Do I Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Was Not My Fault?
In the United States, you aren’t required to retain a lawyer if you get into a car accident that wasn’t your fault. However, hiring a lawyer usually benefits your claim.
If you suffer injuries in a car crash, you might need to visit the doctor, miss work, or have your car repaired to get your life back on track.
Hiring a lawyer helps you pursue the compensation you deserve and avoid liability for the accident, making recovery easier.
What to Do After a Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault
If you get into an accident, it’s important to remain calm, receive medical attention as soon as possible, and get a copy of your accident report. Make sure to exchange insurance information with the other driver and do not apologize. The insurance company may take your apology as an admission of liability.
As soon as you complete all of these steps, contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible, especially if you have serious injuries that require surgery or ongoing treatment.
At-Fault Vs. No-Fault States
States have different laws regarding insurance claims. A majority of states use an at-fault insurance policy system, which makes the driver who caused the accident responsible for the damages sustained by other people in the crash. The at-fault driver’s insurance company then pays up to the policy limits for those damages.
However, if the party receiving compensation doesn’t agree with the amount offered by the insurance company, they may file a lawsuit seeking damages including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain & suffering.
In no-fault insurance policy systems, the insurance company pays the policyholder for minor injuries regardless of who was responsible for the accident. This is usually referred to as personal injury protection. Typically, each victim in the accident receives compensation for medical expenses and lost wages from their own insurer. However, some states require the policyholder to exhaust their medical insurance coverage before their auto insurer pays towards their medical expenses. Some no-fault states even require victims to provide the insurer with a recorded statement or a medical examination.
The states of Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and New Jersey allow drivers to choose whether they want an at-fault or a no-fault policy. These are considered “choice” states.
An experienced car accident attorney will know the specific system your state uses, so we suggest contacting a lawyer immediately following your crash.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer After an Accident That Wasn’t Your Fault
To receive compensation after being injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you must file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or your own insurance provider. After filing a claim, your insurance company assigns an adjuster to your case.
Before talking to the adjuster, we highly suggest you contact a lawyer. The insurance company’s goal is to reduce your claim as much as possible, so they sometimes use your own recorded statements against you to lower your settlement or deny your claim altogether.
A lawyer helps strengthen your case by helping you determine the damages available to you, negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf, and fighting for a higher settlement.
Lawyers Help Determine What Damages You Can Collect
After getting injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be wondering how much compensation you should receive. While you might need your car repaired or help paying your medical bill for treatment, there are other damages you might be eligible to collect. For example, many states allow you to collect for:
- Lost wages,
- Reduced earning capacity,
- Future medical costs,
- Punitive damages, and
- Pain and suffering.
Depending on the laws in your state, you may recover any or all of these damages after being injured in a car accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows what damages you may be able to pursue successfully and can help navigate state laws and requirements regarding damages.
Lawyers Negotiate With the Insurance Company and Take Them to Court if Necessary
Typically, the at-fault driver’s insurance company ends up paying for your claim, but they only pay up to the policyholder’s limits. If your claim exceeds the policy limits of the at-fault driver, you might have to file a lawsuit against the driver or make a claim with your own insurance company for more compensation.
Instead of haggling with an insurance company, you should focus on recovery. If you hire a lawyer, they will negotiate with the provider on your behalf, ensure that you are receiving the best settlement possible, and bring the lawsuit to court if necessary.
Hiring a Lawyer Increases Your Chances for a Higher Settlement
Sometimes, victims who decide to negotiate on their own settle their claim before they know the full extent of their injuries. If you discover that you need ongoing treatment or therapy for your injury after settling your claim, you can’t reopen it.
However, hiring a lawyer to represent you increases your chances of reaching a more favorable settlement. In addition, an experienced lawyer will find medical specialists to examine you and determine whether or not you’ll need any further treatment for your injuries.
How a Pre-Settlement Lawsuit Loan Can Help You Even the Odds
After an accident, you may struggle to stay financially afloat, especially if you suffer an injury and cannot work. At Nova Legal Funding, we understand that victims often struggle to make ends meet after being injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault. A pending case may take months or years to resolve, leaving you financially at risk.
Here at Nova Legal Funding, we offer pre-settlement lawsuit loans to personal injury victims who cannot wait for their settlement. Our application process is fast and easy, giving you the money you need when life won’t wait for your settlement.
First, we gather your case information from your lawyer to determine if a lawsuit loan is right for you. Then, once we review your documentation, we approve your application and send you money within 24 hours.
If you ever get involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault and need help paying for medical bills, rent, groceries, or more while you pursue your case, apply for a pre-settlement lawsuit loan. We guarantee the lowest rates in the industry and offer risk-free loans, meaning you don’t pay us back unless you win. To apply for pre-settlement funding, give us a call at 866-691-0556 or fill out our online application today.
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