There’s no law that says you have to work with an attorney if you have been injured in a car accident, but it’s strongly recommended that you do so anyways. Why? There are many benefits to working with an attorney, but one of the biggest ones is that you will not have to deal with the insurance company on your own. Here are some of the many reasons why you should always let an attorney communicate with the insurance company instead of doing it yourself:
Shows the Insurance Company You Mean Business
Hiring an attorney will show the at-fault party’s insurance company that you are serious about recovering compensation for your injuries. This is a move that will signal that you mean business and will not settle for less than you deserve. Basically, hiring an attorney tells the insurance company that you know you have a valid claim, and are well aware of what it is worth.
It’s fairly obvious which driver is at fault in some cases, but liability may be unclear in your car accident case. When this happens, the insurance company may try to prove that you were either totally or partially to blame for the accident so they don’t have to pay you as much or anything at all. If you’re not working with an attorney, it will be very difficult to gather the evidence that you need to prove that the other driver was at fault. But, attorneys have the resources to launch full investigations to gather evidence that clearly establishes fault. This may include conducting interviews with witnesses, analyzing photos from the scene of the accident, requesting a copy of the police report, and consulting with accident reconstruction experts. Your attorney can use the evidence uncovered during the investigation to prove that you did not contribute to the cause of the accident.
If you’re unfamiliar with how insurance companies work, it’s very likely that if you don’t work with an attorney, you could make a mistake that could affect the outcome of your case. For example, the insurance adjuster that is assigned to your car accident case will get in touch with you shortly after the company is notified of the collision. During this conversation, the insurance adjuster may ask you to make a statement regarding the events that led up to the accident. Many victims agree to do this because they don’t understand the insurance adjuster’s intentions. Yes, the insurance adjuster is interested in hearing about what happened. But, he will also use this recorded statement as an opportunity to try to get you to say something that could affect your ability to recover compensation.
What could you say that could impact your case? Of course, admitting that you were at fault for the accident or that you’re exaggerating your injuries will hurt your case. But, the statements that are often used against car accident victims are those that are taken out of context. For instance, you may say “I’m fine” when an insurance adjuster asks how you are doing in the beginning of the conversation. The insurance adjuster could then take this out of context and say that you admitted you were fine after the accident, so there’s no need to compensate you for your injuries. This is just one of many tactics that insurance companies may use to lower the value of your claim.
But if you work with an attorney, you won’t have to worry about making a mistake like this that could affect the amount of compensation that you are awarded. An attorney will completely take over the task of communicating with the insurance company to ensure you do not fall for one of these tricks.
If you decide against hiring an attorney, there’s no way for you to know the value of your claim. It’s simple to add up your medical expenses and lost wages, but what about your pain and suffering? How will you determine how much you should ask for to cover your future expenses and lost wages? If you don’t have legal experience, calculating these damages can be difficult. Furthermore, an insurance company knows that you may be unaware of what your claim is worth if you’re not working with an attorney. Therefore, the insurance adjuster that is assigned to your case may attempt to get you to settle for an offer that is far less than what you deserve. If you end up accepting a low offer, there’s no way for you to go back and ask for more once you realize that you’ve made a mistake.
But, car accident victims who work with an attorney don’t have to worry about this mistake. One of the first things your attorney will do is calculate the value of your claim to determine how much you should ask for from the insurance company. If the insurance company is unwilling to make a fair offer, this will not deter your attorney, who will take the case to court in order to recover the compensation that you deserve.
Studies have shown that people who are represented by an attorney receive larger settlements than those who negotiate with the insurance company on their own. On average, plaintiffs that work with an attorney receive settlements that are 3.5 times larger than the settlements awarded to plaintiffs without an attorney. This means the decision to handle the insurance company on your own could significantly affect how much you are able to recover.
If you have been injured by a negligent driver, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus solely on recovering from your injuries.