When to Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident
April 10, 2023
Your primary concern after a car accident should be recovering from your injuries; focus on seeing a doctor and treating your trauma. However, you may quickly feel overwhelmed by how you will pay for the costs of your care and your return to normal life.
If your injury was caused by someone else being negligent or your insurance company is not readily paying your bills, you should hire an experienced attorney immediately after your car accident. This will give you the strongest possible chance of securing the money you need to support your recovery. Car accident lawyers exist to help injured car accident victims like you. Their job is to handle every aspect of the process of obtaining compensation for the harm you’ve suffered.
Top Five Reasons to Hire a Lawyer Immediately
When hiring a lawyer after a car accident, you have no time to waste. Here are the top five reasons to hire a lawyer immediately after you get hurt in a crash.
1. You Have Legal Deadlines to Meet and the Clock is Ticking
A law known as the statute of limitations sets an expiration date on your right to receive compensation for your injuries. In most cases, a failure to take legal action before that deadline results in the permanent loss of your rights to pursue a claim for damages against an at-fault party and that party’s insurance company.
The statute of limitations for a car accident claim in Michigan is three years. However, there are a few exceptions and conditions that can affect the length of the statute of limitations period. Those legal quirks can drastically expand or shrink your window of opportunity to pursue a claim.
In addition to the statute of limitations, other deadlines may also affect your rights. For example, many insurers require that you notify them within weeks or days to preserve your right to receive payments under your or someone else’s insurance policy. Michigan law also prevents you from suing an insurance company if you wait more than one year after the insurer denies your claim. Even more, you must give notice to certain parties—such as government entities—within weeks or months if you want to hold them accountable for causing your car accident.
Hiring a car accident lawyer immediately after you get hurt in a crash protects you against missing one of these all-important deadlines. Lawyers for car accident victims possess a detailed understanding of the potential time limitations you may face and know the actions you must take to protect your rights and get you paid.
2. Your Medical Debts and Other Expenses Will Keep Piling Up
Life can get expensive after you suffer injuries in a car accident. If you suffered serious injuries, the cost of your medical care is astounding. Transportation and household expenses tend to rise after an accident because victims often need help getting around, running errands, keeping house, or caring for children. Your injuries from a car accident can also keep you out of work, which only compounds your financial strain.
Because Michigan is a no-fault state, these costs are generally covered by your own automobile insurer – although there are many exceptions and limitations to these benefits. If your insurer unreasonably delays or refuses to pay your claims, it is unlikely that they will ever pay unless you hire a lawyer to pursue the money you need to cover your medical bills and other expenses. A lawyer may also be able to help you recover money for the expenses that are not covered by your no-fault insurance, such as long term wage loss or medical expenses if you have chosen a lower-limit policy.
3. Car Accident Cases Rarely Age Well if You Don’t Pursue Them Immediately
Even if you meet applicable deadlines, the passage of time can still undermine the value of your car accident case. That’s because receiving compensation for your car accident injuries usually requires collecting and presenting evidence to prove what happened, who was to blame, and why you deserve payment for your injuries. As time passes, much of that evidence becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to obtain.
Skilled lawyers often build a car accident case based on accident reports, photographs, videos, and witness testimony. But documents and visual evidence tend to go missing as days turn into weeks, and weeks into months, after your accident. Witnesses also tend to begin to forget important details the further they get from the events in question.
The evidence to support your car accident claim, in other words, will almost always lose some of its strength as time wears on. Consequently, holes and gaps can start to appear in your case. It can become increasingly difficult to prove, and defense lawyers and insurance companies may assign it a lower value than it would have had if you had pursued it straight away.
By hiring an attorney immediately, you can end the corrosive effect of time on your car accident claim. A seasoned car accident lawyer can quickly begin collecting and assembling the evidence in your case, preventing the loss of critical facts and potentially boosting the value of your case by a significant amount.
4. Dealing Directly With Insurance Representatives Puts You at Risk
Insurance coverage plays a role in the aftermath of every car accident in Michigan. Michigan law requires that all drivers carry liability insurance in case they cause an accident. Every insurance policy in Michigan must also provide no-fault benefits, called Personal Injury Protection or PIP benefits, that covers some or all of your medical care and other immediate expenses.
The critical importance of insurance in car accident cases makes you, the injured victim, someone insurance companies will probably want to interview. But the insurance company is not necessarily on your side. They want to pay out the least amount they can for your claim. The more severely you were injured, the more they are likely to try to push back on paying your bills and damages.
You probably need to notify your carrier of the accident to preserve your right to receive the coverage you paid for. Just stick to the facts of what happened—the who, where, and when of the crash. If you have been severely injured, you may want a car accident lawyer to do this for you.
You can, and in most cases should, avoid contact with other people’s insurance companies, especially if their policyholders might have caused the car accident that left you injured. These insurers may have a legal obligation to pay your damages. If they try to contact you, take that as a signal they recognize their financial exposure and hope to find some reason to deny you your due.
fImmediately hiring an experienced car accident lawyer after your accident is the easiest and most foolproof way to avoid the pitfalls of dealing directly with insurance companies. An attorney can take over all communications with any insurance carriers who have an interest in your case. By doing so, the attorney protects your rights, advocates for your interests, and relieves you of the stress and burden of worrying about what to say or not say when insurance adjusters start calling.
5. You Need Help Making Decisions Affecting Your Future
Many car accident victims feel paralyzed by the prospect of making the wrong decisions about their care, insurance, finances, job, schooling, and other subjects that affect their wellbeing and future. Poor choices or misguided assumptions can only deepen their physical, emotional, and financial struggles. And it doesn’t help that those decisions often involve complex topics that can be difficult to understand.
A skilled lawyer can help. In addition to working hard to get you paid, an attorney also serves as a trusted advisor during a difficult time of your life. Having represented many individuals in situations like yours, the attorneys at Gruel Mills understand your challenges and can guide you in making the right choices to meet your needs and priorities.
In other words, hiring an attorney after a car accident ensures you’re not alone. You have someone on your side who acts only in your best interests and gives you confidence in your recovery.
Hiring a Lawyer Won’t Cost You a Penny
It’s easy to start working with a lawyer on your car accident injury case. The accident injury lawyers at Gruel Mills offer a free consultation at which they can explore legal rights and options with the crash victim and the victim’s loved ones. This meeting is free even if the victim decides not to hire the lawyer.
If you hire a lawyer after that initial consultation, you will not need to worry about how to afford their services. We work on these cases on a contingent fee basis. That means we only get paid for our work if we are able to reach a settlement or verdict in your favor.
We will not charge you upfront fees or bill you hundreds of dollars per hour. Instead, at the beginning of your case, we will sign an agreement to work for you in exchange for a percentage of the money we recover for you. This is called a contingent fee. That agreement gives car accident attorneys an incentive to win for you since their fee is contingent on the outcome of your case.
The same goes for how you and the lawyer will handle the running costs of your case, such as expert witness fees and travel expenses. We generally agree to pay those costs and obtain reimbursement from any winnings in your case. Or, if you have the financial resources, you can decide to pay those costs yourself. If your case is not successful, these are the only costs you may have to pay.
The bottom line is that hiring a lawyer does not cost you anything and you will not need to pay them for their work unless or until the lawyer secures compensation for your injuries and losses.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer Today
For these reasons, you should hire a skilled, experienced personal injury lawyer immediately after getting hurt in a car accident. Your rights, health, finances, and future may depend on a lawyer taking quick action on your behalf. That is why it is never too early to have a lawyer on your side.
So do not delay a minute longer. If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Gruel Mills today for your free case evaluation. Without spending a penny, you can secure the services of an attorney who will fight to get you the money you need to pay for your care, replace your lost income, and rebuild your life.