Your first instinct after a collision is to make sure everyone is OK — your kids, friends or family members are likely the first things you think of after a car accident. Once you know help is on the way and injuries are being treated, it is time to start thinking about the legal and financial consequences of a car accident. Once the dust has settled and the tow trucks arrive, you need to figure out what to do next. In some cases, your next call should be to a car accident attorney; here are four clear signs you need extra help with your accident case.
4 Reasons to Call a Car Accident Attorney
You’re Offered a Settlement
In many cases, an insurance agency (or even the negligent party that injured you) will rush to offer a settlement before your injuries and property damages are properly assessed. Any time you are offered a settlement it is a good idea to speak to an attorney first; otherwise you could end up accepting far less compensation than you truly need to recover from the accident. Never sign or accept a settlement without legal advice; you could end up with less money than you need for medical bills, treatment, missed work and more.
There are Injuries
An accident with injuries can impact your life in a big way; if you or a family member are injured, you could incur expensive medical bills, miss days or even weeks of work and find yourself unable to do the things you usually enjoy, from sports to hobbies. Since some injuries are not fully apparent at the time of a crash (head, neck and back problems can worsen days later), the extent of your injuries may not be known right away. Contacting a lawyer can help ensure you are treated fairly and any medical bills or therapy needed after a car accident are covered by your settlement.
You are Blamed for the Crash
If someone is trying to make you take responsibility for a crash — or partial responsibility for your injuries — and the other party was to blame, you will need an attorney who specializes in car accidents and personal injury cases. Shifting blame to you could result in fewer penalties or costs for the driver who harmed you and you’ll need someone on your side to help defend you after a crash.
There are Special Circumstances
Crashes that occur in school or construction zones, where one party was drunk or impaired or where a commercial or fleet vehicle is involved may also warrant a phone call to an attorney. Any one of these special circumstances could lead to additional legal issues and an attorney can ensure you are treated fairly.
Unless your crash was very minor, with no injuries and little to no damage, you may need the assistance of a car accident attorney to help untangle the legalities and protect you from lost wages or high medical bills that often occur after a collision. If you’ve been in an accident it is time to call for a free consultation and learn more about your potential case and put your mind at ease. Contact Harshbarger Law to schedule a consultation today.