After a car accident, you may not think that you need an attorney. After all, car accidents happen all the time, and your insurance company's going to handle everything anyway, right?
Don't count on it. Being self-reliant can be a virtue, but in many cases a car accident victim's lack of knowledge about applicable laws and refusal to reach out to an attorney can affect how much compensation a victim receives.
Check out these five things a car accident lawyer can do that you probably can't:
1. Stop You From Admitting Fault.
It may be a morally upstanding impulse that compels drivers to admit fault at the scene of an accident, but it may end up costing you later. After calling 911 and checking to see if anyone is in need of emergency aid, you should probably consider calling your car accident attorney. He or she will advise you of what, if anything, to say to the other driver.
2. Keep You From Accepting Terrible Settlements.
How many times have drivers involved in terrible car accidents been offered a paltry amount in cash to "not get insurance/cops involved?" It's certainly possible to settle a car accident without insurance, but these kinds of on-the-spot deals rarely help injured parties cover their costs. A car accident attorney can advise you so that when you do settle, you aren't left with future bills or liabilities.
3. Easily Obtain a Police Report.
Car accident attorneys make their living getting documents like police reports with little or no effort. Sure, you could go and get one yourself, but you may have to deal with the unfamiliar and customer-unfriendly bureaucracy of the local police department.
4. Professionally Collect Evidence.
You may want to talk to witnesses at the scene of the accident and take photos with your smartphone, but your car accident attorney can have a real investigator collect evidence. This may include "black box" data from your car or other cars involved in the accident.
5. Deal With Insurance Companies, Investigators, and Adjusters.
Auto insurance carriers often form solid relationships with attorneys who are involved in litigation which intersects with their policies and insured drivers. Your car accident attorney will be able to determine which insurance carriers with which to file claims and which uninsured parties need to be sued.
Don't be lost in a fog of your own self-assurance. If you've been in an accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney today.