If you have been injured, you may be wondering if or when you should be hiring a lawyer after car accident? After you have been involved in a car accident, you may begin thinking when is the best time to obtain legal counsel. This blog post will try to provide some practical tips and observations gained after many years of representing families and individuals in car accident cases throughout the Upstate of South Carolina. Please note that my observations are based on the law in South Carolina and I do not practice law outside the State of South Carolina.
“When should I be hiring a lawyer after a car accident?” It’s a common question that people involved in car wrecks often ask themselves.
As an initial matter, hiring a lawyer after a car accident to represent your interests is a very wise decision. Some individuals believe that they can competently represent themselves or family members in a claim with the insurance company. In my opinion, it is foolish to represent yourself after you have been involved in a wreck. And, if you, a non-lawyer, represents or advocates for someone else in their accident, then you may be committing the crime of practicing law without a license.
Taking on the insurance company by yourself is not a good idea.
First, as a novice, its unwise for you to represent yourself. An insurance has trained, professional adjusters who follow sophisticated insurance company policies and procedures in handling claims. Your claim is just one of likely thousands of claims that they have on their desk. When you represent yourself, you have no background or “big picture” understanding of the nature and value of your claim. Moreover, you do not have the legal training in what damages the law allows. Finally, you do not know what a jury in the proper jurisdiction is likely to return in your case. Therefore, you would be making a big mistake trying to represent yourself. You may think that you are saving yourself some money. But in the end you are in all likelihood, costing yourself and hurting your claim.
So, it’s my opinion that anyone injured in a car accident, or any accident involving personal injury, should obtain a lawyer to provide legal counsel and advocate for him or her.
Why is it in your best interest in hiring a lawyer?
It’s very important for several reasons. First, the lawyer can begin working immediately on your case. Your lawyer can advise you as to whether you even have a case. You need to know that early on and up front. You may not know that you have a case. Or you may think you have a case, but maybe you don’t. Or maybe its not clear as to whether you have a case and an extensive investigation will have to be performed. Also important, hiring an attorney early on in the case means your case will not be delayed. Remember “Justice delayed is Justice denied!” after all. So you do not want to delay receiving your settlement funds.
Second, your lawyer can get in touch with the insurance company and protect your rights and interests in the case and immediately begin advocating on your behalf. Your lawyer will know what to do to protect you rights and not allow anything to be done that will damage or harm your case. Also, if your lawyer is involved early on after the car accident they can provide you legal counsel and advice on key issues in your case such as “Should I give a statement to the insurance company?” Also, your lawyer can handle all conversations and communications with the insurance company so you do not have deal with the adjuster and the insurance company. You can rest easy and focus on recovery while feeling comfortable that your rights are being protected and that your claim is being developed in a timely, expedient manner.
Hiring a lawyer after your car accident will allow you to know the value of your case
Your lawyer can determine how much insurance coverage is available and the probable or likely value of your case. As a result, you can begin to plan ahead financially as to how you will use your settlement funds. You may need these funds to cover medical expenses or other bills while you are not receiving your pay check.
If you have been in a car wreck, you should hire a lawyer as soon after the accident as possible. If you cannot go to the lawyer’s office, ask the lawyer to come to you. You can ask someone you trust to reach out to a lawyer’s office for you. But ultimately, you must hire the lawyer yourself. Additionally, you must sign a written fee agreement if you want to hire the lawyer on a contingency fee arrangement.
The Thomas Creech Law Offices is available to speak with you or your family members about representing you in your case. We offer you a FREE consultation. We will meet with you wherever is most easy and convenient for you. Our office is centrally located in Greenville near the old McAlister Square now the University Center on Pleasantburg Drive. Call us at 864-235-4999.