3-5 insurance companies after you’ve been injured. This is true whether you’ve been in a car accident or bitten by a dog.
If you aren’t familiar with the process and the aggressive nature of insurance companies, it can be stressful trying to get your claim across the finish line.
As soon as you hire us, we contact all insurance companies to let them know that we represent you. We instruct them to keep all evidence safe and to not contact you any further.
Often, there is insurance money available for your accident that you didn’t even know about. An important role as your personal injury attorney is to find all available insurance money. Overlooking an insurance policy can mean the difference of tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
3. We make sure all your medical bills get paid.
After you get medical treatment, you’ll start getting a lot of mail and phone calls from the doctors’ offices and health insurance companies. You’ll receive invoices, bills, statements, explanation of benefits (EOB), collection notices, and notices about having to pay back health insurers (rights of subrogation).
It won’t be long before you get overwhelmed.
When you hire us, we request all medical records and bills to get the total charges and all outstanding balances. Then we help get those balances paid at the end of your case.
There are also times when you are eligible for a reduction in amounts you pay back to medical providers and health insurance companies. We make sure to maximize these reductions, so you get more money in your pocket.
4. We help you get more money for your injuries.
Research has shown that you’ll get more money for your accident when you have a personal injury attorney. Sometimes up to 3.5 times more. This means that even after paying your attorney, you will on average end up with more money in your pocket than if you don’t have an attorney.
A big reason for this is we can keep the insurance companies honest. If they are unfair, we can file a lawsuit and have a judge or jury decide how much to give you. This can be very expensive for the insurance company if they lose. More importantly, if a jury awards more than what the insurance company offered you, this can be very embarrassing for the insurance company.
After filing a lawsuit, we can uncover information that will increase the value of your case. The threat of this can cause an insurance company to think twice about offering an unfair settlement amount.