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When to hire an attorney after a car accident

A car accident has the potential to wreak havoc on numerous areas of your life. In addition to suffering serious injuries, which can impact your ability to work and support your family, car accidents can affect you financially, leaving you in need of a new vehicle, costly repairs or medical bills.

Consulting an attorney is almost always a smart move following a car accident, even if you do not believe the injuries you suffered were particularly serious at the time. Some auto accident injuries, such as whiplash or some brain injuries, do not become apparent until weeks or even months after the initial crash. Because there are typically deadlines involved in filing suit against other drivers or entities, acting promptly following an accident is almost always a wise move.

Consider insurance company motives

Odds are good that your insurance company does not want you to hire an attorney because, in most cases, insurance companies want to get away with giving you as little money as possible. You would also be wise to avoid undergoing too much negotiation with your insurance company or giving them complete access to your medical records, as this may lead your insurance representative to use those records to build a case against you.

Circumstances that warrant hiring a lawyer

While it is usually wise to consult an attorney after virtually any car accident, there are certain circumstances that make hiring a lawyer particularly important. For example, if you suffer injuries that you expect will cost you more than $1,000 in medical expenditures, you probably want someone working exclusively on your behalf.

If you believe your accident was the result of defective tires or a defective car part, this, too, is grounds for hiring an attorney. Similarly, if your accident involves a commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, or if you believe the driver who caused your accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this, too, should warrant a call to a lawyer.

When in doubt, make the call. An attorney can, at the very least, help you make the decision as to whether to settle out of court or try your luck with a lawsuit.

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