In America, car accidents happen every day. They occur on roads and highways. They also take place in parking lots, driveways, and even on the sidewalks.
You never know when you’re going to be in a vehicle accident. You might be a cautious driver, but that does not guarantee the people around you are that careful. You may encounter a reckless driver, a careless biker, or even an oblivious pedestrian.
If you do get in a car crash, you don’t always need a lawyer. Sometimes, it’s clear whose fault it was. Their insurance covers everything, and everyone resumes their lives with no problems afterward.
On other occasions, you need a lawyer to represent you. Let’s talk about some specific instances where that happens.
1. Commercial Truck Accidents
As the Abels and Annes Law Firm says, accidents can involve two cars. However, “they can also involve commercial trucks, cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.”
If you’re in a vehicle accident where you strike a commercial truck, or the truck hits you, you’ll often need a lawyer as you sort out what happened. That’s because:
- You must deal with the truck driver, but also their company
- The trucking company will probably have a good lawyer representing them
If the accident was clearly the truck driver’s fault, you might have to take both the trucking company and the driver to court to get them to pay for the damages. They may dispute your account unless they don’t have any evidence to contradict what you say happened. In that instance, they might decide to settle.
Either way, you want an experienced attorney on your side. They can tell you whether a settlement amount is reasonable. They can also fight for you in court if you need to convince a jury of what happened.
2. When the Other Driver Disputes the Event Account
Other times, you might get in a car accident, and the other driver may dispute your event version. They may say something dramatically different happened than what actually occurred.
You’ll certainly need a lawyer since you’ll have to appear in court and try to prove the real event sequence. The lawyer can:
- Call witnesses on your behalf
- Use police or medical personnel documents to prove what you say happened
Your lawyer can use an investigator to locate accident witnesses, like pedestrians, other drivers, police, medical personnel, etc. They might locate and use a traffic camera or store camera footage. They might even find some individual walking by who took smartphone footage.
There are more cameras around than ever these days, and the right lawyer and investigator working for you might uncover and present video evidence that exonerates you.
3. If the Other Driver Drank
If the driver operating the vehicle that hit yours consumed alcoholic beverage before they got behind the wheel, that often complicates matters somewhat. It makes it more likely the police, the courts, and other authorities will blame the drunk driver for what happened.
However, you will probably still need a lawyer if you decide to go after this individual for reckless endangerment. You may want to do that if they injured you or caused serious vehicle damage.
The other driver’s insurance might cover some of the damage, but not all of it. You may have medical bills piling up. You might have to pay the hospital if you had to have surgery or the physical therapist if you needed that after the accident.
A good car accident attorney can look into the accident and get you incontrovertible evidence that the other driver owes you more money. They might establish a behavior pattern if this is not the first time this driver has driven intoxicated.
They can get you the money you deserve. It will pay for the time you’re missing work if you have to recuperate. You can use that cash for things like food, rent, mortgage payments, or utilities.
4. If You Were Intoxicated Before the Accident
Maybe the shoe is on the other foot. It’s you who drank before you drove. Perhaps you caused the accident, or maybe the other driver did.
If you failed a breathalyzer at the scene, though, it always looks bad for you, even if you violated no traffic laws. You’re never supposed to drink and drive, and the courts will look on you harshly for that.
The other driver may very well bring a civil suit against you. If so, you need a lawyer so you can fight back. They might be able to get you off the hook, but what’s more likely is that they can find a way to settle with the other driver out of court.
You might have to pay them some money, but it may not be anywhere near as much as if you went through with the trial and left things up to a jury. You might settle with the plaintiff much easier and for less money with the right lawyer.
5. If You Took Illegal Substances Before Driving
Maybe you took some illegal substances before you drove and caused an accident. Again, that’s not a good look, but you shouldn’t despair if this happens.
Much like what happens if you drink and drive, and that causes an accident, if you ingest other substances and cause a collision, the other driver can pursue a civil lawsuit. What you did was reckless, and they’ll try to get all the money out of you that they can.
A lawyer can try to settle with the plaintiff out of court, or they can plead your case if the other driver will not settle. You probably can’t win your case, but maybe your lawyer can frame your actions in a better light, and you won’t have to pay out as much money in the end.
These are not the only situations where you’ll need a car accident lawyer. There are many more, and you must judge on a case by case basis after any vehicular collision.