The majority of personal injury claims arises from car accidents. Fortunately, most accidents are minor and can be handled through your insurer. A “cut-and-dry” case usually does not require legal assistance. However, a more serious case involving significant injuries or death should be delegated to an experienced legal professional. An attorney who is an expert in handling car accident claims provides invaluable knowledge and support for settling your claim to your highest advantage.
Sometimes, what seems to be a mere “fender bender” may have more far-reaching consequences than what is observed immediately after an accident. Competent personal injury attorneys who specialize in car accident claims can guide you through the baffling maze of insurance claims and settlement processes. They work for you — unlike insurance claims adjusters — to ensure that you receive fair compensation for damages and suffering.
A personal injury attorney that concentrates in representing car accident victims is an expert in the laws and procedures pertaining to your case. He or she can alert you to any statutes of limitations that may prohibit you from suing the driver at fault. An attorney can sue on your behalf and understands how to prepare your case for trial in case a pre-trial settlement does not occur. A competent attorney is a powerful ally in your fight for what you deserve.
Working for You
Your personal injury attorney possesses the expertise and skills to deal with a host of varied claims scenarios, insurance companies, and methods of gathering evidence. He or she knows how to compile all the critical information and encapsulate it in your settlement demand letter. Having an injury attorney relieves you of the stress of attending to all these matters while coping with the effects of your accident.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Many attorneys offer a free consultation, and most do not charge for services unless they win a settlement on your behalf. Therefore, seeking advice from a personal injury attorney will not cost anything in most cases. Be sure to inquire about fees and billing expectations when you contact your attorney’s office.
You should at least consult an attorney if:
Liability is unclear.
You are unsure of how to assess your claim or arbitrate a settlement on your own.
The insurance adjuster requests pre-accident medical records.
The adjuster makes an offer that is uncomfortably low or offers a structured settlement.
Your claim of lost wages is not easily verifiable.
If you have any sense of uncertainty, please talk with an attorney before speaking with the insurance adjuster. Your attorney can help you avoid saying something that would adversely affect your claim.
Consult an attorney right away if:
You are not satisfied with the insurance company’s settlement offer or if they rejected your claim.
You are injured with high medical bills and/or you expect future medical bills.
The circumstances of the accident are complicated and may necessitate further investigation.
Several months have passed since your accident and you are unsure of the statute of limitations in your state.
The other party is suing you.
A minor was moderately or seriously injured in the accident.
The accident has created circumstances that may increase the value of your claim (for instance, you may not be able to care for your disabled child).
The other party is contesting liability.
The benefit of retaining the services of an attorney increases with the severity of your injuries from an accident. Claims from small incidents may not justify the potential cost of professional legal services. An attorney would probably not deem a minor accident claim to be worth his or her time. On the other hand, major injuries augment the settlement value of your case.
An insurance adjuster will attempt to diminish your claim or convince you to take a lower settlement offer. Your injury attorney can help you counter the adjuster’s efforts to make you accept less than what you are entitled to receive. Claimants with legal representation typically receive over three times the amount of settlement money as those who represent themselves. Having an experienced personal injury attorney that focuses on the needs of car accident victims gives you optimal leverage in handling your claim.
Naprawa, A. “When an Attorney Can Help in a Car Accident Case”. Retrieved from http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/attorney-car-accident-case.html
“When to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in the Insurance Claim Process”. Retrieved from https://accident-law.freeadvice.com/accident-law/auto/when-hire-auto-accident-attorney.htm
Goguen, D. “How Much Will a Car Accident Lawyer Cost You?”. Retrieved from http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/auto-accident/how-much-will-lawyer-cost.html