Ten Top Reasons You Should Hire an Attorney for Any Car Accident Injury Case
#3 Insurance Claims Agents Are Not Your FriendIf you had a brain tumor, would you do your own brain surgery? Would you even do stitches on your pet after a major injury? Then why would you think of handling your legal case in a major car accident on your own. Here are 10 things you may want to think about before you call the claims adjuster.
- Research shows you will end up with greater compensation when using an attorney: Studies have been done which show that even after paying a 1/3 contingency fee and any other legal expenses, most individuals who hire an attorney to handle their personal injury claim will end up with more cash compensation. As might be expected in any financial dealing, having a professional in your corner just makes good sense.
- You don't need the additional stress of dealing with an insurance claims adjuster: If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, slip and fall, industrial accident, or any situation where someone else's negligence resulted in that injury, you have enough on your mind dealing with the injury, the pain, and the anger. A legal professional can help you through the stressful process of getting justice, which allows you to concentrate on the other aspects of healing.
- You have no experience negotiating with an expert claims adjuster: The insurance company employs experts in negotiation, and then they train them to get the best possible result for the insurance company. Most injured citizens have no background in negotiation, and no idea what the insurance company may be willing to do in your specific case. An experienced accident attorney will have that background and those skills.
- There are commonly rules and deadlines you must meet: You may need to file a police report or file notice within a given period of time. An experienced attorney will be familiar with these deadlines and will make sure you don’t do anything that jeopardizes your right to sue the party responsible for your injury.
- The insurance company is not your friend: Insurance companies aim to keep their costs down and reduce their overhead. Your agenda is to maximize your compensation. The insurance companies agenda has the opposite agenda. Hiring an attorney can be the best way to insure you have an advocate for your interests.
- You may not be aware of all of your potential damages: There are some obvious damages, such as your medical bills that you should be able to recover. Your insurance claims adjuster isn't going to help you by giving you a list of the less obvious damages that you might have a right to claim. You may be able to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. There is a long list of others. Family members may be able to recover for the loss of companionship if another family member or benefactor has become incapacitated. Without an attorney, you may not be aware of all of your potential legal rights to recovery.
- Proving liability is often complex: No matter how simple your case may seem, the other side doesn't want to pay. They will see the situation from their point of view, which may be quite different from yours. There are many elements that go into convincing the claims agent that you have the winning hand, and/or that go into winning a personal injury lawsuit. Your attorney understands the law and can provide references to cases, citations and other sources of law that support your position.
- Understanding settlement options: Most cases settle out of court. In other words, the claims agent from your insurance company or from the insurance company of the person responsible for the accident, will make you an offer to settle prior to going into any court action. Your attorney will explain each offer made and help you understand the implications of accepting that offer. Then working together with your attorney, you may choose to accept or make a different counter offer. Once you accept, you give up your right to sue forever.
- Filing a lawsuit is very complex: If you are unable to agree to a settlement, you may determine that you want to sue. An experienced attorney will explain the costs of pursuing that lawsuit, as well as give you his best opinion of the likely outcome. Then if you go ahead with the lawsuit, you will have to file the appropriate papers in the court. A lawyer knows all the rules and can help your case through all of those filings.
- Proving your case before a judge or jury is not set up for an amateur: You've watched the court shows on television. The judge wants things to be done in order. Even if you are able to figure out all the complexities of filing the suit, and the detailed formalities for how to behave in the courtroom, convincing a judge or jury that you deserve the compensation you seek is not easy. There will be an opposition lawyer who is experienced in convincing that same judge and jury that you deserve nothing. As such, it is very difficult to prove personal injury liability on your own.