Auto accidents can be extremely stressful, especially during the post-accident process. An attorney can help relieve some of this stress by:
- Preventing You From Receiving Medical Bills,
- Dealing With Your Insurance Directly,
- Identifying and Working Through Adjuster Tactics, and
- Helping You Fill Out All the Paperwork Associated With Car Accident Claims.
Furthermore, hiring an attorney doesn’t necessarily mean you are suing someone. Rather you are following a process to request compensation for expenses you incurred due to the actions of another person. Not all personal injury cases result in a lawsuit. An attorney can ensure the insurance company treats you fairly, and that you receive the compensation you deserve; minimizing your stress.
You Should Hire an Attorney if Any of the Following Applies to Your Accident
- The Accident Involved a Motorcycle, Pedestrian, or Bicyclist
- The Accident Involved a Head-on Collision, Road Construction, an 18-Wheeler, or Bus
- Death Resulted From the Accident
- Multiple People Came to Harm
- A Driver was Intoxicated or Otherwise Impaired
- You Have Extensive Medical Bills, or Missed Work/School
- You Have Permanent Recurring Problems (Physical and/or Mental) as a result of the Accident
- Your Recovery Lasted Longer Than 1 Year
- You Are Frustrated With Your Insurance Company’s Claims Process
Attorneys Can Help You Determine if You Have a Case
Following an auto accident, an attorney will be able to help you determine if you have a case. Not all car accident victims will be able to pursue compensation from the insurance company, for instance, if you were at fault, there will be very little recoverable funds. Additionally, an attorney will be familiar with your state’s tort requirements. To pursue a personal injury lawsuit you must meet the tort threshold limits set by your state. For example, in Utah, your damages must exceed $3,000 in order for you to have a case.
How Does a Free Legal Consultation Work?
Most if not all attorney offices offer a free legal consultation. This is generally the first meeting you will have with a specific legal office. During this consultation, you will discuss the details of your accident, and you may receive legal advice during this meeting.
Remember you do not have to hire the first attorney that you consult with. You can consult with several different firms, and you can compare their fees; using this information to negotiate a reduction on your attorney’s contingency fee.
How Can I Afford an Attorney?
Contrary to popular belief, the average person can afford an attorney’s services as they receive payment through contingency fees. Meaning your attorney will only receive compensation for their services if you win your case. The typical contingency fee falls anywhere between 25-40% of your award winnings. Again, you can negotiate a reduction in your attorney’s contingency fee.
If You Exceed PIP You Will Want an Attorney
In Utah, the minimum requirement for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is $3,000 per injured person in an accident. PIP can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and in some states death benefits. This may sound like a lot of money, but this limit can be quickly exceeded. For example, if you rode in an ambulance, or visited the emergency room following your accident, your PIP insurance likely already exceeded its limits (unless you purchased a higher PIP policy limit).
If you exceed PIP, your attorney can place a lien on your medical treatment or issue a letter of protection; preventing you from receiving any medical bills in the mail. If you do not hire an attorney after you have exceeded PIP it will be up to you to front the cost of your medical treatment until your case settles.
Attorney’s Can Delay Medical Bills
An attorney can form agreements with your medical providers, by placing a lien on your medical treatment. A lien is a promise of repayment after your case settles. This will allow you to continue receiving the medical treatment you need, without receiving a bill.
Your attorney can also issue a letter of protection; preventing any third-party with a financial stake in your case from taking legal action against you while your case is ongoing. To put it simply, a letter of protection will prevent a third-party from suing you while your case is in progress.
If you do not hire an attorney, you will have to find a provider that will work on a deferred payment basis, or you will have to front your medical costs. You can use your own health insurance to help you cover the cost of your remaining medical treatment. However, you will still have to pay any co-pays or deductibles associated with your policy. If you do not have health insurance you may have to pay these expenses out of pocket.
Your Attorney Can Help You Fill Out all the Required Paperwork
After an auto accident, you will have to fill out paperwork in order to initiate and progress through the claims process. An attorney can help you understand these documents and can fill them out for you. Attorneys can also deal with the insurance company directly and can easily identify the tactics the adjuster may use to lower your settlement.
An Attorney Can Help you Through the Post-Accident Process Despite Legal Status
If you are in a car accident and are undocumented, you can and should talk with an attorney. They can prevent unnecessary legal action from being taken against you. Furthermore, if your accident occurred within the United States, you must complete the claims process within the U.S. Also, deportation and other law enforcement officials cannot search court records for an indication of legal status.
If you are an undocumented citizen, you should notify your attorney so they can best protect and help you through this process. You can seek compensation for injuries that were not your fault regardless of your legal status!
Were you or someone you know involved in a recent auto accident? Call Auto Accident Care Network now at 801-683-1948 to be connected with a live care advocate. Our team at AACN can connect you to trusted attorneys and doctors to schedule a free legal consultation, a free thirty-minute massage, and a no-cost medical exam!