Top Reasons Why You Hire an Auto Accident Attorney
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, hiring an attorney may not be at the top of your “to-do” list — but there are good reasons to put it there.
If you are injured, your world has been disrupted. You’re facing a recovery process of unknown duration. You may have medical bills piling up. You can’t work and have rent to pay. Insurance companies are calling and want you to sign something. It’s a lot to manage — physically and emotionally.
What are some reasons to hire an auto accident attorney?
You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
Perhaps the top reason for having an experienced attorney at your side might be the simple fact that you’re feeling overwhelmed. A lot has happened to you, and to the people close to you. It makes sense that you aren’t sure what to do next.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. provides a free consultation to anyone who has been in a motor vehicle crash — or another kind of accident — and needs help understanding the insurance and personal injury claims process and your legal options.
We work with individuals and families who have been injured physically and/or sustained significant damage to their vehicles and have concerns about the settlement process, compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses related to the accident.
Sometimes it’s easy, but far more often it’s not. We encourage you to get in touch with a car accident attorney as soon as you can — and before having any meetings with insurance companies or signing any documents related to the settlement.
Understanding Your Situation
A car accident attorney can help you understand what your legal options are in Michigan. Michigan has a no fault insurance system. This means that your own insurance coverage — your “Personal Injury Protection” or PIP — will pay your medical bills and other out-of-pocket losses after a car accident.
Michigan’s no fault insurance also provides for something called “residual liability,” which protects you, and pays for your defense costs and damages for which you are found liable — up to the limits of the policy, of course.
But if the accident has resulted in serious or permanent impairment — or if the at-fault driver is not insured in Michigan or the accident occurred in another state — you may step outside the no-fault system and file a third-party insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., can assist you in understanding your specific situation and how to best pursue adequate and fair compensation for all categories of loss, including pain and suffering and other non-financial damages.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Another great reason to hire an attorney to assist you in your car accident claim involves insurance companies and how they operate. The way insurance companies make money is by collecting as much money as they can in premiums and paying out as little as they can on claims.
And despite what the advertising messages say, insurance companies are much more interested in their own bottom line, than they are in your situation and compensating you adequately for your losses.
For minor accidents, you probably don’t need legal representation. In almost all cases you submit your claim and let it process through. But if you or any passengers in your vehicle are injured or killed in the accident, having an experienced lawyer involved can make a big difference in the ultimate outcome of a settlement process.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., has a strong record in helping clients negotiate fair and adequate settlements with insurance companies and/or other parties liable for injuries or fatalities in vehicle crashes. We know how to talk to insurance company lawyers on your behalf.
Beware of the Quick Settlement
Sometimes insurance claims adjusters will offer you a quick deal if you’ll just sign your name here, here, and also here. Don’t do it! This is the insurance company’s bottom line offer and rarely takes into account your total picture, both medically and financially.
Don’t sign anything, or even agree to meet with someone from an insurance company until you’ve talked with a car accident attorney. If you sign a release before you fully evaluate the extent of your injuries — and have a better understanding of their long-term impact on your life — you may not be able to recover further damages when these other impacts emerge in the future.
Senior partner, Eileen Kroll specializes in medical cases at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., and can help you understand your situation from both a medical and legal perspective. Eileen’s training as a registered nurse is invaluable in evaluating your injuries and medical records for legal purposes.
You Need a Legal Friend
Why do you need a car accident lawyer? Another key reason you need an attorney at your side, from the very beginning if possible, is because of the way the insurance and personal injury claims system works. It’s extremely difficult for the layperson to navigate these systems alone and receive fair and adequate compensation for their losses.
The insurance companies who are approaching you have a staff of lawyers on retainer. They’re writing the fine print on documents that will minimize or eliminate their future liability.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., is ready to advocate for you during any and all settlement discussions, and help you understand the implications and impacts of signing any type of release.
If we decide to work together, it will be on contingency. A contingency fee means we won’t charge you anything until we have won the case for you or reached a settlement.
Don’t Wait too long
In Michigan, the statute of limitations that cover car accident lawsuits is the same as the one that applies to all personal injury claims: three years from the date of the accident.
But if someone dies as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident, and the family wants to file a wrongful death lawsuit, the deadline is three years from the date of death.
Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you address your immediate needs following an accident. Your job is to heal and recover. Our job is to make sure your interests are taken care of in any settlement or personal injury claims process.
Contact us toll-free at 866-MICH-LAW or use our convenient online contact form to schedule your free 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.