Before we jump in, let’s get one thing straight: tort or civil cases are different from criminal cases in the United States’ justice system. You do not actually have a legal obligation to hire a lawyer in the instances described below, but you will certainly want one. Hiring an attorney requires due diligence on the part of the litigant, and you will definitely want to take advantage of free consultations with lawyers where you can, to get a feel for what type of case you may or may not have and what type of attorney will best fit your needs. For instance, those in Los Angeles might consider the Los Angeles personal injury lawyer, the Barnes Firm.
The good news is that fatalities from traffic accidents are down. The bad news is that even when you are doing everything right on the road, there may be someone who is not, thus putting you in harm’s way. Here are the types of accidents that ought to get legal help.
If you’ve kept up with your driver’s manual and have made a good faith effort in maintaining your vehicle’s good condition, but you still suffered an accident as the result of machine failure, it might be worth getting legal advice. Your accident may be resultant of negligence on the part of either your car’s manufacturer or any auto repair shops you’ve recently visited, so it’s worth seeing if you might have a case.
Driving recklessly and without regard to the rules of the road is a selfish undertaking, but sometimes youth or inexperience makes us feel invincible. Mistakes happen. Even still, you should not have to pay for someone else’s disregard for the rule of law. Speeding, running through red lights, making illegal U-turns—these are things that people ought to be held responsible for, and doubly so, if you have been injured as a result of their actions.
Side-Impact or Head-On Collisions
Side-impact collision cases may seem cut and dry, but they can be harder to parse than you think. Head-On collisions are just as nuanced: there are a lot of factors to consider, and an experienced lawyer who has seen it all can help you make your case in an effective way.
Another Party is Fudging the Details
If someone is tampering with their car—or yours!–and other evidence on-site, you should call a lawyer without fail. If someone is blatant enough in their fraud that you can catch or even suspect them, who knows how else they might try to get one over on you? Call the cops, document everything, and consult with an attorney, ASAP.
Accidents Involving More than Two Vehicles
Who has the time to navigate the complex mysteries of the insurance system? Two insurance agencies to contend with is enough. More than two, and you are just asking for a headache and a half. If you have property damage or an injury to contend with on top of the accident itself, save yourself time and money and consult with an attorney.
Someone Sustained an Injury
Whether it is you, the other driver or any occupant of either vehicle has sustained an injury, you should consult with an attorney. Usually, you will work with your insurance company on this, but if you are not seeing results or are feeling ghosted by your insurance provider, you should hire someone who works solely for your interests.
A Commercial Vehicle
If a commercial vehicle caused or was involved in an accident you suffered, you should lawyer up, because the trucking company definitely will! They are voracious in protecting their assets, and you should take the same tact in protecting your own.
Pedestrian or Biker
If you were the pedestrian or biker in question and were hit by a vehicle, you should definitely be calling an attorney immediately. Otherwise, if it was you that made the unfortunate mistake of hitting a cyclist or pedestrian, you should protect yourself and lawyer up, or at least consider it…just in case.
Excessive Property Damage
If an accident you were involved in resulted in damage of property in excess of $1,000, you should call an attorney. For one thing, you could be on the hook for a number much greater (or lower!) than what you initially suspect, so an attorney can prepare you for what to expect. Further, laws concerning property damage and liability vary from state to state. Unless you, yourself, are a practicing lawyer in that particular state, it’s likely you don’t know the intricacies.
Be safe out there, and please, wear your seatbelt!