Being involved in a motor vehicle accident is a stressful time. Accident victims have so many things to worry about – property damage, medical expenses, dealing with the other driver and insurance companies – that often the thought of hiring legal representation is forgotten or never considered.

If you have been injured in an auto accident or if you have been involved in a wreck with a negligent driver, the first thing you need to do after seeking medical attention is to consider hiring a car accident attorney who will fight for your personal injury claim.

After you or a loved one have been in a car crash, insurance companies will begin looking for any way to minimize or even dismiss your car accident claim. Hiring a law firm with a proven record of successfully litigating personal injuries is the best way to get you the compensation you deserve.

The insurance companies have massive resources and legal teams. You will need a personal injury attorney capable of taking them on and fighting for you.

This may be a confusing and difficult time for you. You may be dealing with serious injuries, wrongful death of a loved one, or you may be worried about how you’ll pay for medical bills and damage to your vehicle. This article is designed to answer your questions about your options in a car accident lawsuit.

What Should I Do After an Accident?

Follow these steps after you have been in a car accident:

  1. Always contact the police. They will provide official documentation of the wreck and investigate at the scene in an attempt to determine who is at fault.
  2. Seek medical treatment for any injuries you incur. This will create an exact record of what injuries resulted from the accident.
  3. Do not leave the crime scene until you are told by the police that it is okay to leave. Leaving the scene in the accident without talking to the police could result in criminal charges against you.
  4. Exchange contact information with the other driver. This should include, name, insurance, license, and any other pertinent information.
  5. You should immediately notify your insurance company. If the other driver was at fault, your insurance company will contact their insurer.
  6. Make an accurate record of what you saw and remember about the wreck. Take notes, pictures, or even sketch the accident scene. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses to the accident. It is important as early as possible to organize all of your receipts and records from your accident so they can be used in your case.
  7. You or your attorney should check the area for third party security cameras that may have recorded your accident.
  8. Make sure that you do not admit fault in any way. You also should never sign any documents that are not from the police or your insurance agent without consulting an attorney.
  9. Many attorneys will recommend that you not mention or discuss your accident or injuries in any social media posts such as on Facebook or Twitter.
  10. Contact a car accident lawyer. They can use the documents from the earlier steps to establish fault and the extent of your injuries and begin building a case for you.

Is It Worth Getting a Car Accident Lawyer if I’ve Been in an Accident?

Without an experienced personal injury lawyer helping with a car accident case, accident victims may place themselves entirely at the whims of insurance adjusters who may seek to minimize the amount of money they will payout.

Car accidents may cause serious damage to your body including burns, disfigurement, permanent disability, brain injury, organ damage, and other injuries. Your vehicle may be in need of repairs or a total replacement.

As a victim, you deserve to be compensated for these damages and an auto accident attorney understands how to make the claims process clear for you. Hiring a personal injury attorney can help make sure that you get all of the remedies that are available to resolve your claim.

An attorney representing you can collect evidence such as:

An attorney can gather all of this information as well as consult with other experts to put together a strong case for you in order to negotiate a settlement with insurance companies both inside and outside the courtroom.

Additionally, accident victims may not be aware of their rights after a car crash and insurance companies will try to use this to their advantage. They will try to get you to admit fault or otherwise establish negligence to lower or dismiss your claim.

An attorney can help inform victims of their rights and advise you on the best way to deal with adjusters without admitting fault or saying anything which could be construed as incriminating.

Attorneys can also, among other things, call upon a network of experts to strengthen your claim, negotiate a better outcome for your claim in most cases, and level the playing field for you against insurance companies who may be acting in bad faith.

Should I Get a Lawyer for an Accident that Wasn’t My Fault?

As we outlined above, hiring an attorney is a crucial step in getting the compensation you deserve. A personal injury lawyer can help you demonstrate fault after an accident and can defend your claim against insurance companies.

Since Kentucky is a no-fault state, your insurance company will pay your personal injury protection (PIP) benefit regardless of who was at fault. An experienced personal injury attorney can review accident reports and witness statements to determine the other driver’s negligence.

Do I Have to Have a Lawyer that Specializes in Accident Cases?

In theory, any attorney licensed to practice in your state can represent you in a car accident case, but they will not have the skills or experience necessary to adequately defend your claims!

You need a personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with cases like your own. Personal injury lawyers specialize in these claims and know the ins and outs of what you are going through. They know how to deal with your case, how to get you the medical treatment, and how to get you the compensation you deserve.

Personal injury attorneys, through their experience and specialization, can provide you with the advice you need to navigate through this difficult time and get your life back on track.

“Insurance companies have people working on the claim as soon as it is reported, but their interests don’t usually match an injured person’s interests. If you have a car accident lawyer, your lawyer can speak for you and your interests so that YOU ARE PROTECTED.”

From Kevin Shannon, Bryant Law Center personal injury attorney.

How Long Do You Have to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer after an Auto Accident?

It is in your best interest to contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident.

There are three primary reasons for this:

Gathering Evidence

Soon after an accident, the evidence starts to fade. The vehicles involved are moved and eyewitnesses move on and forget details. You need someone who can build your case for you by gathering as much evidence as possible to put together your case.

The longer you delay in retaining a law firm to proactively defend you, the harder it becomes to gather the evidence necessary to build a strong case.

Compensation for Treatment and Damages

Paying out of pocket for your medical treatment is stressful and difficult. It may impact your livelihood and ability to make ends meet.

If you delay in contacting an auto accident attorney about your case, you may be losing out on your ability to get the money you need to pay for medical bills or for car repair or replacement. Because a solid case requires sufficient evidence and that evidence is time-sensitive, if you do not reach out to an attorney, you may be unable to receive an adequate settlement.

Statute of Limitations

If you wait too long after an accident, you may not be eligible to bring legal action against the other driver in your car accident case. In Kentucky, the statute of limitations is 2 years after the accident or 2 years after the last no-fault medical payment.

Many personal injuries resulting from a car accident do not present themselves until days or weeks after the fact. After a wreck, you may be receiving treatment for years which could become very costly if you miss out on the chance at legal help while it is still available to you.

If there is a wrongful death claim involved in your case, time may be even shorter. There is a statute of limitations of 1 year after death to bring a wrongful death claim before the court.

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