After a car accident in St. Joseph, MO, you might find yourself wondering if you should talk to a personal injury attorney or if you can handle the issue on your own. This is an especially common question after a car accident that seems minor. But, the reality is that most people benefit from going to an attorney for legal advice after any kind of car accident in St. Joseph, MO, and here’s why.
You Could Have Subtle Injuries
You might feel okay right after the accident, but you can’t know that you’re not going to wake up with whiplash, back pain or internal injuries the next day or even weeks down the road. You might have to pay for your own medical treatment if you did not talk to a personal injury lawyer shortly after your car accident. And, this could equate to a lot of money if you need ongoing treatment or surgery. If you talk to a personal injury attorney, you have a chance of getting the other driver’s insurance provider to pay for your medical treatment.
Your Car Could Have Unseen Damage
You might assume your car is okay as long as you can drive it away from the scene of the accident. But, like your body, your car could be suffering from some internal issues that are not obvious. It might even be unsafe to drive. Talking to a lawyer may get you on the way to getting your car checked out by a mechanic without you having to pay out of pocket.
The Other Driver Might Report the Accident to Insurance
Maybe you’re sure the accident was the other driver’s fault and there’s no way you’ll have to pay for the damages. However, the other driver could be telling his or her insurance provider another story. This could result in the other insurance company contacting yours and trying to pin the blame on you. This is why so many attorneys handling car accident cases advise drivers to talk to them right after an accident — because not doing so can cost those drivers a lot of money.
Handling Your Own Claim Is Stressful
One reason some people don’t go to an attorney for legal advice is because they plan on handling their case themselves. In most cases, this is not advisable since it requires you to know the laws that apply in St. Joseph, MO, as well as legal lingo and rules about witnesses and evidence. It’s easier to set up a consultation with a personal injury lawyer who already knows these things.
You Don’t Want to Miss Deadlines That Can Keep You From Making an Auto Accident Claim
Another detail that lawyers handling auto accident cases are already aware of — and that you might not know about — involves the statute of limitations in St. Joseph, MO. You usually only have a few years after the accident to file a claim. In addition, there are deadlines along the way that you might miss if you don’t have experience handling auto accident cases.
You Need a Personal Injury Attorney to Guide You Through the Process
Overall, it’s just easier to rely on a local personal injury lawyer from start to finish than to try to take on the case by yourself. This way, you have a professional to remind you of any deadlines, legal rules and any other details that can make or break your case.
If you’ve been in a car accident, hiring an attorney will allow you to deal with all the other matters in life without having to worry about compromising your legal claim. Call the Mann, Wyatt, & Rice for advice about your auto accident claim today.