If you're involved in a car accident that isn't your fault, you may think you don't need a lawyer. After all, you saw the other driver behaving carelessly right before the crash. Unfortunately, that's not how it works. The other driver may deny liability and even point the finger at you as the cause of the accident.
And, even if they accept responsibility, their insurance company may deny your losses are as serious as you claim. Read on to learn other reasons why hiring a lawyer is necessary, even if you're innocent.
You Need to Prove the Other Party Is at Fault
You may decide to file a lawsuit or claim against the negligent party. But for your case to be successful, you need to prove how their negligence caused the accident.
Your attorney will investigate the accident and gather evidence using various means like accident photos and videos, witness statements, at-fault party statements, police reports, and surveillance footage. They'll also prove the accident has caused your injuries, property damage, and emotional losses, so you get the compensation you deserve.
Fault Rules in Your State May Complicate Things
Some states use a negligence rule called modified comparative fault when more than one person is at fault for the accident. Under this rule, you can only be compensated if you're less than 50% at fault. And even then, the compensation is reduced depending on your role in the accident. If you bear over 50% of the blame, you aren't entitled to receive any damages.
Other states use contributory negligence where you can only receive compensation from the other driver if they're 100% at fault for the accident. Even minor details could make a big difference in whether you receive compensation or not. Overall, irrespective of the fault rules in your state, you need a car accident attorney beside you to ensure you're getting a fair deal.
You May Need a Larger Settlement
Assuming the other driver has accepted liability for the accident, you'll still need a lawyer to ensure you get the best possible compensation. If you're negotiating your own claims, you risk settling too early before you have completely recovered from your injuries or known the full extent of your vehicle's damage. Later, you might find out you have long-term injuries that need continuing therapy or treatment.
Your lawyer cannot be tricked into accepting a low offer. They know when an accident might result in long-term problems. They can even organize for you to undergo additional medical tests to determine the severity of your condition. This increases your chances of getting higher compensation.
For more information, contact a car accident attorney, such as one from Aldridge Teasdale PLLC.