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When Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney?

Posted on May 17, 2024 in

The aftermath of a car accident can be a stressful and confusing time for you. In addition to coping with the loss or property damage of your car, you could also be dealing with physical injuries, emotional trauma, and difficulty returning to work.

What to do after a motor vehicle accident is something you can figure out on your own. Arizona law does not require you to have a lawyer to negotiate an insurance claim settlement in car accident cases. It also allows you to represent yourself in a contested forum like arbitration or litigation in car accident cases.

But there are many good reasons why you should retain an Arizona car accident lawyer, like one of those at the Stone Rose Law firm in Phoenix.

If you need legal assistance after a car accident, call our experienced attorneys at (480) 498-8998 to set up a free consultation with a Stone Rose experienced lawyer.

Here we cover some of the ways that an experienced car accident attorney can benefit you if you have had the misfortune of being involved in a car crash, by yourself or with another driver or pedestrian.

A Car Accident Lawyer Can Give You Peace of Mind

When you are faced with a challenge calling for experience and expertise in an unfamiliar area, you have two choices: if you have the time and inclination, you can acquire the knowledge and skills to do things on your own. Or, you can hire a professional who already has both to do the job for you.

Facing insurance and legal claims after a car accident is no different. You can study the applicable Arizona laws and rules of civil procedure used when resolving claims and disputes and then represent yourself in a process of learning-by-doing.

The problem with this approach in a legal setting is that “Learning by doing” is a polite way of saying, “Learning from mistakes.” Errors when representing yourself in settlement negotiations, arbitration, or in court can be costly and difficult or even impossible to recover from.

List of reasons you should hire a car accident attorney.

Having an experienced Arizona car accident lawyer means that you never have to find out the hard way how much you don’t know. Here are a few reasons to get a lawyer after a car accident.

Knowledge of All the Applicable Laws

Car accident claims can involve multiple areas of law: traffic laws, personal injury law, insurance law, civil procedure, agency law, and even wrongful death claims and survival action laws that can apply after fatal car accidents. Your Arizona auto accident lawyer will know these areas of law, so you do not have to learn them.

Knowledge of How the Legal Process Works

Formal dispute resolution mechanisms, like Arizona courts, are deadline-driven. Car accident victims who seek to file a lawsuit must meet filing deadlines starting with the statute of limitations for filing legal pleadings. They must also be aware of the time limits for responses to earlier pleadings and subsequent motions before the court.

Failing to file on time can lead to losing the ability to make a claim by default. An experienced Arizona car accident attorney will make sure your legal documents are all filed in a timely way.

Knowledge of How to Prepare Effective Legal Claim Documents

Hiring an experienced lawyer for a car accident will ensure that your documentation, like legal pleadings, will always be in proper form. 

You will never be the victim of a “technical error” in pleadings, motions, or other legal documents that can cause them to be rejected for filing. Your pleadings, responses, motions, and all other legal documents to be filed with the court will be complete and properly prepared.

Knowledge of What Evidence to Look For, and How to Gather It

Your claims for compensation after a car accident will depend on your ability to back them up with persuasive evidence. You need evidence such as repair cost estimates for property damage as well as medical records and medical bills to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.

You cannot have too much evidence in support of your side, whether it is negotiating a car accident settlement claim with an auto insurance company or preparing for trial.

Evidence from a car accident is often perishable. For example, injuries heal, physical evidence is cleaned up or repaired, witnesses can become unavailable, and memories of what happened fade.

This is why it is essential for someone to visit the automobile accident scene who knows what kinds of evidence to look for before it disappears in the immediate days after the car crash. In some cases, an accident reconstruction expert is needed to help determine how the crash occurred and who was at fault. A knowledgeable attorney for car accidents can also determine whether a vehicle defect caused the accident as well.

Other kinds of evidence need to be gathered as quickly as possible while they are still fresh, such as contacting witnesses and getting their statements. Police accident reports also need to be located and obtained.

Knowledge of How to Negotiate With Insurance Companies

It is common for insurance carriers in personal injury cases to make settlement offers quickly, particularly if the at-fault party is mostly at fault for the incident. However, initial settlement offers are typically far below the dollar amount they should be.

Having an auto accident attorney to negotiate with the insurance carriers improves your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Knowledge of How to Take Personal Injury Claims to Trial

Unfortunately, not all negotiations result in a fair settlement. You may need to press your claims for compensation through litigation.

When this happens, an experienced car accident lawyer can represent you in your legal action, including pretrial legal discovery, crafting your legal strategy, and defending you against any counter-claims by the other driver’s attorney.

Your attorney will also be instrumental in continuing settlement negotiations during litigation, which is where the vast majority of personal injury lawsuits settle out of court before reaching the end of a trial.

Knowledge of How to Preserve Your Car Accident Claim for Appeal

Plaintiffs in personal injury claims do not always win at trial. If this happens, your attorney will know what to do during the trial to preserve your claims for presentation to an appeals court.

Call Stone Rose Law Today for Your Legal Claim

The answer to when to hire an attorney after a car accident should be clear by now: as soon as possible.

Although you can certainly represent yourself in settlement negotiations and a personal injury lawsuit, unless you already have experience in personal injury law, dealing with insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers, gathering evidence, and preparing for and conducting a trial in Arizona court, you will be at a disadvantage if the other driver has legal representation.

There is no advantage in putting off having experienced, quality legal representation by an Arizona attorney who specializes in personal injury claims for car accidents. Don’t let fading witness memories and disappearing evidence restrict your legal options. Talk with a Stone Rose personal injury lawyer today to get started with your car accident case.

Free Consultation and a Contingency Fee

Here at Stone Rose Law, you won’t pay a dime in legal fees until we successfully recover the full and fair compensation you are entitled to. In the event our personal injury lawyers do not win your personal injury claim, you will pay nothing under a contingency fee agreement.

Individuals often avoid seeking out legal assistance from a personal injury attorney because they fear it will cost them too much money. You should not have that fear, particularly when you need to recover fair compensation to get your life back on track. 

Contact a Stone Rose Law Scottsdale auto accident attorney today for a free case evaluation by a member of our legal team.