I Was Just Rear Ended...Do I Need To Hire An Attorney?
Car accidents are a mess.
People get hurt, traffic gets delayed, cars are totaled, nothing positive comes from car accidents.
And to top it off, you have to deal with insurance companies and layers.
Rear-end accidents are especially bad because you never even see them coming. There's no way to avoid them, you just have to hope it never happens.
But, at least with a rear-end accident, you don't have to pay for a lawyer because it was definitely the other driver's fault.
Many people believe that because rear-end accidents presume automatic fault on the part of the other driver that they won't need a lawyer.
Usually, that's true.
The other driver hit you from behind; there's no way you could be to blame for this, right?
Don't be so sure.
In the article below, we will discuss why it might be a good idea to hire a car accident attorney even if you were rear-ended.
- Could You Be At Fault?
- Your Location Matters
- How Bad Were You Hurt?
- Does The Other Driver Have Insurance?
- Things Can Get Complicated
Think about the condition of your car and how you were driving leading up to the rear-end collision.
When's the last time your vehicle was serviced? How sure are you that you don't have a tail light our blinker out?
We usually don't find out about those things until someone tells us.
If your car has faulty signals or a blown tail light, you can be held at least partially responsible for the accident.
Or, if you suddenly reverse or do something else unexpected, some of the liability could be assigned to you.
If you decide to stop in the middle of traffic, even when everything else tells you to keep going, a judge will likely side with the other driver.
The driver behind you can't read your mind, and they shouldn't be expected to.
The next thing you need to consider is if you live in a fault or no-fault state.
There are 12 no-fault states, and the idea in those states is that drivers are required to carry insurance, so if they are ever in an accident, they can recover damages from their own policies.
In those states, they don't get damages from the other driver to stop the slow down of the court system with unnecessary lawsuits.
The injured drivers may sure for pain and suffering, but only if their injuries are severe.
Each state will have a certain threshold that they will have to meet.
Those drivers will instead rely on a personal injury protection policy.
If you live in a fault state, anyone can sue anyone.
An injured driver can sue the other driver, their insurance company, or both.
Everyone will pay, or lose out on compensation, according to their degree of fault in the accident.
Injuries can vary drastically case by case when it comes to rear-end collisions.
You might not suffer any injuries, you might get a mild case of whiplash, or you could break your neck.
The negligent driver will be held liable in most situations, but his attorney will argue mitigating circumstances and that you're injuries really aren't as bad as they seem.
Even though the other driver was responsible for the accident, there is a sliding scale of exactly how much they will have to payout.
Insurance adjusters will have their own calculations to determine how bad an injury is, and it will be up to you to demonstrate how badly injured you are.
This is when it comes in handy having a personal injury attorney fighting for you.
You will have to take on both the insurance company as well as the negligent driver's lawyer, all while you are trying to recover physically from the accident.
It makes perfect sense to have a lawyer in your corner, fighting for what you deserve.
Your attorney will know how to approach the situation and navigate the legal system to make sure you get everything you deserve.
The money you pay your attorney is almost always less than the extra money he will get you in your settlement.
One of the worse things that can happen is getting rear-ended by someone without insurance.
If they don't have insurance, how do you collect damages?
If you live in a no-fault state, you can at least collect against your own policy.
Even if you aren't in a no-fault state, most insurance policies will have an option to include uninsured/underinsured coverage for situations like this.
But what if you don't have that coverage?
The only thing left to do is sue the other driver, which can get fairly expensive, and is rarely worth the time or effort.
Those cases usually result in a payment plan of a small sum every week or month until the judgment is paid off.
You might end up getting a little bit of money each week, but after court fees, it usually isn't worth it.
A lawyer here would help you decide your best course of action.
It's not easy being a lawyer.
The legal system is confusing and complicated.
There's a reason lawyers have additional schooling and are required to pass an exam to start their practice.
But because of that schooling and exam, every lawyer is prepared to look through every law and regulation, and every rule and code of procedural conduct, in order to get you your best settlement.
Do you want to do that on your own? Even in an "open and shut case," navigating the legal system isn't an easy task.
When you are dealing with injuries and the paperwork is piling up, the last thing you want to do is go toe to toe with an insurance company and a lawyer.
It's a long, tiresome process, and lawyers are especially equipped to handle the challenges.
There are mountains of evidence out their to prove that represented plaintiffs are compensated much better than people representing themselves.
If you've been rear-ended, don't assume you have an easy road ahead of you.
There are dozens of variables that can come into play that can make things very difficult for you.
The team at Helping The Hurt can help get you through those difficulties and get you the compensation you deserve.
Click the button below to speak with Helping The Hurt Today.