At Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel, & Wilson, we offer experience at every stage of the claims process, which includes helping victims decide whether to hire a lawyer in the first place.
If you’ve been in an accident and you’re trying to determine if you need a car accident lawyer, consider the following information before making your decision.
When Will You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accident lawyers are recommended for a number of situations. For example, it may be a good idea to consult an attorney if:
- You suffered catastrophic injuries in a car accident
- You’re unable to work as a result of the accident
- You disagree with the settlement amount offered by the insurance company
- The other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the total cost of damage
More importantly, if you’re seriously injured, you may not have the time or ability to negotiate with aggressive insurance adjusters—and you shouldn’t have to! Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help facilitate the claims process so you can focus on getting better.
When Will You Not Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
Car accidents happen every day, and most accidents will not require the expertise of a lawyer. That’s because fender benders, minor property damage, and accidents that result in no injury are easily handled by police reports and basic negotiations.
Moreover, serious accidents often involve fault disputes or disagreement over who is most responsible for causing the accident. This is relevant in Louisiana because our state operates under a comparative fault system.
The comparative fault doctrine affects how compensation is distributed. For example, if you get in an accident driving around Lake Charles, and you’re found to be 30 percent responsible for the accident, you may only be entitled to 70 percent of the available compensation.
Minor car accidents are usually very simple, and fault is plain or obvious. Only in cases where there’s a dispute over fault would you need a lawyer.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Following an accident, and after the panic subsides, assess damage and injuries (if you’re injured), and calmly call the police. Once the police are on the scene, you will be asked to give a statement for the police report.
Tell the truth, but avoid making statements that indicate fault. You may not know who’s at fault, so it’s best not to make assumptions.
Even if you don’t end up needing a lawyer, it will be useful during negotiations to avoid discussions of fault until the dust has settled and you can assess the situation.
However, when in doubt, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. Most injury law firms offer free consultations, so you don’t have to guess whether or not you need a lawyer.
Contact the lawyers at Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson a call. Our team work on a contingent-fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless we win your case.
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