Being involved in a car accident is a difficult experience to go through—whether injuries are sustained or not. You’ll likely have a lot to deal with, including medical treatments if you sustained an injury, property damage repairs if your car was mangled, along with any other details that need to be handled.
Hiring an attorney to help you recover compensation for your car accident may not be a bad idea. Insurance companies can be a serious pain to deal with, so it can be extremely beneficial to allow a skilled attorney to handle it all for you.
It is important to understand and realize that insurance companies have a team of investigators and accident reconstructionists that are working on your case on the date that it occurs.
That puts you at a disadvantage because they are able to compile the evidence that they may be able to use against you in your case.
It is important to remember, if you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you need to level the playing field. Contact a Jackson, MS motor vehicle accident attorney as soon as possible so that they can evaluate your case and hire any specialists that they may need on the front end of your case.
Should I Get an Attorney After a Car Accident?
This question comes up frequently when dealing with motorists across Mississippi: when exactly should I contact an attorney if I’ve had a car accident?
The answer, like many legal answers, is this: it depends.
Several elements may factor into your decision as to whether you’ll want to contact an attorney, including:
- What happened?
- What injuries occurred as a result?
- Who was at fault?
At the most basic level, you typically do not need to contact an attorney if there were no injuries in the accident. If you’re involved in a minor fender bender, you’ll likely be able to handle it without the help of an attorney.
With that said, if at any point you feel uncomfortable dealing with the aftermath of a crash, it is wise to speak with an experienced professional. A skilled attorney may be helpful with sorting out paperwork or other legalities.
When You Should Contact an Attorney
It’s never too early to hire an attorney to help with the details of your car accident case. To be frank, the earlier you hire a lawyer, the better.
Contacting an attorney is highly recommended if any injuries resulted from the accident. If you were involved, an attorney can help you with the next steps in filing a claim.
Here’s a handy, 3-step process to follow anytime there is an accident resulting in an injury:
- Get medical attention immediately.
- Contact your attorney.
- Never speak to an adjuster or insurance agent without counsel.
If the injury was significant enough that you anticipate long-term disability or time off of work, then it’s wise to contact an attorney immediately after the incident. They may be able to help you in filing a claim against anyone responsible for your injuries.
It is also important to keep in mind that there is a two-year statute of limitations for car accident personal injury cases in the state of Mississippi. That means if you wait longer than two years from the date of your accident to file a case, the court will likely throw it out immediately. It’s highly uncommon for the court to hear cases that have passed the statute of limitations. Even if you have a pending insurance claim, it is still wise to get an attorney involved as soon as possible after your collision to give them enough time to build a case in preparation for a possible trial.
Other Instances Where an Attorney Would Be Helpful
Here are a few instances in which the aid of an attorney would help you recover from the accident:
- driver error or negligence
- distracted driving or cell phone use
- death as a result of the crash
- issues in dealing with your insurance company
- inaccuracies in the police report that result in you being at fault
If these situations (or anything similar) arise, it’s essential to reach out to an attorney quickly so that your case doesn’t become more complicated.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
An experienced attorney will be helpful if there are ever problems with your insurance company. Insurance companies typically look out for themselves by saving as much money as possible when it’s time to pay. This approach doesn’t always benefit you, the injured party.
If your insurance company does any of these things, run, don’t walk, to an attorney:
They ask you to make a recorded statement. It’s never wise to allow someone to record a statement, however innocent it may be, without an attorney present or the advice of counsel.
They cut you a check fairly quickly before any medical treatment is completed. Once you settle a claim, that’s it. You can’t go back for more money. To get what your accident is worth, it’s best to work with an attorney who understands how long it typically takes to settle these types of claims.
They delay communications or settlements for any reason. Insurance companies, on the flip side, may move so slowly in the hopes that someone simply gives up on a claim. This allows them to settle for much less than the case is worth in the long run.
If Your Claim is Denied
It’s very common for auto insurance companies to deny car accident claims right away. They know there’s a chance you’ll give up and pay for it all on your own if they deny your claim immediately. However, the story doesn’t have to end there. You may be able to submit an appeal for the denied claim. In this case, it’s wise to consult with an attorney so they can help you position your case in a way that proves you aren’t at fault for the accident.
At 'Maggio | Thompson, LLP our attorneys will work with you in the aftermath of a car accident. You’ve been through enough. Let us help you rebuild and sort through the complicated paperwork so that you can recover quickly.
Contact our attorneys at ‘Maggio | Thompson, LLP at (601) 265-6869 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.