Did you know that more than three in four drivers today have already been in at least one car accident? Or that the average driver can get into three to four vehicle accidents over their lifespan?
It’s no wonder then that vehicle collisions cost the US economy billions of dollars each year. A disabling car crash-related injury alone can cost $96,200 per person. Even just property damage already costs $4,500 per vehicle on average!
With that said, you may be wondering when to hire a lawyer for an auto accident. We rounded up three of the top situations below, so be sure to read on.
In the US, there are only 12 states plus Puerto Rico that implement “true, no-fault” laws. These states mandate Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Property Damage (PD) coverages. If you live in one of these states and you get into a car crash, you make a claim on your own PIP first.
Insurers in these no-fault states must provide coverage regardless of who’s at fault. Your PD liability coverage then helps to pay for the damage you may have caused. The other driver’s PD liability coverage may cover the costs to repair your damaged ride.
However, this doesn’t mean that the involved insurers will make things easy for you. For instance, they may offer a settlement amount that’s not enough to cover your damages or losses. In this case, it’s best to consider reaching out to a car accident lawyer.
The Other Driver (or Their Insurer) Blames You
If you get into a car crash in an at-fault state like California, the other driver may play the blame game. They may insist that you caused the accident. You, on the other hand, are certain that they were the one at fault.
Proving fault is tricky, though, as you need to collect evidence and witness reports. Your health condition post-crash can also hinder your ability to gather proof. In this case, it’s best to let a legal expert handle the case on your behalf.
Also, note that states have varying “statute of limitations” on lawsuit filing. For example, you only have two years to sue a driver for an accident in California. This seems like a long time, but keep in mind that some crash injuries may take years to develop or manifest signs.
If you fail to file a lawsuit against that driver within the statute of limitation, you can no longer sue them. That’s why it’s best to have your case handled by an auto accident attorney from the get-go. This way, you can focus on the discovery and recovery of any “hidden” injuries you may have.
You Meet Your State’s Stipulated “Thresholds”
Both no-fault and at-fault states permit suing for pain and suffering. However, no-fault states follow either monetary or descriptive thresholds. Your pain and suffering must reach or exceed this threshold before you can sue.
For example, you can sue outside of the no-fault law in Kansas if your medical costs exceed $2,000. You should also hire a lawyer to help you sue the other driver if you sustained a serious injury. In the Sunflower State, “serious injuries” include permanent injuries and disfigurement.
Focus on Your Recovery with the Aid of a Car Accident Lawyer
Lawsuits take a lot of time, knowledge, and effort, which is enough reason to hire a lawyer. Besides, most car accident attorneys work on a “contingency fee” basis. This means that you don’t have to pay them upfront, only once they win your case.
That should be a good enough incentive to retain an attorney for your auto accident case.
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