Auto accidents can be costly, time-consuming, and sometimes even fatal. No one plans to wake up and get involved in a car accident, and things can get pretty confusing, especially at the beginning. It’s hard to figure out when to bring in an attorney. So, when should you contact a Richmond car wreck attorney, and when shouldn’t you?
The rule of thumb is to always consult with an attorney who offers a free initial consultation. A free consultation means you get expert legal assistance without risk. However, this is a give-and-take situation: car accident lawyers don’t jump on any case that lands on their doorstep, so offering you a free no-risk consultation is their way of testing your claim’s waters to determine if you have a case before they commit. You can use this opportunity to get a professional opinion regarding how much your claim is worth if you proceed with the case.
This tactic is effective for the majority of auto accident cases. But an attorney could indeed be more useful in some types of car accident cases than others. We’ll shed light on some of these situations below:
What Types of Auto Accident Cases Don’t Need a Lawyer?
There are situations where hiring a lawyer does not make sense. A perfect example of such a situation is when the amount of money you could recover for damages is very low. Other examples include:
- The injuries you sustained were minor such as slight pain and discomfort.
- Your injuries did not require a specialist medical practitioner or costly tests.
- You have recovered from all injuries after a couple of visits to the doctor.
When your medical bills are not very high, it might not be worth it to hire an attorney. There’s a likelihood that a lawyer could manage to negotiate for a higher settlement offer, but the difference won’t be enough to be worth your time.
However, even if you sustained minor injuries, it’s still worth contacting a lawyer and getting a free professional opinion before deciding what to do next. If the minor injuries required a specialist, the cost of physical therapy and special tests or treatment could cause your claim could be worth thousands more. In this situation, an auto accident lawyer could make a significant difference for you.
What Are the Signs That I Would Benefit From Hiring a Richmond Car Wreck Attorney?
In contrast to the examples mentioned above, there are scenarios where hiring an attorney is crucial. There are situations where lawyers can help negotiate for a higher settlement, or where they can help counter insurance company moves tailored to get you a low-ball settlement offer.
Examples of these kinds of circumstances include:
You sustained severe injuries: The more serious your car accident injuries are, the more money is at stake, and the more insurers will try to undervalue your claim. A “severe” injury does not necessarily have to be fatal or mean hospitalization and surgery. A broken femur bone, a dislocated disc, or any injury that requires long-term treatment or causes severe discomfort and pain can be labeled as a severe injury.
You’re not sure how severe your injuries are: Often, accident victims are not sure what they are feeling. An excellent example is where the pain just won’t go away. Or where the initial treatment doesn’t yield results, and you’re stuck wondering whether your life will ever be the same again. If either of these examples describes your circumstances, a car accident lawyer is your best option. A lawyer will help you see the right specialists for your injuries and go after the insurance company to compensate you for them.
You’re worried about the cost of treatment: Auto accident injuries carry financial headaches. Are you concerned that you’re not in a place to pay for treatment? If so, this is a sure indication that your insurance provider is falling short to settle your claim. Your attorney can make sure you get the best treatment NOW without paying out-of-pocket until the insurance company comes through. They could also fight for a larger settlement offer.
You missed time from work: Insurance providers always tend to ignore or undervalue this; a car accident lawyer can make sure you get compensated for missed work time.
The at-fault party and the insurance company are shifting the blame on you: When this happens, it can be frustrating, confusing, nerve-wracking, and can throw you off your game. Often, at-fault parties (plus their attorneys) and insurance companies may try to shift the blame on you and claim that you didn’t report the incident soon enough, or your injuries were not the result of the accident. This is their way of trying to give you a low-ball offer or avoid accountability altogether. Under such circumstances, you need representation.
The insurance company isn’t taking your injuries seriously: No matter what they might try to make you believe, insurance companies are for-profit businesses and don’t have your best interests at heart. Their job is to pay claimants the least amount possible. Once they allocate a dollar amount for your diagnosis, their work is done, and they don’t care whether the treatment worked or not. Get someone in your corner who will represent your interest, and make insurance companies take your injuries seriously.
What Kind of Richmond Car Wreck Attorney Do I Need?
When you consult a lawyer regarding your car accident claim, not just any lawyer will suffice. Ideally, you want an experienced, well-reputed, knowledgeable, and approachable attorney. Here are traits we recommend you look for both when choosing which personal injury law firm in Richmond to contact and at during the initial consultation:
- They are familiar with the kind of injury you have
- A majority of all the cases they handle are injury cases, particularly auto accident cases
- They offer free no-risk consultations
- They listen, they care, and have your best interests at heart
- They seem to take your situation seriously
Have you sustained injuries as a result of an auto accident? CAIL offers free no-obligation consultations with some of the most established, respected, and experienced personal injury lawyers in Virginia. Call us at 1-800-HURT-123 and schedule your free consultation today.
Let's get started with your free consultation!