Why Legal Advice Is Vital in a Car Accident

Were you injured in a car accident? Did the at-fault driver not have auto insurance? These and other reasons could give the victim a chance to file a legal claim to collect compensation for their injuries and financial losses. When starting an auto accident claim, legal advice helps the claimant make decisions about their case, and an attorney may offer information about the viability of the case. 

Defining Statutes of Limitations

Each state has its own statute of limitations for auto accident claims. The state of Missouri offers a five-year window to file a legal claim against an at-fault driver. The victim must file a legal claim before the fifth anniversary of the auto accident to seek restitution.

The statute of limitations does not always start on the day the person discovered their injuries. For example, some states offer an extension if the victim discovers that they have a traumatic brain injury that was found later and is linked directly to the auto accident. Victims can get help from an attorney to start a legal claim. 

Collecting the Correct Evidence

Claimants who try to go about the process alone won’t know what evidence they need to get started. An accident report is a must, and the victim must contact law enforcement to report the accident.

Next, the claimant needs a copy of their medical records that show all the injuries sustained in the auto accident, and some states require an attorney to request the medical records. The victim also needs at least three estimates for auto repair costs. If the accident was captured on traffic cameras, an attorney can take steps to get the footage.  

Negotiating With Insurers

In an auto accident case, the at-fault driver’s insurer may attempt to negotiate a settlement instead of going to court. An attorney understands what to expect and how much the victim is entitled to, and they can prevent the claimant from accepting a low offer. The victim should never negotiate with the insurer on their own, and if they make the mistake of accepting an offer on their own, this affects their ability to go to court.  

Building an Effective Case

An attorney can build an effective case and present the claim in court. The lawyer understands what information the court needs to make a sound decision about the case. When getting started, the attorney knows what to collect for the claim and how to submit the information and records to the court.  

Understanding What Is Possible

In an auto accident claim, the victim could receive economic damages that reflect all financial losses incurred. These damages include medical costs, auto repair costs, and lost wages related to the victim’s recovery. Non-economic or tort damages are based on pain and suffering, mental anguish, and non-financial losses incurred by the victim. These damages result from serious injuries such as permanent disabilities, a loss of limb, or loss of bodily function.  

Auto accidents could produce serious injuries that are life-changing for the victims and lead to complex legal claims. If the at-fault driver doesn’t compensate the victim via an insurance claim, the victim may have a viable claim against the driver. By reviewing reasons to get an attorney, the victim may avoid mistakes and get a chance to go to court.