When an accident occurs, it is easy to take the wait-and-see approach before even considering contacting an attorney. However, waiting can ultimately hurt your case should you have one. Here are four reasons why you should consult an attorney immediately following an accident to protect yourself.
- Prompt Handling
Accident attorneys offer a free consultation to help you take inventory of the situation. They are aware of potential problems that you likely would not even know to look for as well as any actions you should be taking as preventive measures. Many times, the issues that arise from an accident do not present themselves in the immediate aftermath and can take weeks or even months for you to fully realize how your life has been affected. Unfortunately, if you wait until a later date, not only does it give the defense the opportunity to argue that the injury occurred after the accident, but you will not have all the pertinent details fresh in your mind. An attorney can help maintain records from day one and keep all relevant information documented and organized should they be needed at a later date.
- Experience With Insurance Companies
An accident attorney will have much more experience dealing with insurance companies than you would. This means he or she is familiar with the settlement that you should be given for your particular situation. Insurance companies often offer much lower amounts to individuals early on, trying to settle even before all of the bills have come in. Having an attorney present means you can avoid the headache of negotiating with the company or feeling pressured to take a lesser amount.
Part of determining the settlement to which you are entitled involves knowing exactly what happened and who is at fault. It can be difficult for an individual to investigate on his or her own, but an attorney already has the experience and the resources in place to do just that. He or she will know who to go to first and which questions need to be answered. Oftentimes, attorneys can cut through the red tape faster than someone who does not know the proper procedures or the right departments that need to be called.
- Work on Contingency
Are you concerned about whether you can afford to pay an attorney before you even know the amount you might get? Don’t be. Accident attorneys often work on a contingency plan, which means they do not get paid until you are paid. This is not only incentive to get a better settlement for you, but allows you to avoid stressing about the number of billable hours being worked on your behalf.
Being involved in a car accident is a messy situation and can shake up your entire life. Contacting an auto accident attorney allows someone who knows the law to take care of the paper work and legal details while you focus on your recovery.