Car accidents are the great equalizer. You might be rich or poor, old or young. However, if another car comes out of nowhere and hits your vehicle when you’re out driving, you can feel traumatized no matter who you are.
Not many people can shake a traumatic car accident off and walk away from it like nothing happened. More times than not, you might deal with mental and emotional issues for at least a while afterward. It’s not impossible you might have PTSD after a severe vehicular collision.
You might feel like you should hire an attorney after you’ve experienced a sudden car accident, but you’re not sure whether it’s a smart idea. In this article, we’ll run down a few scenarios where you should definitely have an attorney on your side.
1. If the Other Driver Sues You
As the Gomez Firm says, “car accidents can leave pain, trauma, and a damaged life in their wake-not to mention mounting medical bills and potential disability for the seriously injured.” You may have to deal with all of that even if the other driver brings no legal action against you.
However, they might decide that they’re going to bring a civil action against you. That’s because:
- They feel like you caused the accident
- They’re disputing what you say happened
Maybe they’re right, and you caused the accident. Perhaps they’re wrong, and what took place was really their fault.
In either circumstance, though, this is a time when you absolutely need an experienced lawyer. They can look at the crash particulars and tell you what you should do. They might recommend that you settle out of court, in which case they can negotiate with the other driver’s lawyer on your behalf.
They might say that the other driver doesn’t have a leg on which to stand and that you should meet them in court and dispute their lawsuit. In either case, you can’t face this on your own. You don’t know enough about the law and how these suits work.
2. If You Have Medical Bills Piling Up
You also may need to hire a lawyer if the crash injured you, and you have a bunch of medical bills piling up. Perhaps you sustained:
- A concussion
- Broken bones
In a car crash, any of those things can easily happen. If you don’t have health insurance or have high deductibles, you might owe doctors or hospitals hundreds or thousands of dollars.
You might elect to sue the other driver. It only makes sense to do so, though, if you know what happened was their fault. If you’re sure that you caused the accident by breaking a traffic law, then hiring a lawyer and suing the other driver will not do you much good.
If you’re not confident it was your fault or you feel like you and the other driver share blame for what happened, you can at least talk to a lawyer. They can give you their honest opinion, and the consultation will probably not cost you anything.
3. If You Know Driver Negligence Caused the Accident
It’s one thing if the other driver made an illegal turn, and that caused the accident. It’s something else, though, if the other driver did something far more egregious, and that’s what caused the crash.
For instance, maybe the other driver drank ten beers before hopping behind the wheel. They took a breathalyzer at the scene, and that proves it. Perhaps they were high on multiple illegal drugs when they decided to drive.
Maybe they were driving forty miles over the speed limit when they hit your car. Any of these things go beyond a mere traffic mistake. A jury might call them criminal negligence.
You can talk to a lawyer about that. If they agree that you have a case based on these circumstances, you can sue the other driver for damages. Those might include pain and suffering, as well as any medical bill costs.
The lawyer might dig into the other driver’s background to see if they’ve ever done something like this before. If this follows a behavior pattern, it’s more likely you can win your lawsuit and collect the damages you deserve.
4. Your Job is Trying to Fire You
Sometimes, following a car accident, you need to hire a lawyer, but it has nothing to do with the other driver. Perhaps your employer is attempting to fire you because you’re hurt, and you have to miss work while you recover.
In some instances, they cannot legally do that. For example, maybe you were driving a company vehicle when another car hit it.
You were doing something for your company, so they can’t simply fire you because you’re taking time off. You also might contest a firing if you were in your own vehicle, but you got in a crash on the way to or from work.
Keep in mind that if you ingested alcohol or took illegal drugs before you got behind the wheel, your job might fire you legally because of that. If your negligence or recklessness caused the accident, they can probably get rid of you, and you can’t sue them over it.
In these situations, you can hire a lawyer, or at least talk to one. If you tell an experienced car accident attorney what happened, they can tell you your options.
Car accidents don’t often leave you the same afterward as you were before unless it’s a small fender bender. More severe accidents can leave you battling depression or devastating injuries. You may need physical therapy or surgery afterward.
If you know what happened was not your fault, there’s no reason you can’t pursue legal action against the entity or individual responsible. It starts with you contacting an experienced vehicle accident lawyer and seeing what they have to say about it.
If they feel like you have a chance, you can hire them and work out a payment plan that makes sense.