When Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

You put on your signal to take a left into the grocery store parking lot and are sideswiped by a driver who is busy adjusting their rearview mirror. You had your seat belt on, but you still experienced whiplash and sustained minor injuries. Is it worth it for you to hire an attorney?

The short answer is yes. You should always hire an attorney if you were injured after a vehicle collision or if your vehicle suffered significant damage. It is especially true if you were seriously injured in the accident. 

You need a trusted car accident attorney who has experience negotiating with insurance companies to represent you. The legal team at Malman Law understands the financial and emotional struggle that comes with being in a car accident, so please reach out today to schedule a no-cost case review. 

How Can an Attorney Help Me After a Collision?

Attorneys provide services that ease the legal process. They can offer assistance in communicating with your insurance company as well as filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to advocate for the compensation you are entitled to.   

An attorney can assist you in the following ways:

  • Offering legal advice: an attorney can help you discern if you should pursue legal action based on the strength of your case
  • Negotiating a settlement: a seasoned attorney will determine the monetary value of your specific case and can advise you on accepting an offer from an insurer or to continue settlement negotiations 
  • Obtain evidence of liability and damages: an experienced attorney will gather evidence to prove liability on the part of the other driver and communicate with your doctors to obtain the necessary medical records and necessary language to highlight your physical limitations
  • Collecting and organizing documentation: an attorney will gather witness statements, police reports, medical bills, lost income information, and other documents that will support your case
  • Tracking the statute of limitations: an attorney will make sure that all claims paperwork is filed by the appropriate deadlines 
  • Negotiating with a lien holder: if you filed a claim with your health insurance provider or filed a workers’ compensation claim, the lien holder will attach a lien to whatever settlement amount you receive. An accomplished attorney will have the skills to reduce the lien amount so that you can receive the highest compensation possible 
  • Suggesting Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): a seasoned attorney will be able to advise you on alternative resolution methods instead of going to trial

Recovering Damages for Your Injuries and Losses

In hiring an experienced car accident attorney, you are giving yourself the best chance to be compensated fully for your accident. 

Unlike some states, Illinois is considered an “at-fault” or “tort” state for car accidents. This means that the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying the other driver’s bills associated with the collision. 

An attorney will take into consideration the following factors to determine a settlement amount:

  • Past and future lost wages
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Vehicle damage
  • Punitive damages: pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Any other out-of-pocket expenses 

How Long Do You Have to Call a Lawyer?

When you are dealing with the aftermath of serious injuries, you have doctor’s visits, physical therapy, or possibly medical orders to rest and restrict your stress and activities as much as possible. The last thing you likely want to do is find a car accident lawyer and explain to them everything that happened. 

Starting the legal process can seem daunting, especially if you have never dealt with an accident and injury claim before. However, calling an attorney sooner rather than later is important – and it can usually reduce your stress, not increase it. 

As soon as you are stable enough, never wait to reach out to an attorney for the following reasons:

  • Evidence can fade or disappear if you wait too long.
  • A lawyer can demand that any companies or parties involved preserve evidence for a potential claim.
  • Your lawyer can inform all insurance companies (including your own) of the accident, taking this off your plate.
  • Should your case require litigation, there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, so you want to give your lawyer plenty of time to handle the insurance process.

Overall, while you have time before deadlines arise, you don’t want to wait to find the right car accident attorney for your case. 

The Legal Advocacy You Need from a Chicago Car Accident Lawyer

Before you are up to your ears in medical bills and insurance forms, you need reliable counsel to guide you through the tedious legal process. Contact Malman Law today to discuss your case and to receive a free, no-obligation consultation.