This is a difficult question to answer generally. Each vehicle accident is different and the circumstances vary. There are numerous situations where you can probably handle your claim on your own, such as minor incidents with minimal injuries. However, if certain specifics apply, it
is best that you contact an attorney as soon as possible, with no delays.
If the following situations apply, it is appropriate to contact an attorney:
- An accident where serious injury occurred – Immediately call an attorney if you suffered substantial damage in the accident, such as a broken bone or an injury requiring hospitalization. This also applies if any other individual was severely injured in the accident.
- A death has resulted from the accident.
- There is a clear question about who is at fault for the accident.
- The accident involves other parties – If there are other vehicles involved, bicycle riders or pedestrians, it is advisable to contact an attorney immediately.
- The police report places you at fault – The insurance company will consider the police report when determining whether to payout your claim. If the report places you at blame, an attorney can advocate on your behalf to the insurance company. This is also applicable if you believe that the police report is not accurate.
- Problems with your liability insurance – There are numerous problems that can occur with your insurance. For one, you may lack insurance or your limits may be unreasonably low. Your insurance company may also assert that you are behind on your premium payments. If any of these circumstances apply, contact an attorney as quickly as possible.
- Your insurance company involves its own attorney – Don’t try to match wits with an insurance company attorney. If your insurance company calls in a lawyer, secure your own representation as soon as possible.
If the following situations are applicable, the representation of an attorney may not be urgent, but you may still want to seek a consultation.
- You are unsure about your fault in the accident – If the police report does not name you as the at-fault driver, but you are uncertain in your own mind, an attorney can help you put your questions to rest.
- You are questioning the value of a claim – If you are not sure of the value of your case and whether it is worth pursuing, contact an attorney to gain a better perspective and make a more informed decision.
- You believe your insurer is acting in bad faith – If you feel that the actions of your insurance company are not quite right, or even bordering on unethical, seek the professional advice of an attorney.
- Required paperwork and medical forms are confusing – Auto accident claims require an abundance of paperwork, filings and forms. If you are having difficulty understanding all of these documents and completing them, an experienced car wreck attorney can assist you.