Do I Need to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
A car accident attorney can help you avoid making mistakes, and guide you through the claims process. If you’re asking yourselves: “When should we hire an attorney after being in an accident?” the answer is probably “now.”
Don’t Wait Too Long
Clients tell us all the time that they wished they’d called us sooner. Even if you believe that the insurance claim process will be straightforward, consulting with an attorney can help ensure that it remains that way. When you hire a lawyer, you can be confident that you are not missing anything or skipping any steps when making your claim.
Hiring an attorney soon after a motor vehicle crash is particularly important if you’ve been injured. And why is that? In the immediate aftermath of the car accident, you may not be physically or emotionally capable of handling any kind of settlement discussion. Getting an attorney involved as soon as you can following the accident can take some of the work off your plate and put it on the attorney.
There’s often significant background work involved in the settlement process, and an attorney can hopefully take some of your worries away, answer your questions as they come up, help you understand each step of the process, and give you more peace of mind as you recover.
Often, the full extent of your injuries, and the ultimate consequences of those injuries, can’t be determined in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. A car accident lawyer can assist you in understanding what your injuries mean in considering damages and compensation.
The professionals at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. are ready to meet with you at your convenience to learn more about your situation and make recommendations.
The Limits of PIP Insurance Coverage
It’s good to contact an attorney when you have questions about your insurance coverage or concerns about its limits.
If two Michigan drivers are in an accident, the Michigan No-Fault law says that each driver should first file a claim with their own insurance company. Your insurance company covers you, your family members and others injured in the car accident with Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
PIP pays all medical costs related to the accident, a percentage of lost wages for up to three years, and other costs associated with your care and recovery. These benefits are capped at a certain amount, however, and if your medical costs are high or you had a high paying job, your insurance company may limit these payments.
In most car accident cases, PIP is all the coverage you need. But sometimes it isn’t.
Serious Injury and Fatality
You should definitely get an attorney involved in your case when there is a serious injury or death resulting from the car accident. Serious injuries might mean that medical bills will exceed the limits of your PIP policy.
Serious injuries might mean that your financial loss is more significant. What happens if you’re unable to return to the same job, or return to work at all? Are you facing permanent disability? What happens then?
If a family member or friend has been killed in a car accident, the economic and emotional impact on survivors can be profound. How can you assess the lost income of the deceased person through time, and the ramifications of that lost income on a surviving spouse and/or children? How do you quantify pain and suffering?
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can meet with you at your convenience to explore your options. Recovering additional compensation by filing a personal injury claim or wrongful death lawsuit can sometimes be the answer. We can help you figure it out.
There are many factors that go into winning a personal injury lawsuit, but one key factor is proving the liability of another party in a court of law. Accomplishing this is a lot more complex than you may think and involves a range of skills and capabilities that only attorneys and law firms provide.
Success in proving liability in a personal injury lawsuit involves assembling evidence and relevant documentation, interviewing witnesses, “discovering” information from the other side, and planning a legal strategy. Success also involves knowing the Michigan court system, the processes and procedures specific to that court, and the judges who may preside in your case.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. are recognized as one of the best and fastest-growing law firms in Michigan. We have a strong track record of success in helping individuals and families receive the settlement they need and deserve after a car accident.
Understanding Settlement Options
Sometimes before the claim is even filed, the defendant, or more likely the insurance company representing the defendant will approach you, the plaintiff, with a settlement offer. In complex cases, settlement discussions can take place multiple times, as different payment scenarios are proposed and evaluated.
Remember that insurance companies are trying to settle for as little as possible, no matter how nicely they may be saying it. They also want to settle out of court if they can.
In fact, this is how most cases end, and it is essential that you have an attorney at your side during any negotiations. You need to have someone there who can explain in clear terms what it means to sign your name and release the claim on the table. You will need to know the pros and cons of signing each settlement proposal and trust the recommendations of your attorney.
You’ll want to have an attorney who knows all the lingo and the manipulative tactics that can come into play during settlement negotiations. You’ll want to work with an attorney who can be your strong legal advocate at the table — a person you trust.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. have a thorough understanding of insurance liability laws and how to negotiate for a fair and adequate settlement. Before you consider any settlement offers, please talk with us.
Contact us toll-free at 1-866-MICH-LAW or use our convenient online contact form to schedule a no obligation case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.