You might be asking a question to yourself again and again – “why do I need a lawyer?” Well, whether a car accident involves you, or loved ones – we are pretty sure that you want to get the best possible solution from the incident happened. In such cases, it is best to talk with an experienced lawyer who can help you out of the same situation. There are several reasons for getting in touch with the lawyer.
However, before discussing the reasons to hire a lawyer, let’s talk about the steps which need to be taken immediately after a car accident occurred.
Steps to be taken after a car accident
When in an auto collision, there may be chances that someone might be severely injured or may suffer an emotional trauma. In any case, it’s imperative to keep your calm at the scene of accident. Furthermore, the following things should also be kept in mind at the place of accident and afterwards.
Stay there at the scene
You should never leave the accident place until it is ok to do so. If you leave the scene right after the accident occurrence, particularly in the case of when someone has been killed or in the serious condition, you might be posed under serious criminal penalties for being a hit and run driver.
Check the health of drivers and all passengers
After an accident, you need to make sure that whether or not people involved in the accident are Okay. You can do so by providing them medical attention if any required! If anyone is not feeling good or having back pain or neck pain, don’t simply ignore them without giving medical help, if you can do that, or at least call the ambulance.
Call the police
If at the scene of the accident you noticed any physical injury, property damage, or death, you must call the police immediately. You should ask the cops to file a police report when they do arrive at the scene, and note down the name and badge numbers of all the officers.
You should gather the basic information of all the drivers involved in the collision such as names, addresses, license plate numbers, driver’s license numbers, and their insurance information. Additionally, if passengers are also involved in the same incident, consider taking their names, phone numbers and addresses as well. While communicating with other drivers, try to stay calm and be polite and cooperative.
However, you should not make any impulsive statements right after the accident. For example – if you say, “I was my mistake. I don’t know how it happened. How I crossed the red lights! Are you guys okay?” It shows that you are admitting your mistake legally for whatever happened at that place. Right after the accident, it might not be clear who was actually responsible for that. That’s why you should not apologize unnecessarily or unintentionally, being in such emotional state.
Talk to witnesses
Ask people around there at accident place about what they have seen. Whatever they say about the accident, note it down on the paper with their names, addresses and phone numbers. Ask locals if they have ever come across other accidents in the same place.
Inform your insurance company
You should tell insurance company clearly that you have faced a car accident. Try to speak them in a polite way and tell them the truth about whatever happened and what injuries you have faced (if you had any). Explain them each and everything in the appropriate manner. If the insurance company get to know that you have lied to them, you can face serious penalties, including the full coverage of the car accident. Get a copy of filed police report, so that you can clearly point out who broke the traffic laws, who was at fault, etc.
Keep a record of your medical treatment and expenses
You should keep a list of doctors, medical professionals, therapists, or chiropractors you receive medical help from. Maintain a proper list of the medications or treatments you have been given. Also, ask doctors to provide you with the copies of all medical bills and reports as it will help you to clarify you medical expenses to your insurance company.
Undoubtedly, you can easily document all the medical expenses, but the pain you have suffered is difficult to prove. Note down how injuries have posed a great impact on your day-to-day life. Include all those days you missed at your workplace, list all those activities that were difficult to undertake and describe how injuries have even affected your family life as well.
If any damage occurs to your own vehicle, take pictures right after the occurrence of the accident. Pictures of the damaged vehicles you will help your insurance company to determine how much they should compensate you for the damage. If you have pictures of your vehicle before the accident, it can show the true extent of damage occurred after the accident.
Be careful when you discuss the incident
You should not discuss anything regarding the accident with anybody but your insurance company, your lawyer and the police. You shouldn’t even talk to the representative of any other insurance companies, without the assistance of your insurer or your lawyer. If you are called by any other insurance company, be polite to them and ask them to call your lawyer to arrange an interview. Also, don’t forget to tell your lawyer about the call.
Get the approximate valuation of damaged property
Get the damage valuation from your insurance company. However, if you are not okay with the valuation of your vehicle done by your insurance company, don’t simply give up. Get an approximate valuation of the damaged occurred. Concurrently, talk to the adjuster about your concerns. If you can’t agree on the same value calculated by your insurance company, it’s better to talk to your attorney.
Consider hiring a personal injury lawyer
If anyone (whether he/she is a driver or a passenger) gets injured in the car accident, the best idea will be to hire an experienced lawyer. A good lawyer can help you to determine the estimated cost of recover from an insurance company, how to defend yourself if it was your fault, etc. You won’t have to pay any money upfront. Most of the personal injury lawyers take contingency fee which means that your lawyer will be rewarded with his fee only if you receive your settlement. You should always consider contacting an experienced lawyer if you want to have a free consultation.
An experience of working with other parties’ lawyers
Most likely the other party will have legal representation you will have to deal with, especially if the accident is their fault. An experienced and well trained lawyer can handle this other side of the process in the most effective way. This experience is particularly important (even vital) when all the parties have to sign legal documents.
Be prepared to deal with early settlement offers
Be careful if an insurance company offer a settlement for your damage. Check if all the physical injuries have been considered or not. Some injury types do not show up their greater level of pain until many days, weeks, or even months later. Prior to settling your claim, ensure that you are being compensated for all your injuries and suffer, and make sure to consult your attorney before signing any settlement deal.
Now that, you know what step you should consider taking after a car accident in Toronto or at any other place in Ontario. If someone asked you – what you do after a car accident in, you can suggest these tips to them.
Let’s focus on the top reasons to hire a lawyer after the occurrence of car accident.
Reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer
Not every case requires assistance of a lawyer. Going to court for small claims or battling for a speeding ticket are few examples. However, a motor vehicle accident claim might involve a police case, an injury, a wrongful death or catastrophic injuries. In such cases, you should not take chances to go alone without seeking assistance of an expert lawyer who can help you dealing with it.
Whatever the situation be, here we have listed few reasons on why you should hire a professional lawyer.
The law is difficult to understand
A non-professional will probably have no idea of what’s going on in most instances. Even inexperienced lawyers with few years of experience usually don’t represent themselves in court. A tough case can quickly unwind without the assistance of trained and emotionally isolated attorney. Similarly, not getting in touch with a lawyer in the very beginning, reviewing or signing any legal documents, can put your case in a worse condition.
You have a limited amount of time to sue
In many areas, you have a limited amount of time for filling a car accident claim. If you don’t file it within the time limitations, you will have no right to sue forever.
Hiring a lawyer will save you money
A car accident case can cross the time bars, and it may hurt you financially as well. Also, a lawyer doesn’t charge you until the case is won. Your lawyer will arrange your treatment and transportation, so hiring a lawyer will actually help you to save your time and money.
Only lawyers know how to tackle evidence
In most cases, people don’t know that the evidences obtained against them in a car accident are not true. At the other hand, in some cases evidence may be not considered at all. Have you ever thought what would you do if it happens in your case as well? Don’t worry! If you have hired a lawyer, he/she will take care of it for you.
Only a lawyer knows how to deal with legal procedures
If you are not a lawyer, you may get frustrated with the deadlines and protocols for filing legal documents and other legal procedures. One wrong step in your case could throw you out from the court.
You are not sure if it is actually your fault
Saying sorry is not the only option, even if the proof is pointing your fault. A lawyer who understands the law very well, will tell you the best options and help you to minimize or at least drastically reduce possible penalties, even before the case begins.
It’s better to deal with problems in the first place rather than once they arise
Most likely you have heard that, “a precaution is always better than cure.” Well, hiring a well trained lawyer in many cases can help you to get rid of legal headaches in the first place. Most people don’t understand the legal documents they may be asked to sign, but every lawyer surely does.
A good lawyer will suggest best compensation options
If you hire an experienced lawyer, he/she will be able to give you an idea about how much time it may take to resolve the case. Every lawyer definitely has seen a number of similar cases. In some cases, settlement is considered as the best choice, while in other ones a trial makes the more sense. A good lawyer will definitely help you with arranging a good settlement with the opposing party.
What if opposing party has a legal representation?
People who don’t believe in hiring a lawyer, will most likely face a problem while dealing with the opposing party, especially when signing legal documents with another party which has legal representation. As we have stated earlier, the law is difficult to understand for non-professionals, a lawyer acting on your behalf will be able to take any legally acceptable advantage for your benefit.
Personal injury lawyers usually offer a free initial consultation
Most of personal injury lawyers meet with people for free to discuss the case and explain all details about the case. In simple words, it doesn’t cost to ask questions and find out if you have a case, how long it may take to settle and what approximate amount can be claimed. A free consultation will not only help you to understand what type of case you have, but also gives you an idea of what can you count on in terms of terms of financial compensation and rehabilitation.