How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Following your involvement in a car accident, you may need to place a call to 911 and pay a visit to your doctor. In addition to doing those things, you should also reach out to your car accident lawyer.
Do not put off calling your lawyer during this time. The assistance they provide is critical at this juncture. If you are planning to sue the other driver for what happened, you must seek the help provided by an auto accident lawyer.
You may be wondering why hiring a lawyer is so important. That is a fair question to ask. Learn about the answers to that particular question by going through the rest of this article.
Your Lawyer Can Work on Your Case Right Away
First off, hiring an auto accident attorney is highly recommended because they can start working immediately.
Time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury cases. Unfortunately, you may not be able to do much following your accident.
The odds are that the accident will leave you injured in some way. Those injuries may render you unable to move around. You may even need to stay at the hospital for an extended period to recover properly.
You should prioritize your recovery, but that does not mean that your case can afford to wait. By the time you are healed, you may have missed certain opportunities that you could have used to bolster your lawsuit.
Instead of delaying your actions, you can enlist the help of a lawyer to act on your behalf. Entrust your case to them so you can capitalize on opportunities that may only be available early on.
Your Lawyer Can Gather Evidence
Why is working early on your lawsuit important? Evidence collection is one reason.
The quality of evidence can deteriorate the longer you wait to collect it. For example, a witness at the scene of the accident may have seen the driver of the vehicle texting moments before the crash. That is a prime example of distracted driving right there.
If you get to the witness early on, they may provide accurate testimony. They can share plenty of details about what happened and further prove that you should not shoulder any of the blame.
Wait too long to contact a particular witness, and their recollection of the event may change. They may even become uncertain of what they saw at the scene. In other words, their testimony may no longer be useful, and you will be out a key piece of evidence.
Ask your lawyer to speak to witnesses as soon as they can so you put together a strong case against the defendant.
Your Lawyer Can Work with the Police
Police officers investigate accidents and determine what happened in specific cases. To do so, they gather as much evidence as they can from the scene.
Once they have gone through all the available evidence, the police officers can start working on their official report. That report will likely have a substantial impact on your case.
Your camp needs to obtain that report so you can check how accurate it is. If there are mistakes or falsehoods in there, you can mention them to the police and ask for a correction.
The importance of the accident report cannot be overstated. Talk to your lawyer about securing it and use its contents to determine any actions you must take.
Your Lawyer Can Help Prove That You Are Not to Blame for the Accident
Attributing blame is important in any car accident case. After identifying the party responsible, you can sue them and recoup compensation for all your losses. Since they are legally responsible for your losses, they will have no choice but to pay up.
Of course, attributing blame correctly is not so easy. The other side could argue they are not at fault for the car accident and try to place a little bit of blame on you.
Pushing some blame on the plaintiff would be a wise move for defendants in Maryland in personal injury cases. That is due to the way they handle those cases in the state.
Maryland follows the rule of contributory negligence. According to that rule, plaintiffs in personal injury cases cannot recover any damages if they are even one percent at fault for the accident.
In other words, you will need to pay for your own medical expenses, repair bills, and any other losses. The defendant will owe you nothing.
You cannot afford to get that outcome in your case. Make sure it does not happen by partnering with an auto accident lawyer.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Avoid the Statute of Limitations
Suing someone for causing a car accident is an option made available to victims of another party’s negligence. However, that option does not remain available indefinitely. After some time, you will be barred from filing a lawsuit due to the statute of limitations.
In the state of Maryland, the statute of limitations for car accidents is three years from the date the incident occurred.
Once you are past that date, you can no longer sue the other party. The court will almost always dismiss a lawsuit filed after the relevant statute of limitations has expired. It will no matter how strong your case is.
That may seem unfair, but there are reasons why those rules are in place. Statutes of limitations are supposed to protect defendants from legal harassment. They are also to preserve the quality of evidence.
A statute of limitations also keeps court cases moving. Bogging down the court is not ideal, so those rules help clear congestion.
Even if you think three years is a long time, it can still go by quickly given everything involved in filing a lawsuit. Do not risk brushing up against that time limit by hiring a car accident lawyer.
Your Lawyer Can Collect Bills and Records Relevant to Your Case
You will need to figure out how much compensation to ask for in your personal injury case. Identifying that number takes a lot of work.
For starters, you will need to determine how much compensation you will need to cover your medical expenses. After that, you need to calculate the repair bills for your car.
Gathering all those bills while you are still injured can be a nightmare. It is nice to have a lawyer you can trust who can handle that task for you.
Aside from collecting and calculating your bills, your lawyer can also obtain your verified medical records. The other side may dispute claims you are making about the injuries you sustained from the accident. You can effectively respond to their disputes by providing your medical records.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Pinpoint the Appropriate Compensation Amount
Since your auto accident attorney has already collected your medical and repair bills, you can also ask them to calculate what your compensation should be. Notably, the compensation package you should ask for should account for more than recent bills.
Aside from your medical and repair expenses, your compensation should also pay for your lost wages, additional damage to your property, and supplemental living expenses that you may require. Those are only the actual damages.
When calculating the compensation for a personal injury case, you should also include the general damages. The general damages are supposed to compensate you for the pain and suffering from the accident.
Calculating general damages is a different process.
They use the multiplier or per diem methods often to calculate those damages. The courts will typically be the ones to decide which method they will use. Per Investopedia, some courts will also use a combination of the two methods to come up with the general damages.
Regardless of whichever method the court selects, your car accident lawyer should be able to handle the calculations with no trouble. Thanks to their assistance, you can present a demand to the court and the other party that accurately represents the situation.
Your Lawyer Can Question the Independent Medical Examiner
As part of their efforts to cast doubts on the legitimacy of your claims, the defendant’s camp may request an independent medical examination. The supposed purpose of an independent medical examination is to reveal the truth about your condition. The examination should determine if your injuries are related to the accident.
In theory, you should welcome an independent medical examination because the examiner should validate your legitimate claims. Unfortunately, the outcome may not turn out that way.
Insurance companies may hire independent medical examiners to undermine your claims. They may only be going through the charade of conducting an examination. In reality, they have already come up with a pre-determined conclusion to use against you.
You cannot allow the false narrative by the independent medical examiner to take hold. Hire a car accident lawyer so they can question the examiner. A skilled lawyer can poke and prod until it becomes obvious that the examiner was biased from the start.
A lawyer’s assistance will be useful in proving that your claims are all legitimate.
Your Lawyer Can Handle the Conversations with the Insurers
At some point after the car accident, you will likely receive calls from insurers.
Your insurer may come calling to ask about what happened. Their call may be prompted by actions taken by the other side.
Meanwhile, the other driver’s insurer may try reaching out to you as well. Their goal may be to either push blame onto you or to have you accept a lowball settlement offer.
Dealing with insurers is typically not a pleasant experience. That experience could be even more bothersome now that you are injured.
Furthermore, if you say something wrong during those conversations, it could cost you money. Simply put, speaking with insurers not long after being involved in a car accident can be risky.
Instead of handling those conversations yourself, go ahead and ask your lawyer to talk to the insurers. You can be confident that your lawyer will say all the right things during those talks.
Your Lawyer Can Offer Protection against Debt Collectors
Medical bills can pile up quickly. With you missing work due to your injuries, you cannot afford your bills since you need the compensation from your case to cover those expenses.
The problem is it might be a while before you receive that compensation. Because of that, some debt collectors may come knocking on your door.
No one likes dealing with debt collectors. Thankfully, your lawyer can again help out if you ever find yourself in that situation. They can personally talk with the people who hired the debt collectors so they can give you more time.
If an exemption applies to your case, your attorney can check in on that as well.
Your Lawyer Can Negotiate a Settlement with the Other Party
Lastly, your lawyer can also handle the negotiations for a settlement if you decide to go in that direction. Opting to settle a lawsuit could be something you are interested in because you want to put this matter behind you. Also, you may need the compensation as soon as possible, so avoiding the courts could be in your best interests.
Having a lawyer handle the negotiations is a must because they can gauge what a fair offer looks like. They can review the offer made by the other party and tell you what they think. If the offer is not quite good enough, you can produce a counteroffer.
Negotiations will continue until an agreement is reached. Should no agreement be reached, you and your lawyer can still head to court knowing that you have the truth on your side.
Navigating the aftermath of a car accident is not something you do on your own. Work with us at Leppler Injury Law, and we will help you handle that ordeal. Be sure to contact us if you ever find yourself in need of a car accident lawyer in the Baltimore area.