How many times have you been on the road and witnessed one vehicle ram into the back of another one? Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of car accidents. These accidents can be disastrous, especially when a moving vehicle approaches a stationary vehicle at high speed. According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, rear-end collisions cause nearly 600,000 injuries and over 2,300 deaths annually.1
Many people underestimate the seriousness of injuries caused by rear-end crashes. Even during a low-impact accident, a person’s head or body can be jolted in a way that causes whiplash, neck and back injuries, a concussion, or other common injuries.
Whether your injuries are minor or severe, you may be wondering whether to hire a personal injury lawyer after a car accident. There is no legal requirement for hiring an attorney when seeking compensation for losses. However, you have the right to legal representation at any stage of a claim or lawsuit process. Here are some things you should consider to help you decide if hiring a car accident lawyer is a smart choice for your situation.
First things first: Promptly seek medical treatment.
If you were involved in a rear-end collision that caused you to become injured, seek medical treatment right away. Never assume your pain or problem will subside. Rear-end accident victims will often wake up sore and achy the following day, realizing they have a more extensive injury than they first thought.
The longer you wait to get medical attention, the more an insurance company will question the relationship between your injury and the accident. Seeking medical attention provides medical proof of injuries and evidence of medical expenses.
Accidents causing severe or long-term injuries usually require a personal injury attorney.
If you suffer injuries that are severe or cause long-term and permanent disability, the financial impact can be devastating. You will likely have significant medical bills, and you may not be able to work for weeks, months, or longer. You may even need to stay at a long-term care facility or require long-term care services at home such as physical therapy, bathing assistance, pain management, or transportation services.
Sometimes with serious injuries, compensation can be capped at the negligent party’s policy limit. Recovering damages for long-term care costs can be especially challenging since not all insurance plans cover these types of costs, and not everyone has disability insurance.
A personal injury lawyer can help recover compensation beyond these limits, taking a case to trial if needed.
Are you getting the runaround from your insurance company?
Every car accident victim should know that insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for injury claims. They make their profits by collecting premiums and settling out as little as they can in claims. Sometimes the most seemingly straightforward accident claims can become complicated. Various tactics employed by insurance companies leave victims feeling overwhelmed, confused, and pressured to accept initial settlement offers.
Insurance companies tend to take accident victims more seriously when they have legal representation. A personal injury lawyer knows how to bolster a case and communicate with insurance companies to avoid claim delays, confusion, and policy misrepresentation. Specifically, you may require the assistance of a lawyer when:
- Your claim is denied
- Your claim is devalued
- The insurance company employs rush or delay tactics
- Your medical history or pre-existing conditions are under scrutiny
- You feel forced to give a recorded statement (Don’t do it!)
A personal injury lawyer can protect your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly, so you receive all the compensation you are entitled to collect.
Does your settlement require advanced negotiation skills?
Most personal injury cases never make it to trial. It is usually in an insurance company’s best interests to settle with accident victims out of court. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize they can negotiate their settlement amount with the right supportive evidence. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help prove your case’s worth and respond to any offers or arguments to arrive at a figure you are willing to accept. They can issue an effective demand letter and handle any unfair settlement maneuvers that may arise.
Are multiple parties at fault?
In most rear-end collisions, the driver who rear-ended you usually bears the fault, but some accidents result from the negligence of a different driver or multiple drivers. It’s not uncommon in an accident for multiple parties to share liability. Proving accident fault is crucial at establishing liability.
When more than one party is proven to be at fault for causing an accident, the more complex it becomes to recover damages from each responsible party. Insurance companies often shift blame to avoid paying damages or to pay the least amount possible. A personal injury lawyer can help establish percentages of responsibility used to determine your settlement offer.
Do you feel confident about the insurance company’s accident investigation?
If you are filing a substantial injury claim, you can expect an insurance company to investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident to both confirm the truth but also look for any ways to deny their customer’s liability. A personal injury firm with the right resources can conduct its own thorough investigation, reviewing accident reports that are often flawed or incomplete due to human error. They can also help correct police reports, obtain video surveillance, subpoena witnesses, and uncover hidden evidence to help strengthen your case.
Are you feeling overwhelmed?
Car accident victims already suffering from physical and emotional stress may find it difficult to deal with all the complexities involved in a filing an insurance claim let alone a lawsuit. A personal injury lawyer can reduce that stress by handling all of the aspects of your case and absorbing all case-related costs along the way so you can focus on recovering and regaining control of your life.
Many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning they do not collect a fee unless they win your case. This fee structure removes the financial burden associated with hourly legal fees and allows everyone to afford quality legal representation.
If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, Joseph Law Group can help protect your rights to help you get the maximum compensation you deserve. No matter where you are in the claims process, you can call us at (216) 912-7402 to schedule a free initial consultation.
We never charge a fee unless we are successful at recovering damages on your behalf. Speaking with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers for just a few minutes could drastically change the course of your life.
1 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , Crashes, by First Harmful Event, Manner of Collision, and Crash Severity, 2019, https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/SASStoredProcess/guest.