Reason #1 Avoid the Hassle
The first reason might surprise you because it’s not about the money. The most important reason to hire an attorney is to allow you to focus on you and your loved ones. You need to worry about getting better. Let someone else worry about dealing with all of the other things, the medical records and bills, the insurance companies, and talking with the doctors, and the financials. When you get in a car accident, you may not even know where to begin with all that should be done. You have paperwork and bills stacking up, you have your own insurance company to deal with, the PIP (personal injury protection),the at-fault liability carriers bodily injury policy, and maybe also property damage concerns. All of these parties will be sending you letters, asking you questions that you may not know how to answer. All of this can be extremely confusing and stressful and can take valuable energy away from the work of getting healthy and healing.
An effective way to relieve this pressure is to hire an expert. An experienced, qualified attorney handles this kind of paperwork every day. They have a system to deal with all of it that is streamlined and effective. They can handle it all properly so you can focus on getting better.
Reason #2 Level the Playing Field
People may think that if they hire an attorney they are being aggressive or greedy. The truth is that your insurance company as well as the other guys insurance company, has teams of attorneys working on their side to minimize the effects of the accident and the impact your claim has on their pocket-books. Their job is to pay you as little as possible. From the moment your accident is reported to your insurance company, you can be sure that they will begin their research and investigations to assure that their cost will be minimized. That is their business. You need to level the playing field by having an advocate on your side that is experienced and understands the law to ensure that your rights are maintained and the effects of the accident on you and your lifestyle are considered. You need someone to make sure that the insurance company deals with you in a fair and timely manner.
Oftentimes, no one gets sued, but you need to be aware that you may have only a limited time to sue for your injuries or damages after a crash. It is critical for you to know what those time limits are. Your attorney will know the statute of limitation laws for filing car accident claims and can help you meet those deadlines.
Reason #3 Avoid Pitfalls
You don’t know what you don’t know when you don’t know it. There are things that come up during the pursuit of a case that will trap you or that will allow the insurance company to ding you and not fairly compensate you for an injury or even for the repair or value of a car or property that is damaged after a car accident. These are things that you just may not be aware of because you have never dealt with a situation like this before. There are many pitfalls when you are pursuing a personal injury claim. There are many ways that you could get into trouble, a lot of ways that you could make a mistake that could cost you money that you need to recover fully or restore what should be restored. The insurance company will use a mistake that you make against you in order to minimize the value of your claim. For example, you may use the phrase, “Oh, I’m ok.” When in your mind you mean, “Well, I hurt, but I mean I’m not dead, I’m going to be fine.” The insurance company takes that statement to mean that you you are ok and therefore uninjured in any way. Later, when you have to deal with medical bills from your injury, they will deny the bills and claim that you must have been hurt doing something else.
An insurance company may also dispute the fact that their client was at fault. In this situation, they are basically saying that you don’t have enough proof to show that their client is responsible for your expenses. An accident attorney will assist you in providing the proof to show that the other party was indeed at fault. It can be complex to prove the liability of the other party involved. Even if there were witnesses and a police report that states the other party was at fault, even when a citation was given, it can sometimes prove difficult to show that they were negligent. With so many elements involved in a personal injury case, it would be wise to have someone on your team that understands the law and can provide references to previous cases and citations from other sources of the law that will support your position.
When deciding if you need an attorney, you need to consider the severity of the injuries you or your family member sustained as well as the damage to your property. Ask yourself how long it will take to recover, how much time off of work will your recovery cost you as well as the long term repercussions of your injuries.
Reason #4 Get Compensated Fairly
Now we talk about the money. Statistically, an attorney is going to get you more money in your case than you will be awarded should you handle your claim on your own. Obviously, the smaller the case, the less an attorney will be able to help with. But the bigger the case, the more an attorney will be able to assist you in collecting more money. Compensation means money. It’s called “damages” in legal terms. What that means is the insurance company for the at-fault driver, owes you an amount of money that makes you whole under the law. In order to get you compensated fairly, we have to be able to explain and show and prove through written documentation, why your case is worth what it is worth, both with special damages and general damages. When you don’t understand all of the various things that entitle you to compensation under the law, there is just no way for you to get compensated fairly. And again, an attorney is not looking to get you a compensation amount that is crazy, or above and beyond or frivolous. What we look to get you is the full amount that is fair and reasonable under the parameters of Utah law.
As mentioned above, when you ask yourself how long will recovery take, an attorney will be able to help you come to a realistic answer to this question. His expertise in this area will aide you in making an informed decision. If you have sustained a long-term injury, one that last a year or longer, your physical therapy, time away from work, medical expenses, etc. will continue to mount up. The financial loss in an injury like this can be devastating if the proper steps were not taken to protect you and your ability to recover. You may even have an injury that disables you for life, in this situation you definitely need a legal professional on your side. In this case, a personal injury attorney will consult with each medical professional involved in your care to assess what your medical care and recovery will entail and what projected expenses for that care will be.
Reason #5 Why have insurance if you can’t use it?
People might hesitate to make a claim because they think that would be greedy or that it may drive their insurance premiums up. Insurance premiums are assessed based on future risk and future risk is based on fault. If you are at fault, it is possible that your insurance rate will go up. If you are not at fault, it is highly unlikely that your insurance company will raise your premium going forward because it was not your fault. The risk of you being in an accident in the future has not gone up. They will continue to charge you the same premium that you have been paying.
So why have insurance if you can’t use it? Why continue to pay premiums every single month when even when facts arise to where you have a valid claim under your policy that you have been paying for, that you’re not even going to make that claim? If that’s the case, why have insurance at all. It is a pretty profitable deal for insurance companies if you are the type of person that they can just charge every month indefinitely, for your entire life and no matter what happens, even if the terms of this policy, this contract that you pay for with them is triggered by some car accident or something else happening and they know that you are not even going to make a claim. That is a pretty imbalanced equation for them. That would make anyone want to start an insurance company, because why not right? If people are willing to pay every month for a service that they will never use, literally paying for the insurance company to do nothing for them. That is a pretty lucrative business model.
You need to be able to get yourself better and make yourself whole. You have insurance for this very reason. A dependable personal injury attorney can mean the difference between a fair outcome for you and your loved ones or more stress that only compounds your worries and health concerns. Time is of the essence in many cases involving injuries. The insurance companies may interpret your silence or the length of the time it takes you to see a medical professional or to seek legal counsel as a sign that you were not in pain or not initially hurt in the accident. At least consult an attorney that has experience and legal knowledge that will help you determine the best course of action that will lead to the fairest outcome for you and your family. Remember the collision itself is not the only danger of a car accident. The legal ramifications and the financial cost to you and possibly your family may not end with the car repairs and a visit to a medical professional.
Seeking good legal counsel will help you to understand what other dangers may come up in a case such as yours. Consulting with an attorney about your case will allow you to ask questions and get reliable answers that can help guide the crucial decisions that you will need to make. Your attorney can help you decide if you have a viable case and determine what rights you have. At this point, it may be determined that you do not have a case, if this happens, you will have saved yourself a lot of stress, time, and money by taking the time to let a professional help you determine that.
So to sum up, there are many good reasons to consult an attorney when you or a family member is involved in a car accident. You need a professional to answer your important questions and guide you through the process of making a claim when injuries have occurred. This information will allow you to make important, timely decisions that will impact you and your family. For more free information, call McMullin Injury Law at 435-673-9990.
McMullin Injury Law is in Southern Utah and we are here to help. Give us a call at 435-673-9990. Our primary focus is helping car accident victims in St. George and Cedar City, Utah.
This article and others on this site do not constitute a legal opinion or advice. Interactions on this website do not create an attorney-client relationship and do not serve as a replacement for consulting with an attorney. McMullin Injury Law expressly disclaims all liability relating to actions taken based on contents of this site. This article is for general education purposes, if you are seeking legal advice, contact an attorney.