No, you do not need a lawyer for a minor car accident. You are allowed to file an insurance claim yourself and, in most cases, serve as your own advocate in court. This is known as representing yourself “pro se.” However, working with a lawyer adds many different and can help ensure a positive legal outcome.
- Investigate the details of the crash
- Interview witnesses and collect expert testimony
- Assign liability to the appropriate party (or parties)
- Negotiate for a fair settlement offer
- Estimate the cost of your accident-related expenses
- Take your case to court, if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful
Many personal injury lawyers also operate on a contingency-fee-basis, meaning that they take payment for their services out of the settlement they recover on your behalf. This is designed to minimize your financial risk when seeking legal assistance.
How Lawyers Protect Your Rights and Interests
A lawyer will undertake many different responsibilities when it comes to promoting your case’s success. Their ultimate goal is to prove that because of another party’s negligence, you suffered injuries in an otherwise avoidable event.
Some of the ways a lawyer can protect your interests include:
Abiding by Civil Procedures
A car accident lawyer takes the guesswork out of your case by adhering to the procedures and relevant rules. For example, if you are filing a lawsuit, your legal team will ensure they file your case within the state’s statute of limitations. This state mandate places a deadline on how long you have to take legal action. For instance, if you live in Louisiana, under Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §3492, you have one year from the date of the collision to file a lawsuit. If you do not act within this period, you risk jeopardizing your case and any chance of recovering due compensation.”
When you work with a lawyer, they can employ methods that help your case progress in accordance with state laws and mandates.
Doing the Legal Legwork
Personal injury claims and insurance settlement negotiations involve a lot of work. After a car accident, you likely want to take the time to recover from your injuries rather than undertake any legal burdens. Many lawyers understand how to collect and secure evidence to support your claim. They know how to gather medical bills and records, statements from witnesses, and police reports. This information will benefit your case whether or not it goes to court.
Advocating for Your Rights
Your lawyer’s goal is to help you get compensated for your accident-related expenses. You will want to work with someone who understands how to navigate the legal world while advocating for your best interests. If you choose to represent yourself, you risk impairing your case’s success.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Minor Car Accident
The American Bar Association notes that many personal injury cases are resolved before going to court. This is because many claimants are able to reach a resolution with the insurance company without the need for a judge’s ruling. However, some insurance companies are not as cooperative as one would like following a minor car accident. For example, you may be offered a settlement that does not fully cover the extent of your damages. You could have the insurer deny liability and say that you must pay for your losses out of pocket.
When you work with a lawyer for a minor car accident, they can defend you against “bad faith insurance practices.” These are tactics employed by insurance companies to deny claimants compensation. When approaching the insurer alone, they may pressure you into accepting an unfair settlement offer or otherwise act unreasonably.
With a lawyer by your side, you can rest assured that a legal professional is advocating for your rights and protections. They can negotiate for a settlement offer that covers the cost of your accident-related expenses. If not, they can take your case to court.
Steps to Take After a Minor Car Accident
You may feel fine at the accident scene, but the following days may come with chronic pain, mood swings, and limitations to your mobility. What was originally considered a minor car accident can quickly escalate into a serious collision that resulted in life-threatening injuries. For this reason alone, you may want to consider working with a lawyer rather than represent your own interests. Your legal team will instruct you on what actions you can take to benefit your case.
Some of these measures include:
- Keeping all documents pertaining to the collision, including property damage receipts and medical bills
- Not accepting any offers from the insurance company without understanding the scope of your losses
- Refraining from posting about the collision to social media (any information you share publicly can be used against you)
- Seeking prompt medical attention for your injuries, no matter how trivial they may seem
Your lawyer will be able to provide additional information to what we have shared here.
Call the Morris Bart Law Firm Today
Even though you do not need a lawyer for a minor car accident, working with one can offer a wide range of benefits. At the Morris Bart law firm, we understand what needs to be done to help you get financial recovery following a collision. We offer a free, no-obligation case review during which we can discuss the details of your accident.
To get started, call the Morris Bart law firm today at (800) 537-8185.
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