Never settle a car accident claim involving injuries without first contacting a lawyer.
Handling a car accident claim on your own risks:
- Exhaustion: Those in a car accident may be under immense stress. You may have little time or energy for a car accident claim to physical injuries, psychological trauma, and disruptions in your everyday routine. It is difficult to negotiate a fair settlement if your recovery stretches you too thin.
- Lack of legal knowledge: Unless you are an attorney, you likely do not know about relevant laws, insurance rules, and other matters related to a car accident claim. This lack of knowledge can negatively impact settlement negotiations. In the worst-case scenario, a lack of legal or insurance claim knowledge can prevent you from getting compensation or result in less than you deserve.
- Lack of understanding of fair settlements: Do you know what makes a fair car accident settlement? Many car accident victims don’t. Attorneys who regularly settle car accident cases for clients should have a far greater understanding of what constitutes a fair settlement.
- Inexperience: Experience is always beneficial when handling an insurance claim or lawsuit. If you have no experience in these fields, you will be vulnerable to manipulation, intimidation, and other insurance company tactics. This is no fault of yours, but rather highlights the importance of attorneys’ experience.
Never underestimate how a car accident lawyer can help your car accident claim. They will do everything they can to get the financial recovery you deserve.
How Will a Lawyer Help Settle My Car Accident Claim?
A car accident lawyer can help with an insurance claim or a lawsuit. It may be appropriate to consider filing a lawsuit, but your lawyer can also try to seek a settlement before the lawsuit is necessary.
Whichever course your accident claim takes, an attorney can:
Investigate Your Car Accident
Your lawyer will be closely involved in the fact-gathering process.
Your attorney and any investigators they hire should:
- Visit the scene of your accident
- Gather video footage from traffic cameras, security cameras, witnesses’ phones, or any other applicable sources
- Photograph the accident scene
- Obtain the police report from your collision
- Record witness accounts of your accident
- Document your accident in other ways
A detailed investigation is a critical step in any car accident case.
Document Your Damages
Your lawyer will identify all damages resulting from your car accident. This includes obtaining proof through documents, testimony, and other materials. Invoices for medical care, property repairs, proof of lost income, medical records, and employment records are examples of information that may be relevant.
Your attorney will also calculate your damages to determine a reasonable range of recovery for your case.
Deal With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies can be persistent after a car accident.
Your insurer, or another driver’s insurer, may:
- Repeatedly call you
- Pressure you to make an on-record statement
- Suggest you accept an unfair settlement offer
- Claim that you caused the accident, even if it is untrue
- Put their interests above yours
Insurance companies have a responsibility to themselves. Your attorney can deal with these companies, ensuring that they handle your claim in good faith.
Fight for a Fair Settlement
Settlements commonly conclude civil claims. Any lawyer who handles your case should pursue fair and full compensation. They may need to face opposition from the responsible party’s attorneys and should be willing to do so.
Handle Any Necessary Litigation
When a pre-litigation settlement is not reached, your case may be appropriate to proceed to litigation and, eventually, a trial. Though you can still settle after starting litigation, you have the right to seek a favorable verdict from a jury instead. Going to trial is costly and time-consuming but may be necessary to obtain the amount you deserve.
Each car accident lawyer serves their client as an individual. This means they should craft a case strategy unique to the client and the case.
What Damages Will a Lawyer Seek Compensation For?
Your recoverable losses may include:
- Property damage: In addition to your vehicle, the accident may damage your phone, sunglasses, jewelry, stereo system, or other valuables.
- Medical costs: You may be compensated for any emergency transport, emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, medications, doctor’s visits, therapy, or other medical services you received. Both past and future medical expenses are recoverable if they can be proven.
- Wage loss: Car accidents can prevent you from working. You may lose income, benefits, bonuses, vacation time, and other valuable aspects of employment. These damages may be recoverable.
- Pain and suffering: Civil courts in most states allow victims to seek compensation for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can include emotional anguish, pain from injuries, lost quality of life, and other non-economic damages.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported almost 43,000 fatal motor vehicle accidents last year. A lawyer can assist you with a wrongful death claim if a close family member passed away due to accident-related injuries.
Surviving victims of wrongful death may seek recovery for:
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral expenses
- Lost financial support
- Loss of the value of the relationship (such as love, affection, moral support, guidance, companionship, etc.)
- Other damages
Your lawyer will help identify and calculate your damages.
Can I Afford to Hire a Car Accident Attorney for My Claim?
Most car accident victims are able to hire lawyers who handle car accident claims, regardless of their financial means. You should consult with an attorney for your case who offers free consultations and works on a contingency fee.
Contingency fee arrangements make car accident lawyers affordable to everyone. Rather than paying an attorney anything upfront or by the hour, you’ll only pay them a percentage of your recovery if and only if you recover on your case. If your case is successful, their fee will come from your settlement or judgment. You won’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket.
Call a Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation About Your Car Accident
Do your research on law firms serving your area. Most offer free consultations with no obligations. Call a law firm today to learn more about their services. They may even start your case following your consultation.