When Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

When Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

Being in a car accident is a traumatizing experience that can leave you confused and unsure of whether or not to hire a lawyer to represent you. Do not delay making this decision. Unless the car accident causes only minor property damage and no injuries, it is advisable to contact a lawyer as soon as you can after a crash.

If the accident is serious, it can result in major property damage, injuries, and even death. Survivors must deal with mounting medical bills at a time they may be unable to work, and financial losses can easily exceed the limits of a car insurance policy. You should be entitled to compensation, but the insurances companies will attempt to keep you from getting what you deserve. If you try to fight them on your own, it is easy to make costly mistakes, so it is better to let an experienced car accident lawyer take care of all negotiations and legal hurdles necessary to win a fair settlement. While no amount of money can make up for the trauma, pain, and suffering from a major accident, a monetary award can help alleviate your financial worries so you can focus on your recovery.

Why Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?

Car accident claims can be extremely complicated and stressful. Having an experienced lawyer to handle your case and answer questions from the start can alleviate stress and increase the chances of getting optimum compensation.  Here are some reasons why you should hire an attorney right away:

Lawyers deal with insurance companies. Insurance companies are out for profit and want to pay out as little as possible, and they have high-powered lawyers working to deny or lower your claim. They will use tactics such as offering a quick settlement for less than your case is worth or tricking you to say something that will shift the blame for the accident on you. It is best not to speak to the insurance company or make a recorded statement. Instead, tell them to talk to your lawyer, and let your lawyer protect your rights.

There are time limits for filing. Missouri has a statute of limitations, (Title XXXV section 516.120) which allows only five years after the date of the accident to file a lawsuit for personal injuries and damage to personal property, and three years in cases of wrongful death. It takes time to do research and build a case, and if you fail to file within these time limits, the courts are likely to refuse to hear it.

Preserving evidence and witnesses. The longer it takes to investigate, the more likely it is that evidence and witnesses you need to prove your claim can disappear. Your car accident lawyer knows this and will start to gather evidence and interview witnesses immediately.

There can be disputed liability. If the other party disputes or denies liability for the accident, tries to blame you, or if there are conflicting reports about fault, your lawyer can help fight these conflicting claims.

There may be complex circumstances. In cases involving multiple vehicles, unclear road conditions, government entities, large commercial vehicles, or other complex factors, your attorney can help sort through the details and build a strong case.

Your case will be taken more seriously. Insurance companies are more likely to negotiate in good faith and take your case seriously if they know you have an attorney on your side that is willing to take your case to court if necessary.

What Car Crash Circumstances Require Legal Assistance?

Having an attorney to assist you is most crucial if the accident involved the following situations:

  • You or someone else involved in the accident has sustained serious injuries or there has been a fatality.
  • Your injuries are painful and getting worse – some injuries take time to manifest.
  • You are unable to work or go to school and experience loss of income.
  • You were a passenger in a vehicle.
  • A commercial vehicle or an Uber of Lyft rideshare was involved.
  • The other driver lacked insurance or fled the accident scene.
  • The other driver’s insurance company is pushing you to accept an inadequate settlement.

How Does a Car Accident Attorney in Missouri Help?

When you retain a Missouri car accident attorney, your attorney will do the following to ensure your claim is handled correctly:

  • Meet with you to discuss how the accident happened, who you think the at-fault parties may be, and determine what type of settlement to go after.
  • Investigate the accident thoroughly, gathering evidence such as photos and videos from the scene and from police, ambulance and medical reports and interviewing witnesses and first responders.
  • Assess all your damages, including current and future medical bills, all forms of lost income, damaged property, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.  In a successful case, Missouri law allows recovery for all these damages.
  • Consult with experts in accident reconstruction and experts who can testify as to your costs, damages, and the expected effects on your life.
  • Demand damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
  • Communicate with other parties, such as creditors, insurance adjusters, and opposing counsel.
  • Negotiate aggressively for maximum compensation.
  • Build your case and take it to court to win full and fair compensation if necessary.

Get Help from a Car Accident Lawyer You Can Trust

After a serious car accident, you can trust the Birk Law Firm to help. When we sign on as your lawyers, you can count on us for personal, compassionate attention as well as aggressive legal counsel throughout the entire process.

Attorney Kelvin Birk is a Certified Public Accountant as well as a lawyer, and this combined expertise allows our law firm to provide an especially high level of service. We understand how much an automobile accident can affect your life and your family, from recovering from your injuries, to being able to work, to paying medical bills and getting your car back on the road, and we will work tirelessly to establish liability and put together a strong case for you.

We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency basis so there are no fees to you unless and until we win your case. Call our Cape Girardeau car accident attorney today at 573-332-8585 to get started.

FREE CONSULT 573-332-8585

Attorney Kelvin Birk

Attorney Kelvin Birk

Kelvin Birk is a lawyer as well as a certified public accountant, with more than 30 years of experience in accounting and tax and business consulting, and more than 20 years of experience in numerous legal matters. This combined expertise allows our law firm to provide a level of service above that of other firms. Whatever your legal situation, your attorney at Birk Law Firm can counsel you as to the tax implications. We have experience in providing myriad legal representation services to residents of southeast Missouri and other areas.. [ Attorney Bio ]