No one is prepared for what follows in the aftermath of a car accident. One moment you’re fine—and then, in a flash, you’re dealing with stress, expenses, and inconvenience. Car accidents also force you to ask legal questions that you’ve never had to consider before. After looking at your medical and car repair bills, you might be wondering if you should hire a Dallas car accident attorney or if you should handle holding the negligent driver responsible on your own.
If you suffered little to no losses, it might make sense to handle a car accident claim on your own. But if you’re in a situation where you’re facing serious bills, the other driver is trying to pin the blame on you, or if the insurance company is giving you the runaround, then it might be time to talk to an attorney. Let’s explain why:
You Suffered From Injuries and Other Losses
If you were a driver or a passenger involved in a wreck, and you suffered any injuries or property damage, it is in your best interest to at least consult with a Dallas car accident attorney. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation, so it’s a good idea to speak with one before deciding how to move forward. You may also benefit from consulting with an attorney if you were in an accident that involved:
- A defective vehicle part
- A motorcycle
- A pedestrian or bicyclist
- A drunk driver or a driver under the influence of a substance
- A head-on collision
- Road construction
- An 18-wheeler or bus
Unfortunately, any time the at-fault driver or their insurance company suspects they may owe a victim a sizable amount of money for their losses, there’s a good chance they’re going to put up a fight (more on that in the section below). If your medical bills and other losses are anywhere above $1,000, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney to make sure your rights are protected and you get the compensation you deserve.
The Other Driver Is Trying to Put the Blame on You
It may be a clear-cut case that the other driver caused the accident, but when the matter of liability and making payments to victims arises, at-fault parties have a tendency to shift some of the blame. They might try to argue that you’re partially—or completely—at fault because they don’t want their insurance rates to go up or they want to minimize the amount they might owe you if you sue them. Or, if the other driver also suffered extensive damages from the crash, they may try to point the finger at you so that you’ll have to cover their losses—even if they know they are responsible for the accident.
And, their insurance company might try to make you a scapegoat too if there’s enough money at stake. If you try to make a sizable (but justified) claim to adequately cover your damages, they might try to avoid a payout by convincing you that you’re to blame.
When the other driver or their insurance company is trying to pin the blame on you, it’s good to have a Dallas car accident lawyer in your corner. Having a car accident lawyer on your side means your case will be put together by a skilled professional who can gather evidence that proves the other party’s liability. And if it’s necessary to do so, a lawyer will take the lead on filing a car accident lawsuit if the at-fault driver or the insurance company won’t accept any responsibility for your losses.
The Insurance Company Isn't Playing Nice
Remember, insurance companies aren’t profitable because they regularly pay out adequate compensation to car accident victims. Rather, insurance adjusters use a variety of tricks to delay, deny, or minimize the value of claims. They might make you jump through a number of hoops before sending you a settlement check. Or, the insurer may downplay evidence of your damages and make a lowball settlement offer that doesn’t come close to covering your losses. According to one study, 68% of claimants struggled with insurance issues, such as low settlement offers, delays during the claim process, and outright claim denial.
If you encounter an insurance company that isn’t cooperating or you feel like they’re taking advantage of you, then you may need to hire a Dallas car accident attorney to deal with them on your behalf. Insurance companies tend to take lawyers more seriously than they do “civilians.” The chances of being ignored or bullied by an insurance adjuster are exponentially lower when they know you’re serious about defending your rights.
But even when the insurance company appears willing to cooperate and gives you a settlement offer, you might want an attorney to go over it with you. There are certain strings attached to car accident settlement offers. Before getting your money, you have to sign a release of liability form that waives your right to sue or file additional claims over the accident.
Bottom line: Once you sign this form, you can’t seek further compensation for your losses down the line. An attorney can help evaluate the settlement offer and help determine whether your losses would be adequately covered should you accept the deal.
Still Not Sure if You Should Hire a Dallas Car Accident Attorney?
In some cases, it might make sense to navigate a car accident claim on your own. However, most claims—especially those involving significant injuries or losses—are more than a DIY task you should try to tackle.
After getting hit by a negligent driver, it makes sense to at least discuss your case with an experienced Dallas car accident attorney—this is true whether you consult with us or another firm. A good attorney can help you understand your options and most attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Our attorneys have an average of 20 years of experience handling auto accidents and personal injury cases. We know how insurance companies try to avoid payouts, and we have the skills and dedication needed to fight for your rights and ensure that you get the fair compensation you deserve. Contact our Dallas car accident attorneys for a free consultation, and we’ll help you get back on the road to recovery.