You’ve been in a car accident. Fortunately, it’s only a minor one, and you’ve been able to walk away from it without any severe injuries. You’re dazed and confused, but you’re also thankful.
Once you walk away from the accident, you find yourself wondering what you should do. What’s the next step you should take? The whole thing is frustrating you because you don’t know how to handle the situation.
One of the first things you should do after an auto accident is to hire a lawyer. You may feel this isn’t necessary, but you can never be too sure about this. Here are a few things to help you determine if this is indeed a necessity.
Deciding Whether You Need a Lawyer
There are numerous reasons why you should talk to a lawyer after an auto accident. Regardless of how major or minor you thought it was, dealing with the aftermath can still feel overwhelming. Of course, this is only one of the many reasons why you should retain legal help. Here are a few other factors you should also consider.
Your auto accident may not be all that “minor” after all.
Since your auto accident seems relatively minor, you may not think that you need a lawyer. However, it may not be as minor as you think. Vehicle repairs are surprisingly expensive, especially if your car has damage underneath it.
You may even think that you’re uninjured only to start having issues in the following days or weeks to come. When either of these things happens, you’ll want to have a lawyer help you get all the compensation you deserve.
Costs associated with your accident will add up quickly.
There are other expenses you must also take into consideration here. For instance, you may need a rental car while your vehicle is in the repair shop. During this time you may need to miss work. These are additional costs that you may not think about now, but a lawyer may be able to recover them for you in the future.
It’s challenging to deal with auto insurance companies.
Florida has a “no fault” auto insurance law. This law means you must deal with your own insurance company when you’re trying to recover losses after an auto accident. This law also states that all drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP).
Unless you suffer from a “significant” or “permanent” injury, you must file a PIP claim under your policy. So, while you may think that your insurance would be liable to pay for your damages regardless of the amount securing this payment can be pretty challenging.
You may have additional claims outside of the one with your auto insurance.
Your losses from the auto accident may exceed your PIP coverage even if you think it’s a minor accident. If this happens, you’ll need to seek other financial compensation besides your auto insurance. Now is when you should contact a lawyer who can pursue any available claims on your behalf.
Although the type of claim you can file will depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident, some of the “third party” claims that are commonly filed include claims against:
- Other driver’s employer if they were driving a work vehicle
- An establishment that served the drunk driver too much alcohol
- Vehicle’s manufacturer, dealership, or repair shop
- Government agency or road construction contractor
You only have one opportunity to protect your legal rights.
You don’t want to wait too long to hire a lawyer. At the same time, you don’t want to rush into a settlement without ensuring the protection of your legal rights. These are just a few examples of the mistakes that will prevent you from receiving financial compensation.
Deciding You Do Need a Lawyer
After reading through this information, you may come to the decision that you require legal help. While this is a great thing to acknowledge, you may now wonder whom you should turn to for this representation. We want you to know that we’re here for you at Blenner Law Group in Pinellas County.
Over the years, I’ve helped many clients such as yourself deal with an auto accident. I understand that you have a lot to handle and probably don’t even know where to begin. With my help, we can get all of these things taken care of so you’re back on your feet quickly. All you have to do is contact my office to get started.
Picture Credit: Crello