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When to Hire an Attorney After an Auto Accident

March 18, 2024

If you’re involved in an automobile accident, you’ll no doubt have many questions and concerns. There will be incalculable medical bills, damage to your car or truck, and lost wages. To add more to your aches are the constant calls from insurance companies. If you’re trying to recuperate, how will you address these issues? Plus, when it’s someone else’s fault, you’ll want to know how you can get compensated.

Let’s look at why you probably need an attorney and how they can benefit you in this situation.

Filing an Insurance Claim

If you’re involved in an auto accident with property damage and/or injuries to you or your passengers, to seek compensation, you need to file a claim with either your own insurance company or that of the other driver.

If the other driver’s car insurance policy can’t cover your losses, you may be able to seek compensation through your own policy (under uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage). With the help of an attorney, you can assess your losses and discuss your available options through your own insurance policy right after the accident.

Also, it’s important to remember that you may walk away from the collision “without a scratch” . . . or so you think. But sometimes an injury arising from an auto accident may only develop and display symptoms days or weeks after the accident.

Finally, after an accident, victims may be offered low-ball settlement offers that are woefully insufficient to meet their needs. Insurance companies aren’t looking out for your best interest. They’re concerned with settling your claim for as little money as possible to increase profits for their shareholders. It’s not uncommon for an insurance adjuster to use high-pressure tactics to get accident victims to agree to a settlement that’s way too low and doesn’t cover their damages and injuries.

Dealing with Claims Adjusters from the Insurance Company

Filing a claim will trigger a call from an insurance adjuster, also known as a claims appraiser, examiner, or investigator. The insurance company—either yours or the other driver’s—pay him or her to do the following:

  1. Investigate, evaluate, and settle your claim;
  2. Ensure that your claim isn’t fraudulent;
  3. Determine if your policy covers the claimed loss;
  4. Decide how much the insurance company should pay; and
  5. Negotiate a settlement and authorize payment.

To accomplish these things, the adjuster will want to interview you and collect all the information they can from you about the accident. The adjuster is really focusing on number 4: the amount the insurance company should pay.

While they may be pleasant and sympathetic, the adjuster’s (and his or her employer’s) goal is to negotiate a settlement for as little money as they can. And since most car accident victims don’t think about insurance settlements every day, the adjuster will have the upper hand and is in a much better position to get what they want. So, you may think an offer is reasonable because you don’t know what you don’t know. If you let an attorney deal with the adjuster, he’ll make sure your interests are paramount and that any settlement offer will address all of your needs.

Determining Who’s at Fault in the Accident

In a personal injury lawsuit stemming from a car or truck accident, several pieces must fall into place to enjoy a successful outcome. The injuries you sustained must meet a certain threshold in order to pursue a claim against the at-fault driver. You will need support like medical records for diagnoses and treatments, and you have to be able to show that the other driver was at least 51% at fault.

An experienced Michigan personal injury attorney can help investigate the cause of the accident and use evidence to show the other driver’s fault or negligence.

Will I Receive More Money If I Hire An Attorney?

No, hiring an attorney doesn’t guarantee you a specific outcome in your case. However, an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney at Buchanan Law can help investigate the accident, collect evidence and documentation to prove the other driver’s negligence, and negotiate with the insurance companies for you.

An attorney who’s worked in personal injury law for many years can help make certain that you get compensation for your injuries, payment for your medical expenses, coverage for lost wages, and address any future medical treatment required due to your accident.

The earlier in your case, you hire an experienced attorney, the more they can do for you and your loved ones. This can let you concentrate on your recovery, knowing that your Grand Rapids personal injury attorney is overseeing the entire legal process.

Contact Us

For a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney in Grand Rapids, contact Buchanan Firm. Our firm proudly serves people all across Michigan, including major cities like Grand Rapids and Detroit, and rural towns such as Lowell, Ada, Fremont, Newaygo, Grand Haven, Rockford, and Cedar Springs.