When Can an Attorney Help in A Car Accident Case?
If you or someone in your family was injured in a car accident, you may be wondering if you should enlist the help of an attorney or represent yourself. Although a personal injury lawyer might charge a contingency fee, it’s almost always a good idea to hire an attorney if your injuries are serious or you believe a dispute might arise regarding liability or damages.
Let’s take a closer look at the circumstances when you should hire a car accident lawyer.
Your Injuries Are Serious
Kansas is a “no fault” insurance state, which means drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. Your PIP policy will cover medical bills and lost income for the injuries you sustained no matter who caused the crash. But if your injury meets the “serious injury” threshold, you can bring a claim against the at-fault party for all resulting damages including healthcare costs, lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment in life.
The more serious your injuries are, the higher the value of your claim will likely be. And the higher the value of your claim, the more time and resources the insurance company will devote to disputing it. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can anticipate such disputes and take the necessary steps to avoid or overcome them.
Also, the insurance company might offer a low settlement early in the proceedings that doesn’t include non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Your lawyer can calculate your damages, so you don’t leave any money on the table.
Finally, if you file a claim against the at-fault party, you’ll need strong evidence to prove liability. This may include expert witness testimony, surveillance footage, and other evidence that’s difficult to access. Your attorney can arrange expert witness testimony and apply legal pressure where needed to obtain any evidence that’s being withheld.
A Liability or Damages Dispute Is Likely to Arise
There are all sorts of reasons why an insurance company might dispute a car accident claim. Even if it seems obvious that your claim is valid, the insurer might argue that your injuries are less severe than you’re claiming or that you were partially responsible for the wreck.
If your answer to any of the following questions is “yes,” it may be in your best interests to hire a car accident attorney:
- Did you forget to call the police after the accident?
- Did the at-fault party blame you for the accident?
- Were you breaking a traffic law when the crash occurred?
- Did your own negligence contribute to the accident in any way?
- Did you wait more than three days to visit a doctor?
- Did the collision aggravate a pre-existing condition?
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Car Accident Attorney in Kansas
At Biesterveld & Crook, LLC, we are passionate about helping car accident victims and their families fight for the compensation they need to move on with life. Our attorneys have won several six-figure settlements and trial verdicts for clients throughout Kansas and Missouri. Call or use our contact page to arrange a free case review.