Sunday, August 12, 2007

Car Accident - Do I Need A Laywer?

The need for a lawyer in a car accident typically depends on the circumstances surrounding the event. However, in view of a highly litigious environment, it is essential to look at the degree of the car accident and judge accordingly. A simple fender-bender can be settled through your insurer but an accident involving bodily harm or injury may require a lawyer. If no one is hurt, then one can usually do without the services of a lawyer.

You need to have good knowledge about Driving under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) law as the charge for drunk driving is an extremely serious offense but an experienced legal expert in this field of will be aware of the various loopholes.

The need for a lawyer will thus arise if one has suffered some kind of permanent injury as a result of the car accident causing loss of time away from work, school or household chores. In such an event you may want to consult a lawyer for representation in a claim against the person responsible for such injuries.

An attorney or a lawyer that deals with personal injury is who you need to contact for getting your case resolved. There are some cases that need the immediate attention of a lawyer such as:

Serious injuries resulting in broken bones, permanent injuries and hospitalization. The result of the car accident is death. When there are other parties involved like pedestrians and other vehicles. The question of who is at fault has not been adequately answered. Inaccuracies in the police report making you the party at fault. Involving technical, medical and legal issues. Insurance matters like low limit on liability insurance, having no insurance, not having paid insurance premiums and problems with the insurer himself. In some other cases, an attorney can be helpful but not necessary are:

Seeking advice on settling a claim, handling negotiations with an insurer Requiring clarifications on terms of policy and confused on what rights you may or may not have Seeking expert advice for paperwork Determining if insurer is acting in bad faith. When fault is an issue. If there is an insurance claim process, it might necessitate the hiring of a car accident lawyer. Typically, lawyers in their advertisements will urge you to contact a car accident attorney so as not to lose your right to sue at a later date. They however, hardly ever specify the circumstances under which you would be required to do the needful. So then, how does one decide whether or not the advice of a car accident attorney is necessary.

Usually, the clear-cut claims do not require much advice or consultation from a car accident attorney. This would be in cases where the liability has been clearly defined and the person has admitted his fault, wherein injuries are only minor and medical and other expenses are negligible. It would also be applicable if there are no extenuating circumstances requiring investigation such as uncertainties about insurance coverage, questions about statute of limitations, previously existing injuries to the same body parts and complicated accident scenario. Most people do not know of these problems when they happen and prefer to handle their claims on their own and only later realize the need for a lawyer to clear out the mess.

The car accident lawyer will help when you are uncertain as to who is liable, how to handle your claim or even when you are unsure of negotiating your own settlement. Similarly, if the adjuster asks you to provide medical records prior to the accident, or makes you an offer that is not in consonance with your claim or even offers to pay you in parts rather than a lump sum, you may need to consult a lawyer for further clarifications.

It is however imperative that you consult a car accident lawyer when:

The insurance company denies your claim You are seriously injured with huge medical bills or have only residual disability The injured person is a minor Your claim is valuable but proof of loss is intangible Liability is in question Complicated facts and circumstances surrounding your accident The injured party has slapped you with a lawsuit.

William Brister -

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