There is an average of 6 million car accidents per year in the United States and the cost of an accident is getting higher.
In fact, one recent study found that the severity of auto accident injuries is on a downward trend. Yet, the study reports, the related medical costs are rising at a higher rate than inflation.
In the aftermath of an auto accident, you’ve got a lot on your mind. One of the things you should take into consideration is whether you could benefit from hiring an auto accident lawyer.
Read on for 7 clear signs that you should hire an auto accident lawyer and file a personal injury claim today.
1. The Accident Resulted in Serious Injuries
The most important reason to seek out legal representation after an auto accident is if the accident resulted in serious injuries. There are a number of auto accident injuries that can result in sustained or permanent disability.
Serious injuries include injuries to the back, neck, and head. Spinal injuries and brain damage, in particular, should result in a personal injury claim. These kinds of injuries will cause a permanent shift in your ability to work and will also result in long-term medical care.
Moderate injuries may also be grounds for a personal injury claim if any of the following reasons also apply.
2. The Other Driver was Distracted
Personal injury claims are filed and fought on the grounds of negligence. If the other driver that was involved in the accident either struck your vehicle or drove in a manner that caused you to strike theirs, this is likely the result of their negligence.
One of the most common forms of negligence we see on the road today is texting while driving. Negligent or distracted driving can also be caused by interacting with a passenger, operating the radio, or doing anything that took the driver’s eyes (or mind) off the road.
3. You Are Unable to Work
When seeking compensation, medical bills are not the only factor in question. Lost income is also considered a valid part of a personal injury claim.
In other words, if your injury resulted in lost work hours, you are eligible to receive compensation for your lost income. This same standard also applies if your injury resulted in limited work duties that affected your pay.
4. Multiple Cars Were Involved
If you’re going to file a personal injury claim for an auto accident involving multiple drivers, it is imperative that you have an auto accident lawyer. Why?
Insurance companies do whatever they can to avoid large payouts, especially if multiple victims are involved. They may try to argue that you were equally responsible for the accident or split compensation between you and another victim. Having an auto accident lawyer will greatly increase the odds that you will receive full compensation after an accident involving multiple drivers.
5. The Other Driver Is Uninsured
When the driver responsible for your accident is uninsured, the personal injury claim process becomes tricky. Normally, it is the insurance company of the responsible driver who provides compensation. Without this guarantee, it can be harder to receive the compensation you deserve, especially if the other driver simply doesn’t have that much money to spare.
You may have uninsured motorist protection through your own insurance company. However, you may still need to work with an auto accident lawyer to prevent your insurance company from successfully arguing that the accident was your own fault.
6. Your Vehicle Is Totaled
Just like you can receive compensation for lost income, you can receive compensation for the damages done to your car. However, this tends to apply in cases where the car is totaled or damaged beyond a quick and affordable fix.
What that means is that you may still be able to file a property damage claim against another driver even if you have not sustained any injuries.
Most of the time, property damage claims go well. However, it is possible for an insurance adjuster to lie or twist the sequence of events to lower the amount of money you are owed. If this occurs, you will want to work with legal representation.
7. The Insurance Company Is Giving You Trouble
Oftentimes, if there is an issue with your personal injury claim it is because the defendant’s insurance company is causing trouble. There are a few signs to look out for when dealing with someone else’s insurance company.
The first is that they request to see your entire medical history. When this occurs, it is because they are hoping to find evidence of a pre-existing condition that could be the real source of your injury. Do not sign over any of your medical documents without having an attorney look over the agreement first.
The second is that they are pushing you to get a follow-up medical exam with a doctor of their choosing. This isn’t uncommon but be wary if that doctor underestimates the extent of your injuries.
The third is that they try to push you into an early settlement. They may threaten that you will receive nothing at all if you don’t accept a meager amount early on in the claims process.
These are just a few of the signs that an insurance company is trying to swindle you out of your due compensation. If you feel like you are being treated unfairly, contact an auto accident lawyer.
Where to Find an Auto Accident Lawyer in Tulsa
Auto accidents are disruptive and damaging. Whether they cause sustained injuries, property damage, or lost income, you should consider filing a claim. To do so, you’re going to need an auto accident lawyer.
The Barkett Law Firm is proud to have a winning record when it comes to auto accident cases in Tulsa. To begin a consultation, contact us today.