How You Know When to Seek Help from a Car Accident Lawyer

In the frightening dynamics of that split second—the accident—you probably won’t be thinking about litigation, insurance rates going up, or who is to blame. All that you’ll be worried about is your safety and your family’s wellbeing. There is nothing that any amount of litigation, of car accident expertise can do to mitigate this feeling in the moment. However, once the dust has settled and you finally have a moment to breathe, it may be time to think about next steps, including getting a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles.

In 2016, there were 260 some-odd people killed on the city streets of Los Angeles. That number only rose in 2017; as of 2018, the numbers are still coming in, but the toll is set to hit another all-time high. This is only to suggest that as traffic accidents, and vehicle-related fatalities have risen, so have the skills of car accident lawyers in Los Angeles and the surrounding area risen in proportion—to meet the challenge. You find yourself on the unlucky end of such an accident, then you should recall the following considerations in order to begin to turn your luck around. Here’s how you know when to seek help from a car accident Lawyer.

Observing the Fallout

Everyone should be aware that if you are the surviving family member of someone who has been in a fatal accident due to another’s negligence (including the auto manufacturers) then you are entitled to pursue remunerative litigation. It is probably best to mention this following item from the start: just as there have been a proliferation of vehicle accidents and related fatalities in the last decade, so too has there been a vast influx of car accident lawyers in Los Angeles. Make sure you do your due diligence when seeking one out. Consider researching your potential firm’s portfolio; then, set up a consultation. In fact, the one’s whom you know are worth their salt will offer these for free.

Before considering whether you ought to reach out to a firm though, you should assess the actual damages caused or incurred in the accident. In some cases, such as minor collisions for which you were clearly inculpable, it may not be in your best economic interest to retain a car accident lawyer. This is simply because the damages that such a lawyer would help you recover, minus their retaining fee, may not exceed the insurance pay out if you, the other party, and both of your insurance companies handled the matter without the aid of a lawyer. Therefore, consider whether or not there was any lasting harm or inconvenience dealt (either to you or by you). A simple insurance claim may not cover the cost of long-term ailments—nor will DI always do the trick either.

Ally or Enemy?

In a related vein, there are times when the other party (or parties) involved in the accident may not be your biggest concern. You know when to seek help from a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles when you suspect your insurance company is acting in bad faith. Bad faith is a contractual and legal phrase that describes the times when an insurance company (or any other contracted party) essentially neglects to honor their end of the contract. Insurance companies can, and indeed will, attempt to swindle you. Such acts of bad faith can range from unreasonable delay in adjusting claims all the way to outright refusing offer a reasonable and just settlement offer. Now, often times an expression and commitment to act in good faith will not be explicitly outlined in the contract. Several states, including California, do for all that have laws that govern acting in good faith. Lastly on the item of insurance companies: if you receive a letter, notice, or other indication that your insurance broker has involved its own lawyer, then this is a flagrant giveaway that it is time to contact your own—if only for a consultation. While insurance brokers are by necessity a skittish bunch, your own attorney will be able to tell you if there’s any cause for alarm.

Finally, always remember that even if the insurance company has offered you a settlement, you can still consult with an attorney, and this will not alter the conditions of your settlement.

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