In 2020, US motorists drove an estimated 2.8 trillion miles, a 13% decrease from 2019. Despite that, 4.8 million people still sustained injuries in motor vehicle crashes. Worse, these accidents claimed more than 42,000 lives.
All those auto collisions occurred even though there were fewer vehicles on the road. That shows anyone can get into a car wreck anytime, and in many cases, due to another driver’s negligence.
If you’ve been in a crash yourself, you might be wondering if it’s a good idea to pursue legal action. There are several situations wherein it is, and we’ll give you a rundown of what they are. Read on to discover when and why to call a lawyer right after a car accident.
You Sustained Major Injuries
Experts estimate that over 800,000 vehicle crashes in the US result in neck injuries each year. These include whiplash injuries, sprains, strains, dislocations, and even fractures. Not only do many of these cause pain, but they can also affect the functions of many other parts of the body.
For example, neck pain from severe whiplash injuries can spread to the shoulders. It can also cause dizziness, fatigue, and body-wide tingling or numbness.
One study even found that about 25% of whiplash patients reported vision-related symptoms. Impaired vision, in turn, can put you at an even higher risk of getting into other accidents.
If you’re experiencing such health woes due to the crash you’ve been in, you need all the rest you can get to recover. A car accident lawyer, in turn, can handle the insurance claims process on your behalf.
Your lawyer will first gather all necessary documents, including police and medical reports. From there, your attorney will file the claim or lawsuit in the proper court.
With an attorney or a law firm behind you, you can focus on getting your health back in shape.
You Have an Injury That Exhibited Delayed Symptoms
In many cases, the symptoms of whiplash and other neck injuries won’t surface until after a few weeks. These delayed symptoms may include pain, headaches, restricted neck mobility, and sensory disorders. These can then persist for a long time, with some patients experiencing them for five years or longer.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) may also lead to late-onset symptoms, such as headaches. Even a minor concussion can, in the long run, cause insomnia, memory issues, and impaired senses. It may also affect your balance and coordination, setting you up for even more accidents.
For those reasons, it’s vital to seek medical help right after a crash, even if you don’t have visible injuries. If you missed that chance, though, you should visit a doctor now to get treatment as soon as possible. The medical expert will also determine if your symptoms resulted from the car crash.
If the doctor pinpoints the cause to be the vehicle collision, the next step is to call a car accident lawyer. You may still have time to pursue legal action based on your state’s statute of limitations. You may want to check out this guide where you can view more details about filing a claim even years after a crash.
You’re Dealing With an Uncooperative Driver
Most US states enforce at-fault car accident insurance laws. Here, drivers found at fault for causing a collision must cover the damages they cause to others. That includes medical costs and the repairs or replacement of damaged property.
In the 12 no-fault states, personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is mandatory. Regardless of who’s at fault, PIP should cover the policy holder’s medical fees or lost wages. Their liability insurance then covers the property damage they cause to others.
The thing is, drivers found at fault for causing a crash are likely to see their car insurance premiums rise. On average, the premiums of at-fault drivers who cause injuries increase by about 34%. The same goes for those at fault for causing hefty property damages.
Since auto insurance already costs a lot, it’s easy to see why some drivers won’t want to admit fault in a crash. Plus, depending on how severe the crash they caused is, it can stay on their record for about three to five years. In most cases, they’d have to pay sky-high premiums for as long as those details show up on their records.
If the crash you were in involved such a driver, you’re likely to have a hard time obtaining compensation. This is one situation wherein hiring an attorney is already in your best interest.
Your lawyer will gather as much evidence as possible to prove the other driver’s fault. They will reach out to the police and credible witnesses. They will also speak to your doctor and obtain your medical reports.
From there, your attorney will create your solid evidence-back cased.
Unfair Offer From Involved Insurers
Insurance companies in the US make about $1 trillion from their hefty premiums each year. Researchers say that part of those huge profits is a result of unfair practices. These include rejecting claims, increasing premiums, and paying out low settlement amounts.
If you live in an at-fault state, the at-fault driver’s insurer may deny your third-party claim. They may also offer you a settlement amount that’s thousands less than what you deserve. If you’re in a no-fault state, your own PIP provider may reject your claim or give you a lowball offer.
You have every right to reject such offers and pursue legal action against them. Get in touch with an auto accident attorney who will fight for your rights as an insured and as a victim.
Pursue Legal Action Now With the Help of a Car Accident Attorney
Always remember that all US states give plaintiffs a deadline to pursue legal action. This can be as short as one year, and missing that will make your claim invalid. That’s a good enough reason to speak to an auto accident attorney right after a car crash.
The sooner you start the legal process with your lawyer, the sooner you can get fair compensation.
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