Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

Let’s start with this – not every car accident requires the involvement of a lawyer and you are under no obligation to hire one after a car accident. Having said that, in almost all circumstances you’re far better off with trained and experienced legal counsel by your side.

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident that is not your fault, you may be tempted to try to resolve the matter yourself without the benefit of an attorney. With over 35 years of combined experience in personal injury law, we would caution you against doing this. Determining fault in a car accident is a very complicated and nuanced endeavor. It requires a complete and total evaluation of the facts of your car accident, coupled with a strong command of personal injury law in the state where the accident occurred. Many people believe that just because somebody was cited for a traffic violation at the scene of the accident, that the at fault party is obvious. However you have to understand that many times, the process that occurs in the court system related to the traffic ticket results in either a dismissal or a type of plea that cannot be used to prove responsibility in a civil case. Since fault in a personal injury case is such a complex question of fact and law, it’s imperative that you have an attorney involved early and often in a car accident claim. Unfortunately, for many car accident victims, they find out too late that the insurance company is disputing responsibility after assuming that fault was clear. Even worse, some victims inadvertently wait too long to file a lawsuit and allow the insurance company to simply wait out the clock until the statute of limitations has run. 

In general it’s unwise to talk to or negotiate with insurance companies without speaking to your own counsel first. Remember that the insurers main goal when talking to you is to try to minimize the amount that they have to pay to you on the claim. Well insurance company adjusters are skilled at making it seem as if they have your interest at heart, the reality is that their job description requires loyalty to the insurer first. When you hire an attorney, that lawyer represents your interests and your interest alone. Because of this, you can trust that a qualified personal injury attorney will give you candid advice and counsel about how best to handle your unique situation. It’s also important to remember that insurance companies will try to twist any statements that you make to benefit their interests. As Managing Partner recently explained in a Forbes Article entitled “These Are the Worst Auto Insurance Claim Mistakes”;

“A simple statement of ‘I’m feeling good,’ will often later be used to negate any subsequent pain or harm,” says Dennis Sawan, a personal injury lawyer at Ohio law firm Sawan & Sawan. “We advise that, until you have a full and complete handle on the scope of an injury, you refrain from committing to any firm position regarding your injuries. This will allow you the flexibility you need if you later find additional damage or fail to heal properly.”

Negotiating Damages in a Car Accident Claim

A good personal injury lawyer can also help you understand the full scope of your injuries, and convey this to the insurance company in a way that they can fairly analyze and adjust the claim. Remember that a personal injury case is a lot more than just fixing a broken car. Resemble most serious personal injury cases include lost wages, lack of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and future and past medical expenses. All of these factors need to be fully investigated and presented in a way that the insurance company will accept. Having helped personal injury victims for over 35 combined years, the personal injury lawyers at Sawan & Sawan know how to get the job done. 

It’s also important to remember that you’re under a variety of legal obligations when you’ve been in a car accident. Depending on the unique factors of your case, you may have either contractual or statutory obligations that you have to meet. Failing to meet these obligations to me that you lose your right to compensation for your car accident forever. An experience personal injury attorney can help you navigate this complex web of obligations to ensure that you are meeting all of them in a timely fashion and protecting your claim. 

Lastly, every state in the United States has unique rules for how they deal with joint responsibility – that is car accidents in which there is some responsibility on behalf of both parties involved. While we often think of fault as a black-and-white concept, the laws surrounding shared responsibility is a lot more nuanced than that. This is another area where a qualified personal injury attorney can help you fairly assess any potential weaknesses are limitations in your claim. Without a full understanding of the way the law may apply to your unique case, it’s very difficult for you to understand what terms are fair when considering settlement. 

Because of all these complexities, the team a personal injury lawyers at Sawan & Sawan offers free consultations for all new, prospective car accident clients. If we can be of any assistance at all with your car accident claim, we’re here for you. Give our team a personal injury lawyers a call today at 419-900-0955 or fill out our convenient contact form to schedule a free consultation with a lawyer today. 

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Dennis P. Sawan

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Chris Sawan


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