Most people, when they consider the possibility of being in an auto accident, think that they'll simply trade insurance information with the other parties and be done with the whole affair. What most people don't realize is that auto accidents are one of the most common reasons that people end up in a civil suit. If you're unprepared for this possibility, you could end up with a lot of financial and emotional issues that could have been avoided.
The reasons why auto accidents end up in court are important to understand when considering to hire an attorney for your accident or not. Fortunately, the most compelling reasons to seek legal counsel in these situations are relatively straightforward.
Reason #1--You Don't Know What You Don't Know
From the point of view of a driver who's been struck by another vehicle, the situation seems straightforward. If you were following all applicable traffic laws at the time of the accident, and if no one was injured in your car as a result of the incident, you probably feel as if you have nothing to worry about. Sometimes, you're absolutely right. But you never know what liability issues or legal battles could present themselves in the future.
For example, if you have any passengers in your car when it's struck, they might discover injuries in the future that were caused by the accident. To make matters more complex, some accidents won't require a police report from a responding officer at the scene of the accident. In these situations, there's little to prevent the other party from making false claims--making your insurance claim more difficult to process.
Because of these variables, legal advice is usually a good idea. Even if the damage seems minor and everyone agrees on the story of the accident, you'll want to plan for any possible issues in the future. Following the proper steps from the beginning is essential. Your lawyer will know more about this sort of thing that you do.
Reason #2--Insurance Companies Aren't Always Easy To Work With
While insurance companies are in the business of protecting the financial property of their customers, they are a business first. One of the ways that a business makes money is by keeping their operating costs low. That means, under certain circumstances, they might not advocate for your interests as fiercely as your lawyer would.
Unfortunately, you probably have work and other obligations--you can't be expected to keep constant tabs on your case with the insurance company. Your lawyer can do this for you, as well as correct any minor issues along the way. You'll have an efficient claim as a result, and you'll enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your needs were considered at every step.
Reason #3--Time Is Of The Essence
Financial loss as a result of an auto accident is considered a civil case. Depending on your state, there are statutes of limitations that determine how long after an accident you are able to sue or be sued. That makes it important to begin preparing for any possible legal case immediately--whether you're planning on being the plaintiff or the defendant.
Your lawyer will know exactly how long you have to accomplish any legal proceedings that are required. Their advice will help keep your actions and efforts on the proper timetable, and they'll make sure any filings happen prior to any deadlines. They'll also let you know, in the event that you were at fault, when you are no longer eligible to be sued.
When auto accidents cause financial loss, most people are reluctant to add attorney's fees to the list of costs they've incurred. However, the small fee you pay now to gain access to legal advice and support will more than pay for itself should a lawsuit become a reality in your life. For more information, contact a car crash attorney.