Accidents can happen at any time, to anyone, on any road. Figuring your way through…
Car accidents are unexpected, and stressful. The resulting back-and-forth with insurance companies can be overwhelming too. Even if the collision didn’t result in any injuries, you may start to contemplate whether or not to hire a lawyer to help you navigate the process smoothly. The reality is that it’s a personal decision to make based on your own faith in your insurance company, your confidence in your ability to handle things yourself, or if you know you’d feel more comfortable with an experienced legal professional. If you’ve been in a car accident, even if you weren’t injured, here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not you need a lawyer.
Who’s at fault?
There are many different factors that could lead to a car accident – negligent drivers, weather conditions, any third-party defects, the list goes on. If liability is unclear, it’s recommended you consider hiring representation immediately. Organizing the evidence you compiled from the crime scene is probably something you can do yourself, but having someone who knows exactly what to do with it can prove very helpful. This evidence can be used to assist in disputes, as well as figuring out exactly how the accident happened. Car accident lawyers can also prove useful when it comes to uncovering new evidence. For example, there may be video footage of the accident taken from a nearby surveillance camera – and lawyers with experience in this area should know exactly how to go about acquiring that evidence.
While auto insurance is incredibly important to have, and a legal requirement in California, it’s not always in the insurance company’s best interest to pay you – even when you deserve it. Adjusters have a tendency to offer the policyholders a lower number than expected for necessary repairs, and a lawyer will be able to dictate if these terms are acceptable. If they believe that you deserve more, they can negotiate on your behalf.
Statute of limitations
In California, the statute of limitations will vary depending on the claim being filled. For injury to personal property, you have 3 years to file this claim. This may seem straightforward, but there can be multiple factors that could possibly change this timeline. If you’ve hired experienced representation, they should be able to explain any other relevant statute of limitations, and any applicable factors that could modify the timeline.
Unfortunately, accidents are almost always random and unanticipated. Hopefully, all that needs to happen is you and the other driver involved need to exchange information and let the insurance companies handle it from there. If you do find yourself in need of expert legal advice, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office for a free consultation to make sure you’re receiving the compensation you deserve.