While many people understand they may be able to get legal compensation for injuries and other harm from a car accident, they often still hesitate to contact an attorney. Many feel unwilling to face the prospect of what they believe may be a long and stressful process.
However, consulting an attorney does not mean running off to file a complaint the very next day. There are very good reasons to speak with a qualified lawyer shortly after an accident. After learning about the specifics of your case, your attorney can advise you as to the best approach for you and the time frame for beginning your case.
1. Saying too much can damage your ability to recover compensation
A car accident case can take a while to assemble. However, the actions you take shortly following the crash can affect its outcome. Notably, statements – even those you make completely unofficially – can become ammunition to contradict your arguments. For this reason, lawyers generally advise you to talk as little as possible at the accident scene, providing only necessary information to the other driver, police officers and emergency personnel. In the days following the accident, you may hear from insurance companies wishing you to make a statement. An attorney can advise you as to the best way to deal with this.
2. A lawyer can negotiate a fair settlement or fight for you in court
After a crash, you will likely receive calls from insurers offering you an amount to settle the case. In most cases, this amount will not even remotely reflect the actual harm from the accident. In fact, at this early stage, you may not yet know the full extent of your injuries and their effects on your functioning. Avoid discussing settlements without your attorney, as such offers are unlikely to be fair to you.
3. An attorney can give you an accurate assessment of your case
One mistake people make after an accident is assuming the outcome of a potential case. The truth is that the worth and strength of your case can depend on a variety of factors, and the law does not always operate as one might expect. An experienced lawyer can review the information and get the full range of facts, which you may not be aware of.