7 Reasons You Should Get a Car Wreck Attorney Immediately After Your Accident

In the aftermath of a car accident, you may be tempted to let the insurance companies sort out the details. After all, if you weren’t at fault, you have nothing to worry about, right? But the truth is accident cases can quickly grow complex, and you need a car wreck attorney working specifically for you. Insurance companies are not known for charity, and expensive bills may suddenly turn your peaceful life in Springfield, Missouri into a living nightmare.

7 Reasons You Should Get a Car Wreck Attorney Immediately After Your Springfield, Missouri, Accident

1. Collect Evidence to Prove Driver Liability

Collecting evidence is a crucial step in determining which driver is responsible for a car accident. Photographs of the crash site, witness testimonies, and even surveillance footage from nearby businesses can help piece together the events that led to the crash. But gathering this evidence in a timely fashion is of the utmost importance. Over time, photos can be lost, witnesses can forget, and video footage can be erased.

If you sustain a serious injury in the accident, you likely won’t be able to secure the necessary evidence. An attorney can step in and help so you have one last thing to worry about. And all pieces of evidence will be safeguarded with your case file so they remain preserved in the coming weeks and months.

2. Evaluate Damages and Determine the Value of Your Injury

It’s not enough to simply gather evidence – it must also be evaluated. A car wreck attorney often has many resources at hand to craft a strong and careful case. For instance, an attorney can hire medical experts to validate the seriousness of your injuries and ask accident reconstruction specialists to re-build the accident scene.

But these actions are only part of the bigger picture. Your lawyer will also strive to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your losses. This means accurately evaluating:

  • Current lost wages
  • Lost future income
  • Past, current, and future medical bills
  • Pain and suffering

3. Negotiate with the Insurance Company

Regardless of how nice the insurance adjuster may at first seem, rest assured they are not on your side. The goal of any insurance company is to pay less than your claim is worth – or deny your claim altogether. Armed with a cool head and legal facts, an attorney will flip the situation in your favor. They understand what information needs to be presented to increase your chances of winning a favorable settlement. 

If your claim gets denied, your Springfield, Missouri, lawyer will then prepare to go to trial. They want to help you win and will advocate on your behalf at both the negotiation table and before the court. Although the insurance adjuster will try to dismiss your case as quickly as possible, your attorney will fight to prevent this from happening. Using extensive legal research and competent presentation skills, your attorney will work to prove the at-fault driver.

Recognize Lowball Offers

During negotiations, your attorney and the insurance adjuster will each present their own settlement offers. Part of your lawyer’s job is to recognize when the insurance company is suggesting an unreasonable amount – and keep you from accepting a lowball offer.

After you’ve been injured and see the bills piling up, it’s easy to think that any money is better than none. But your attorney, as mentioned earlier, knows the true value of your injury and will continue to argue on your behalf.

4. Dispute the At-Fault Driver’s Claims of Innocence

Many times, an at-fault driver will try to shift blame and take control of the narrative. To illustrate, they may assert it was not their negligence that caused the crash, but rather your distraction as you ate, talked on your phone, or otherwise failed to pay attention to the road. Once these claims are made, you’re forced to refute them. This places you in a defensive role, and in the meantime, the true events of the accident get obscured in a tale of he said, she said.

An attorney can stop this situation before it even starts by helping you build an official statement. Once that’s developed, and with your attorney’s approval, you can issue this statement to the insurance company and even the media if your case has garnered such attention. This puts you in control of the narrative and brings forward the truth of the accident.

Provide Representation Even If You Were At Fault

In some cases, a car wreck attorney discovers their client did in fact contribute to the cause of the accident. This does not put an end to your case, but it does alter the legal strategy used. You may still be eligible to receive compensation based on comparative negligence. Missouri courts allow a plaintiff who is partially responsible for their own injuries to collect damages in proportion to the defendant’s level of fault.

5. Understand Injuries and Damages Aren’t Always Immediately Apparent

Many times, accident victims in Springfield, Missouri, fail to contact an attorney or seek medical attention because they feel fine. But some injuries, including whiplash, take time to develop. It could be days, hours, or even weeks before you start to experience pain. This means you need to be seen by at least your family doctor to establish a record of the accident. And you need to call an attorney to know your rights.
Likewise, damage to your car isn’t always easy to spot. What appears to be a small dent to your bumper could in fact equate to serious front-end damage that you can’t see. Or you may think a ding will “buff out” when it is indicative of severe structural damage. The point is you can never be too careful in the early moments of an accident. Speaking to an attorney sooner rather than later can mean the difference between a strong and weak case.

6. Explain the Laws that Apply to Your Claim

Auto insurance policies are contracts that outline the responsibilities of you, the driver, and the insurance provider. These contracts may at first seem straightforward, but deciphering them can be complicated. An experienced attorney can review your policy and ensure the insurance company is upholding its contractual obligations to you.

If the insurance company is not acting in good faith, an attorney can explain the legal options available to you. The goal is to hold the insurer accountable and help you receive the financial compensation you deserve. A lawyer will also explain the different regulations that apply to your case so you understand every step in the claims process.

7. Meet All Legal Deadlines

Perhaps the best known legal deadline is the statute of limitations, which in Missouri is five years for personal injury claims. This is the period of time in which you can file a case with the civil court. 
Other deadlines imposed by the courts must also be met, and your insurance policy may even have a defined period in which you must notify the insurer of a claim. Your attorney will acknowledge and meet each of these deadlines so your case is not compromised in any way.

Following a car accident, one of the best steps you can take is to contact an experienced attorney. This is true even if you’re uncertain as to whether or not you have a valid case. An attorney will review the facts, piece together the evidence, and help you move beyond this chapter in your life. Schedule your free consultation today by contacting Potts Law Firm.