If you’re involved in a car accident, do you need to contact a personal injury lawyer? Maybe you do not feel you’ve sustained serious injuries, or perhaps you’re willing to settle out of pocket with the other driver who is eager to write you a check. Before making a final decision, consider the following reasons why it may be in your best interests to consult Norwalk personal injury lawyers for more information.
Lawyers know the law.
Most drivers don’t know all the personal injury laws that might apply to an accident situation. They often feel that if there are no observable or only minor injuries, no legal action is required, and the two drivers can agree to settle expenses off the record. Sometimes they don’t even call the police to make a motor vehicle accident report. Then, if things don’t work out as expected, it may be too late to obtain adequate legal restitution.
Injuries may surface later.
Following a vehicle collision, drivers and passengers may temporarily experience a mild form of shock in which they cannot completely comprehend the consequences of the accident. Embarrassed and possibly unwell from the impact, they hurriedly agree to whatever payment or settlement the at-fault driver offers. Days or weeks later, however, the injured person may begin to notice prolonged symptoms like pain, bruising, or swelling. A medical exam diagnoses extensive internal injuries from the car accident. But now it may be too late to ask the other driver to pay related expenses, such as medical costs and lost income, etc.
The statute could run out.
In the wake of a motor accident, the injured victim may eventually realize that more damage was sustained to the vehicle or himself than previously understood. However, if this realization evolves gradually, the statute of limitations may run out, preventing the filing of a later legal claim. Someone who is unfamiliar with the law would not think to check the time statute, and thus could miss out on trying to subsequently obtain justice.
You may be outsmarted by the other driver.
The at-fault driver may want to hurriedly pay you off to avoid filing an insurance claim, which could raise insurance premiums and deductibles. You could be offered a tempting sum, depending on the nature of the accident, and decide to accept it to move forward with other issues. But until your vehicle and you or other victims have been thoroughly evaluated by mechanics and doctors, there is no way to know how costly car repairs and medical attention may be. The driver who does not want to be cited by the police or report the accident to the insurance company could understand the nature of your losses and yet offer less than they are worth from a legal standpoint.
Actual costs may exceed payoff.
Taking payment at the time of the accident without getting professional diagnoses may result in your having to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars out of pocket to repair your car or receive adequate medical care for sustained injuries. For example, if your back is injured and begins to hurt a day or two after the accident, you probably expect or hope the pain will clear in a few days. If it does not, you may visit your doctor, have an MRI or other tests ordered, be prescribed physical therapy, and advised to take a few days off work to rest your back. If you received, for example, $500 from the faulty driver at the scene of the accident, you could now be facing $3,000 or more in medical costs and lost wages.
It is usually advisable to contact an attorney for legal advice following a motor accident. Norwalk personal injury lawyers have the experience and skill to help you understand the consequences of the accident and any costs you may incur. They will discuss your accident and applicable laws to help you decide how to proceed. Don’t take this journey alone. Get legal assistance to make informed decisions.