Face it: Nobody plans to get in a car accident. And thankfully, most people will go for many years if not their whole lives without ever getting into a wreck of any kind.
But sometimes it happens: A driver runs a red light. Or someone tailgates you and slams into your back bumper. Or a drunk driver careens out of his lane and plows into your car, totaling it and possibly injuring you. Or maybe you yourself are accused of causing a car accident of some kind.
Such incidents can leave people shaken, terrified and confused. And one question that doesn’t immediately occur to everyone, but is nonetheless very important, is: Do I need a lawyer when I get into a car accident?
The answer: Yes!
Put simply: Yes, you need a lawyer when you get into a wreck. A lawyer is an invaluable source of legal and professional support and advice in the event of a car accident. The benefits of engaging an attorney after a wreck are many and critical.
In particular you want to hire a personal injury attorney. Not all lawyers are the same: Some practice constitutional law, others are criminal defense attorneys, and others are personal injury lawyers.
Injury attorneys know the ins-and-outs of injury law; they know how to deal with insurance companies; they know how to assess accidents and argue on behalf of their clients to ensure they get the compensation they deserve.
Figuring out who’s at fault
One reason to hire a lawyer is because of the question of liability. What many people do not know is that Maryland is a contributory negligence state. This means that, in the event that an insurance company or jury determines that one driver is even 1% at fault for an accident, that driver cannot collect damages from the other driver’s insurance company—even if the other driver was 99% at fault!
It can be difficult to determine who is at fault in a car accident—and you can bet that the other driver’s insurance companies will try as hard as they can to prove that you’re even 1% responsible for a wreck so they can avoid paying out for it.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that the insurance company doesn’t try and stick you with a 1% liability. Injury lawyers know the tricks that insurance companies use to try and avoid paying out. If you want to avoid having to deal with an insurance company’s saddling you with liability and denying you the damages to which you are entitled, you should call an injury attorney.
Avoiding a liability trap
There are all sorts of important reasons to hire an injury attorney after an accident, but it is very important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible after an accident.
Why? Because, if you talk to an insurance company before figuring out just what happened in the accident, you might want into a liability trap. What’s a liability trap? Simply put, this is when the insurance company (or the at-fault driver’s attorney) tries to get you to admit to causing the accident.
If you’re confused, or uncertain, or you can’t easily remember just what happened in the accident, you might very well admit to something that sounds like you were responsible for the accident. At that point, all your chances of recovering damage are probably gone.
Talking to an injury attorney before talking to anyone else can ensure that you won’t inadvertently admit to something that wasn’t your fault.
An injury attorney can help you get your story straight and advise you on what to say to the insurance company. Your lawyer can even talk to the insurance company for you, so you don’t have to worry about even dealing with them.
Lawyers can make insurance companies pay up
The fact of the matter is this: Insurance companies are in the business of making money. What they want to do is get as much money as possible from their customers’ premiums, and pay out as little money as possible in damages.
This doesn’t mean insurance companies are bad or evil; we’ve worked with plenty of agents over the years and they’re generally nice, pleasant people. But at the end of the day, insurance companies are not your friends; they will try as hard as they can to get out of paying the settlement you deserve.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you fight the insurance company. We know their tricks; we have dealt with them many times and we’re aware of all the things they will try to avoid paying out. Insurance companies want to deal with inexperienced, confused customers; they do not want to deal with injury attorneys who know what’s up.
If you’ve experienced a car accident and you’re not sure where to turn or what to do, you should call the law offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291. Randolph Rice has years of experience working with car accident victims and insurance companies; he knows how to fight for you to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation.