It can be easy to underestimate the complexity of car accident cases. After an accident, it might seem that you simply file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company and they will write a check for all of the expenses related to your accident.
While this is sometimes the case with minor car accidents, it’s unfortunately not the case with more serious collisions. The insurance company will want you to feel like it will be a straightforward matter and that they have every intention to be fair. This is because they want you to accept as little in compensation as possible.
If you have been injured in a car accident and you are unsure what to do next, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experienced, compassionate attorneys at Colombo Law for a free consultation. Our law firm serves clients in Columbus and nearby areas of Ohio.
Here are the ways an experienced car accident lawyer can help you:
1. Investigate Your Car Accident Case
Investigating the cause of a car accident can be a lot of work, especially when you’re trying to recover from your injuries. Many accident victims are too hurt to interview witnesses and take pictures or video at the time of the crash, and trying to catch up after the fact is difficult.
It’s important to leave no stone unturned when building your case. An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to gather evidence on your behalf, enabling you to focus on your recovery.
2. Discuss Damages
Unfortunately, car accident victims sometimes underestimate the impact the accident will have on their lives. While they know they have a pile of medical bills and a vehicle that needs to be fixed or replaced, what about ongoing medical attention? What about the psychological damage caused by the accident? What about the impact the accident has had on their job and their ability to make more money down the line?
While these might not all apply to your situation, you need to make sure you are asking all of the right questions. After all, it can be easy to downplay the accident and your injuries. But you need to be objective and realistic about your losses.
A lawyer who is experienced in car accident litigation knows how to calculate all of the losses you have suffered and develop a strategy to earn maximum compensation in your case.
3. Review Your Legal Options
It is not uncommon for victims in a car accident to be unaware of their rights. Insurance companies often take advantage of this situation to underpay on legitimate claims.
One of the major advantages of hiring a lawyer after a car accident is that your rights and interests are protected. The insurance company is unlikely to offer the full compensation you need, but your attorney knows what is due to you under the law and he or she will fight for the recovery you deserve.
4. Meet Filing Deadlines
In Ohio, the statute of limitations to file a car accident lawsuit is 2 years. This means that if you miss this deadline, you will be unable to receive any compensation related to the accident.
It takes time to investigate a car accident and prepare a lawsuit against the driver who is at fault. So, while 2 years might seem like plenty of time to initiate legal proceedings after a car accident, you will do yourself a disservice if you wait to contact a lawyer.
5. Negotiate with the Insurance Company
The job of insurance claims adjusters and attorneys for insurance companies is to do whatever they can to avoid financial responsibility for your accident. In addition to offering you less than what your case is worth, another common tactic is to try to get you to make a recorded statement that they will use against you in your claim.
Another advantage of hiring a lawyer after a car accident is that you will have an advocate in dealing with the insurance company. In addition to advising you against talking to insurance company representatives on your own, your car accident lawyer will also handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.
As negotiations progress, the insurance company might offer you a reasonable settlement that it makes sense to accept. Avoiding court may be a good solution, as it will save time and help you get compensation faster.
However, agreeing to a settlement might not be in your best interest. When choosing a car accident lawyer, it is important to hire an attorney who is willing to go to court if that presents the best likelihood of achieving the compensation you deserve.
6. Take Your Case to Court
When you meet with a car accident lawyer, it is important to confirm upfront that he or she is willing and able to go to court on your behalf. Some attorneys prefer not to take cases to trial. Trials are expensive and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee of victory.
However, a capable car accident lawyer will be willing to invest time and resources into preparing your case for trial if that is what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve. If you wonder how often a prospective attorney takes cases to trial and wins, you can check out the case results to make sure they have a history of achieving favorable verdicts for clients in car accident cases.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyers Today
At Colombo Law, we understand the uncertainty and confusion that comes with being in a car accident, and we want you to know that we’re here for you. Few things can feel as traumatic or unfair as being injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, and we want to make sure you receive the sound advice and strong representation you need to get back on your feet.
For a free case review, please call (614) 362-7000 or contact us online. Colombo Law serves clients in Columbus and nearby areas of Ohio.