Should You Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Sheeley Law Provides Answers To The Most Common Post-Accident Questions
No one anticipates waking up in the morning to have his or her daily routine - and life - totally disrupted by a car accident but it does happen; actually it happens all too often. If you were injured in an accident, you are probably feeling frustrated and confused as to what you should do next.
Should you seek medical treatment? Should you accept an offer from the at-fault
driver’s insurance company?
Should you hire a lawyer?
At Sheeley Law, we get calls all the time from people who are confused about what they should do and their best course of action, including whether or not they even need an attorney. Below are some of the common questions we receive from accident victims. Even if you have not been in an accident, this article is worth the read. That way, if the unexpected does occur, you will be better prepared. As always, Rhode Island personal injury attorney Ann Sheeley is here for you 24/7 to answer your specific questions.
Q. Should I seek medical treatment after an accident?
A. Yes. The most important thing you can do after an accident is seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you’re injured or you don’t believe your injuries are serious. Case-in-point, we recently consulted with an accident victim who admitted to “only having a headache,” which she did not think was severe enough to have medically examined. After consulting with Attorney Ann Sheeley, she scheduled an appointment with her doctor and learned she was actually suffering from a concussion. Your health and well-being is extremely important and underlying conditions can easily occur, so you should always seek medical treatment.
Furthermore, just as you should seek medical treatment for physical injuries, you should also seek treatment for any mental distress you are experiencing. Accidents can be traumatizing and have long-term effects on your mental health. You deserve to be both treated and compensated for any mental distress caused by an accident.
Q. Should I accept a settlement offer from the at-fault party’s insurance company?
A. No. You should never accept an insurance company’s first offer without consulting an experienced personal injury attorney. Here’s why: insurance companies are known for taking advantage of vulnerable people by making low-ball offers to settle claims quickly out of court. You only have one opportunity to prove your injuries. Once you accept a settlement, that decision is final and you lose your rights to ever file another claim again – even if you discover your injuries are far worse than you originally thought and you notice problems down the road.
In fact, you should not even discuss the accident or give a statement to the insurance company or attorney for the "at-fault" driver. As the old adage goes, “What You Say Can and Will Be Used Against You!" If you hire a personal injury attorney to represent you, all calls from the insurance company, adjuster or other party’s attorney should be directed their way.
Q. Should I hire an attorney?
A. If you were injured in an accident at no fault of your own, you are generally entitled to some form of compensation; however, the amount can vary greatly depending on whether you have an experienced attorney representing you or not. What happens following an accident is often a time-consuming, complicated and expensive process. With an attorney by your side, your version of the events will be presented, your rights will be protected throughout the process, you will receive proper medical care and you will be entitled to maximum compensation for your losses, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages as well as loss of future income. Keep in mind that you pay nothing out-of-pocket to your attorney unless your accident case is successful, which we can all appreciate in these difficult times.
If you can answer yes to any of the following, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is of critical importance:
You are unable to work or attend school
You have mounting Medical bills
You are unable to pay household expenses
Your injury required hospitalization or surgery
You suffered serious or permanent injury
A family member in your vehicle was injured
You are suffering from severe emotional distress
Q. My accident was days/weeks/months ago, is it too late to hire an attorney?
A. The sooner you contact an experienced personal injury attorney, the better. However, if you did not contact a personal injury attorney right away, it is still worth contacting Sheeley Law to discuss your particular situation and options available at no cost and with no obligation.
Q. What will my attorney need from me?
A. In addition to the police report and medical records, your attorney will want to know if you have any photos, video and eye witness accounts. The more evidence your attorney is able to present with regards to your injuries and the costs of treating those injuries - including losses due to an ability to work, as well as pain and suffering - the stronger your case will be for a high settlement offer. You should keep detailed records of all hospital visits, financial costs, pay stubs, and any other evidence that could demonstrate the negative impact the accident has had on your quality of life.
In an instant after an accident, your life drastically changes. Now you must deal with unplanned circumstances – from how to cope with physical and emotional pain, to covering medical costs with less income from lost time at work. Understandably, you may start to feel intimidated by tackling all of these challenges on your own.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you need strong results-oriented representation. Personal Injury Attorney Ann Sheeley has more than 25 years of experience and a proven track record of helping her clients obtain maximum compensation for their injuries, losses and pain and suffering. For more information and a free consultation, contact Attorney Ann Sheeley at 401-619-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org..