Do I Need a Car Accident Attorney if I Was Not at Fault?

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A common misconception is the belief that legal representation is not needed when another driver is responsible for causing a car accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies are resistant to fairly and fully compensating victims regardless of fault.

Although hiring a car accident attorney is not required in order to file a personal injury claim, it is strongly recommended. If questioning whether or not assistance from a car accident lawyer can benefit your case, consider the following factors.


What a Newport Beach Car Accident Attorney Can Do for Your Case

Ultimately, the role of car accident lawyers is to obtain maximum recovery for their clients. It is not fair for accident victims to pay any out-of-pocket expenses as a result of someone else’s negligence. 

Not only will an attorney prevent car accident victims from being taken advantage of, but they will also fight to hold each at-fault party responsible. Newport Beach car accident lawyers can also offer the following benefits:

  • Obtain a police report regarding the details and people involved in the car crash
  • Speak with witnesses for their statements about the car accident
  • Seek expert testimony from medical specialists and accident reconstructionists
  • Work with treating physicians to gain an understanding of the severity of injuries
  • File a personal injury claim on the client’s behalf
  • Negotiate for maximum compensation
  • Litigate the case if a settlement is not reached outside of court


Car Accident Attorneys Prove Negligence

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Even when fault seems apparent, some plaintiffs fall victim to the deviant ways of insurance companies. Consequently, not all plaintiffs acquire the amount of compensation they were anticipating from their car accident claim, while some do not recover anything at all. 

This is often a result of being unable to prove the other party’s “negligence.” This is a legal concept that an experienced car accident lawyer can prove with the following four elements.

  1. Duty of care: Proposing how the other motorist owed a duty of care
  2. Breached duty of care: Displaying how the other motorist did not honor the duty of care
  3. Causation: Indicating how the breach of duty directly caused the car crash
  4. Damages: Identifying the accrued losses that resulted from the car crash

Proving the four elements of negligence requires legal knowledge and resources to proceed with a thorough investigation. An experienced Newport Beach car accident lawyer will be able to strengthen a case and prove the other party’s negligence. 


Losses That Car Accident Lawyers Can Recover

Another lesser-known fact about car accidents is that the victims are not only entitled to compensation for financial losses, but they are also eligible for other forms of losses. Working with a Newport Beach car accident lawyer allows victims to recover compensation for various types of damages.

Referred to as non-economic damages, these losses pertain to the intangible harm that car accidents have the ability to cause. Essentially, these damages encompass the physical and emotional “pain and suffering.” Although they are not visible, they are just as damaging as bodily injuries. 

Other types of losses that can be recovered from a car accident claim are referred to as economic damages. Common examples include current medical bills, future medical treatment, property damage, and lost wages. 

Particularly egregious car accident cases may award the victim punitive damages. This is separate from economic and non-economic damages, awarded solely to punish the at-fault driver and deter future reckless behavior.


How to Determine if Legal Representation Is Necessary

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Not every car accident case will require the assistance of a personal injury attorney. For instance, if vehicle damages are minimal, like a fender bender, or if injuries were not sustained, a car accident lawyer may not be necessary. 

However, if any of the following apply to your situation, then it is essential to consult a car accident lawyer. Failing to do so could prevent being able to recover compensation.

  • The car accident caused serious injuries and significant vehicle damage
  • The other driver will not accept fault for the car accident
  • You were partially at fault for the car accident
  • The insurance company is disputing injuries and other damages
  • The insurance claim was denied by the insurance company

Experienced car accident lawyers can handle a car accident case, working to get clients the maximum compensation they are entitled to. These cases are naturally complex; allowing a skilled personal injury attorney to assist will simplify the process and increase the odds of a favorable outcome. 


What to Know When Car Accidents Result in Significant Losses

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Although not every car accident case will require legal representation, it is always a good idea to meet with car accident lawyers when significant losses are suffered. 

Insurance companies are motivated to minimize their payouts, regardless of the losses suffered at the victim’s expense. Therefore, they will be likely to dispute liability or even deny the car accident claim. In some instances, the at-fault driver may even blame the victim for the car accident

Other concerns to be wary of are if the other driver’s insurance coverage is not enough to cover the full extent of damages,

If accident victims have uninsured motorist coverage, their own insurance company can cover some of the expenses. However, like the other party’s insurance, the full amount of damages may not easily released, meaning the victim will be forced to cover some of the costs for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and out-of-pocket expenses. 

To ensure a fair settlement is reached, it’s important to work with car accident attorneys, even when fault appears evident. Insurance companies can be aggressive, victims deserve reliable allies who will fight for their best interests.


What if the Insurance Company Made a “Fair Settlement Offer”?

It’s not abnormal for an insurance company to make a settlement offer early in the case proceedings. However, know that these efforts are not out of convenience or empathy.

The goal of the insurance company is to reach an agreement before the victim has consulted with car accident attorneys. Once an offer is accepted, it cannot be undone, preventing any additional legal action from being taken. 

Oftentimes, those early offers are way below the actual case value, and insurance companies know this. Unfortunately, most car accident victims are unaware of how much compensation they are actually entitled to.

These initial early offers typically only cover current medical bills and vehicle repairs which may appear sufficient on the surface. However, future medical treatment (like physical therapy and surgeries) and other forms of non-economic damages have the potential to grow costly and can put victims in a financial deficit.

Therefore, even if an insurance company seems willing to pay a “fair” settlement, always have an auto accident lawyer review the offer before signing anything. This is especially important if serious injuries are sustained, as the insurance company may try to settle for much less than what is actually owed.


Even if You’re Not at Fault, Consult with a Newport Beach Car Accident Attorney

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Even if you think you’re not at fault for a car accident, avoid speaking to the insurance company before consulting with a Newport Beach car accident lawyer. 

Because the other party’s insurance, even your own insurance company, is motivated to minimize payouts, they will be tactical in getting you to agree to a lesser settlement than what you deserve. 

Beach Accident Attorneys offers a free consultation to all prospective clients and can help you seek the justice you’re entitled to. Please, schedule yours when you’re ready to begin discussing your car accident case. 

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For more information on how car accident cases work or how to find the best car accident attorney, check out our blogs


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