After a car accident, most people want to return to their normal life as soon as possible. However, that might not always be possible. When an accident results in injuries, the focus will be on doing whatever it takes to recover. Replacing or repairing a damaged vehicle will also be high on the priority list. However, there is one other action that deserves consideration soon after a car accident–consulting a knowledgeable car accident lawyer.
Here are some of the top questions we get about when to hire an attorney after an accident in South Carolina:
Should I get an attorney after a car accident?
It is never a bad idea to consult an attorney after a car accident. A lawyer may be able to help recover compensation to meet your needs and make up for your losses. If your situation is one where an attorney is unable to offer assistance, they can let you know after a brief, no-obligation consultation and often provide you with the information necessary to file and handle a claim on your own to resolution.
How soon after my accident should I hire an attorney?
The sooner you start working with an attorney, the more assistance they will be able to provide. A car accident lawyer could help collect evidence to show the cause of a collision, answer questions from investigators and insurance companies, and help prevent mistakes that could jeopardize your ability to recover. Moreover, your attorney has been through the process before and can guide you through the ordeal. For all these reasons, it is helpful to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
What happens after I hire an attorney?
Every case is unique, but generally your attorney will need to learn about your case by collecting information from you, reviewing police reports, and gathering data from other sources. When your lawyer has the full picture, they may send a demand letter requesting compensation for your injuries and other damage. If an insurance company is asking questions or pressuring you to settle the case, your lawyer could negotiate on your behalf and evaluate the fairness of any offers received based on legal precedent. In situations where a settlement offer does not provide adequate compensation, your attorney could file a lawsuit to seek appropriate damages.
What compensation can I collect?
Compensation is designed to restore you to the condition you were in before the accident. Therefore, a damages award should cover expenses such as medical bills, future medical treatment, vehicle damage, and make up for wages lost while you are unable to work. In addition, the law entitles you to a subjective level of compensation for your pain and suffering. No amount of money can restore your health or take away pain and suffering, but accident victims in South Carolina generally receive additional monetary compensation for these intangible losses because there is no other available remedy. An award of compensation also usually includes money to provide for future needs such as additional medical care and to offset any anticipated wage losses if the accident impacted your ability to work.
What do I need to do to collect compensation?
To have the best chance of receiving fair compensation, you should seek advice from an attorney experienced in handling car accident cases and follow that advice closely. For instance, your attorney may advise you to avoid making statements that could be taken out of context and used to deny liability. Your attorney might also advise you to avoid activities that could undermine the severity of your injuries.
What can I do to ensure a strong case?
A strong case for recovery is built on evidence. You will need evidence showing the cause of the accident and evidence of your losses, particularly your injuries and the effect those injuries have had on your life. A car accident attorney in South Carolina could help you collect evidence to show liability for the accident. This might include obtaining footage from traffic cameras, interviewing witnesses, and taking photos of the accident scene. Many times, accident lawyers will call on experts in collision reconstruction who can put the evidence together to demonstrate what happened and why another person should be held responsible.
What if I am hit by a commercial motor vehicle?
If you or a loved one have been hit by a commercial motor vehicle, such as a tractor trailer, delivery truck, or any vehicle weighing over 20,000 pounds, it is imperative that you contact a lawyer as quickly as possible to protect your rights as an injured person. Commercial motor vehicle collisions occur every day in South Carolina and can often result in catastrophic injuries or even death. Oftentimes, with the help of an attorney, immediate access to the subject of a commercial motor vehicle can be granted to uncover a wealth of information through downloading the truck’s electronic data recorder which will provide an incredible amount of detailed information about the days, hours, and seconds leading up to the collision.