If you look at the most recently released data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the risk of being injured or killed in a traffic accident may be greater than you imagined. A total of 285,074 crashes claimed the lives of 1,470 people and injured another 125,232. Assuming that you are like most people and rely upon a car as your primary means of transportation, you may be involved in an accident.
Parties whose negligence or reckless behavior causes a car accident may be held liable for paying compensation to victims who are killed or injured. The Clauson Law Firm, PLLC, wants you to be prepared in the event of an accident by knowing when to hire a car accident lawyer.
Learn a lesson from auto insurance companies
If you want to know when to hire a car accident attorney, all you need to do is look at the procedures followed by insurance companies. Your auto insurance policy contains a section requiring that you notify the company within a day or two of being involved in a car accident. This allows the company to set up a file and assign a claims adjuster and, perhaps, an insurance investigator to look into the circumstances of the accident as soon as possible after it happens.
Insurance companies know that time is critical when investigating an accident. The more time that elapses, the greater the chances of the following occurring:
- Evidence that may help prove the cause of an accident can be lost or destroyed.
- Locating witnesses who may have seen an accident becomes more difficult over time.
- Memories and recollection of witnesses fade over time and become less reliable.
You want your attorney to have the same access to witnesses and evidence as the other party’s insurance company, so hiring a car accident lawyer right away ensures that you are not at a disadvantage.
How do you know that you need a lawyer?
You should at least speak with a lawyer if you have been injured or if a family member has been killed in an accident. Do not make assumptions about who may or may not have been at fault in causing a crash. Recognizing that an accident was caused by the reckless or negligent conduct of another party takes experience and knowledge of the law, which is why you should let a car accident attorney look at the facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a collision and the parties who may be at fault.
A lawyer knows from years of experience to look beyond drivers involved in a crash to identify other parties who may also be at fault. For example, if your car is in a crash with an out-of-control truck, it may not only be the truck driver who is at fault. A claim for damages may be brought against the shipping company whose improper loading of the truck caused the cargo to shift and result in a loss of control of the vehicle. However, proving fault takes evidence, so hiring a lawyer sooner rather than later ensures that work can begin gathering the evidence needed to build a strong claim for compensation on your behalf.
Why not handle a claim for damages on your own?
A North Carolina car accident attorney spends years learning how to apply the law to the facts of a case to develop a strategy to pursue the maximum compensation available to a person injured or to family members of a victim killed in a car crash. When you attempt to handle a claim on your own, you lose out on the following:
- A lawyer has the ability to determine the value of a claim. Claims adjusters frequently tempt accident victims with offers to quickly settle a claim. A person without a lawyer may end up settling for an amount well below the true value of the case.
- Lawyers know how to gather and present evidence in a way that is most favorable to your claim.
- Lawyers know how to anticipate defenses and build a strategy with the evidence to support it to overcome defenses that could jeopardize the recovery of damages by their clients.
- Lawyers know how to draft pleadings and comply with the rules and procedures that govern taking a car accident case to court.
Insurance companies have teams of attorneys to defend claims made against their policyholders. An experienced car accident lawyer levels the playing field by taking away the advantage the at-fault party has when you attempt to handle a claim on your own.
Contact a North Carolina lawyer today
If you have been injured or had a loved one killed in a car accident, the time to hire a car accident lawyer is now. A free consultation and case evaluation by a lawyer at The Clauson Law Firm, PLLC, protects your right to compensation and provides options for pursuing a claim against the party whose fault caused the accident. Call us today at 833-680-0177 or contact us at our website.