You might not need an attorney for a simple, straightforward car accident claim that only caused minor damages. Most car accidents, however, are not simple or straightforward. They often involve liability disputes and tough insurance companies. A lawyer can take care of all the processes involved in your car accident claim, from communicating with insurance adjusters to helping you document your injuries. Knowing when to hire a lawyer after a car accident could help you obtain the best possible results.
Denied Insurance Claims
If your car accident only caused minor property damages and no injuries, you can most likely handle the insurance process yourself. Texas is a fault state, meaning you will file your claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. Call the insurer to report the crash right away. Then, follow the steps the agent gives you, such as submitting crash reports and related documentation. The insurance company may send an adjuster to inspect your vehicle damage in person. Then, the insurance company will decide on your claim.
You may not need a lawyer for a minor accident if the insurance company accepts your claim and offers a settlement that is reasonable for your vehicle damages or minor personal injuries. If, however, the insurance company tries to dispute liability or low-ball you, a San Antonio car accident lawyer may be necessary. A car insurance company may deny your claim for a reason such as lack of coverage, policy lapse, exclusions, delayed reporting, insufficient evidence or comparative negligence.
Contesting a denied claim is easier with a lawyer. For example, a car accident lawyer could help you gather more evidence to prove the other driver’s fault. A lawyer may also be able to appeal the insurance company’s denial. An appeal could reverse the insurance company’s decision, so you receive the money you need to repair your car and pay your bills. If a denial from an insurance company complicates your minor car accident claim, contact an attorney.
Discovery of Injuries
Many victims make the mistake of skipping the hospital after minor car accidents. However, even a low-speed collision could cause injuries such as whiplash or a pulled muscle. Get a checkup after any car accident in Texas, no matter how minor. Your adrenaline could make it difficult to notice unusual pain or symptoms immediately. You may notice them later, after you have already told the insurance company you had no injuries. Some injuries have latent symptoms in general, such as some types of brain injuries.
It is best not to tell anyone you do not have any injuries after a minor crash until you have seen a doctor. This could preserve your ability to file an insurance claim for your medical bills. If you did report no injuries to an insurance company and later receive a diagnosis, you may need a lawyer to help you renegotiate with the insurance provider. The insurance company could deny your claim on the grounds that your injuries occurred after the accident. A lawyer could help you establish a link between your injuries and the car accident through evidence such as medical documents, expert witness testimony and car accident reconstruction.
You may also need to hire a lawyer if your minor injuries worsen. If you already filed an insurance claim for minor injuries, you may struggle to renegotiate a better settlement offer later, after your condition has declined. At this point, having a lawyer step in could improve your odds of receiving a fair award for the full extent of your damages. An attorney can advise you on when to accept a settlement, such as after you have reached the point of maximum medical improvement. Your lawyer will not let you settle for less than your injuries demand. When in doubt, contact an attorney for a free consultation about whether he or she can help you with a minor car accident claim in San Antonio.