Most people do not enjoy court battles and would rather avoid them than seek them out. Thus, it happens that people who end up in a car crash put off seeing a lawyer. Maybe they think the injuries are minor, or the other driver's insurance company has offered a quick settlement that sounds acceptable.
However, even seemingly minor or straightforward cases can turn out to be anything but. Speaking with an attorney soon after your accident can help you keep your options open. Getting a lawyer also does not have to mean going to court; a qualified attorney can view the big picture and negotiate a fair settlement for you.
1. Injuries may turn out to be more serious than you think
You may not even end up going to the emergency room after the crash and go home feeling fine. However, some very serious injuries can take some time to begin showing symptoms. A settlement offer you get right after the accident is highly unlikely to take this possibility into account. Conditions such as traumatic brain injury can result in significant expense and discomfort throughout your lifetime.
2. Other parties may be at fault
Most people who get into car accidents assume the fault lies with the other driver. Experienced attorneys know to dig deeper. What if the crash really happened because the city did not maintain its roads safely, a car part was defective or third-party warehouse workers did not properly secure the load on a truck? Your attorney can figure out how to identify potentially involved parties and develop an approach that takes all the facts into account.
3. Insurance companies have little incentive to be fair to you
Finally, dealing with another driver's (and even your own) insurance company usually puts you at a disadvantage. Their aims differ significantly from yours. You want to cover your medical bills and other losses. They want to pay you the minimum they can and make a potential lawsuit go away. As experienced professionals, they deal with the fallout from car crashes every day, while you probably do not. An attorney who likewise possesses a high level of experience is in a better position to negotiate strongly.