Do I need a lawyer at all?
The answer depends on a number of factors. How serious are your injuries? If they are mild and if you recover quickly, if your doctor bills are low and if you missed little or no time from work, if you are good at organizing information and at negotiating with people, then you might be able to reach a reasonable settlement on your own. However, if responsibility for the crash is contested, or if your injuries are serious or if they linger on for a while, then you would benefit from consulting a lawyer with experience in injury cases.
Some things to keep in mind: first, you can only settle ONCE. After you sign a release, you can't go back for more money if it turns out that your injuries are worse than you originally thought they were, or if you need more medical treatment in the future. Sometimes insurance companies try to rush you into settling, in the hope that you will sign away your rights before you realize how badly you are injured.
Evidence can evaporate if it is not gathered up quickly. While settling your case too soon is a mistake, so is putting off dealing with your case. A lawyer can help you preserve important evidence for later.
You are entitled to recover from the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company for the cost to repair your vehicle, reasonable car rental while the repairs are being done, plus all your medical expenses and lost wages due to your injuries, plus reasonable reimbursement for your pain, suffering, disfigurement, and lost ability to enjoy life.
What should a good lawyer do for you? Answer your insurance questions, explain the claims process, and help you deal with the insurance companies. A good lawyer will figure out what your case is worth and try to get a fair settlement for you. A good lawyer will take the case to court if that's what needs to be done.
We can help you to deal with all of the questions that arise after a serious accident. Please call us for a free consultation.