Should You Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
Have you been in a fender bender or worse?
If you find yourself in a car accident, it’s important to know what information to collect from the different parties involved, as over two-thirds of vehicle accidents involve two or more vehicles. Keep reading to learn that, whether you should hire a car accident lawyer, and issues involved with settling or going to trial.
Car wrecks are considered negligence or “torts” in legal courts. No auto accident lawyer should try to “value” your claim over the phone without full knowledge of your claim and insurance coverages.
Unless your injuries were minor, it’s in your best interests to call a Missoula car accident attorney immediately after you seek medical treatment. If the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, you definitely want to talk to an attorney after your car accident, otherwise you might not get fairly compensated for injuries or damage.
You should also call a lawyer if the other driver is arguing with you about whose fault the accident was, or if you feel for any other reason like you’re being taken advantage of. It’s my job to make sure you don’t get shortchanged by the insurance companies or the other driver — and I take that responsibility very seriously.
This isn’t a time to be brave or suck up aches and pains. Don’t downplay your injuries to your physical therapist in an attempt to be positive. What starts as a minor annoyance after a wreck can plague you for years. Saving face or looking strong just isn’t worth it.
What to Do If You’re in a Car Accident
According to the Montana Department of Transportation, 18,841 Montana drivers were in car accidents in 2012, killing 192 people and injuring 7,564 others. Drunk drivers were involved in over half (113) of those fatal accidents. And Montana is the #2 state for deer-car collisions, mostly in November (deer mating season). Suddenly braking to avoid a deer can inadvertently cause rear-ending.
Here is a free checklist to print out and carry in your glove box in case you get in an accident. If you’re dazed or overwhelmed after a wreck, having a prompt for what info to write down will help make sure you gather the necessary information. If you’re worried about identity theft, give other drivers your insurance and license information, but don’t let them take a photo of your driver’s license.
Whether or not you carry a car accident checklist with you, make sure you call the police, get medical treatment if you’re hurt, and write down the following:
- Date, time, and place of the accident
- Driving conditions (Was it raining? Was the sun in your eyes?)
- Other driver’s name, address, and other contact info
- Other driver’s vehicle make, license plate number, and state
- Other driver’s insurance company and policy number
- Names and addresses of witnesses
If you have a smartphone, snap some quick photos of the scene, your car, and any other cars involved. Inform your insurance company of the accident, but don’t make a statement to insurance adjusters until you call a reputable, experienced car accident lawyer. He or she will be your intermediary with insurance. Last, make sure you file a report with your local DMV and save a copy in your records.
Right after a crash, you might be tempted to blurt out apologies. But do not admit fault, even if you caused the accident! If you take one thing away from this blog post, I hope it’s that.
What Will Happen Next
If a motor vehicle collision is the fault of another driver, you have the right to be compensated for your out-of-pocket expenses as well as your pain and suffering from the event. Translation: Your insurance company should cover your healthcare costs and damage to your car, as well as any wages from missing work. Make no mistake, they’ll try to wriggle out of that. Good car accident lawyers like me won’t let them.
Once you’ve hired the Judnich Law Office, we alert your and the other driver’s insurance companies that we will be representing you, and all requests must go through us. If necessary, we at the Judnich Law Office will investigate the accident, including examining the police reports, witness accounts, medical records, and documentation of property damage. (That’s one reason documenting everything right after the accident is so important, even if you’re shaken up. It will help me build a strong case for you.)
Should You Settle or Go To Court?
Car accident lawyers can help examine your case and help you decide if a settlement or court trial is the fairest route for you, based on whether the accident was your fault and other factors. A lawyer can examine your case and see if the other party is properly covering your out-of-pocket expenses and pain and suffering compensation. If the other party isn’t acting in your best interests, my firm can help you negotiate the best settlement. If the other party is unwilling to fairly meet your settlement terms, I can file a lawsuit and represent you in court to ensure your best interests are served.
Why Hire the Judnich Law Office?
Here at the Judnich Law Office, our car accident attorneys are extremely successful at negotiating and, if necessary, suing on behalf of clients injured in car accidents. In the moments following a crash, you feel afraid, vulnerable, angry, and even guilty — and insurance companies will take advantage of the situation. We stick up for your rights and do our best to ensure this car accident doesn’t define the rest of your life, physically or financially.
Flipped car photo: iwanp
We’re on Your Side.
We are Missoula-based attorneys focusing on Criminal Defense with a history of winning cases.
Client comfort and confidence is our goal.
Clients Trust Judnich Law
“I came into Judnich Law Office frustrated after settling my claim before I knew I was badly hurt.
Marty was able to reopen my claim and get me the settlement I deserved.
I was very lucky to discover the Judnich Law Office, and hope everyone else does.”
— Jennifer B.
“Marty took my case when I thought no one else would and got me the best possible outcome.
He did what I thought was the impossible and kept me out of jail.”
— Eddie Jones