You’ve just been in an accident through no fault of your own, you were injured and you are wondering:
- Should I hire a car accident lawyer? OR
- Should I just contact the other driver’s insurance company and try to negotiate a settlement for my medical bills and property damage?
Consider the following 4 questions before making your decision.
1. What is in the best interest of your insurance company?
Your initial conversation with your insurance company may go really well. They will make you feel comfortable, welcomed and secure in having to go through a claim process with them. They will make it known that it is in their best interest to have you taken care of.
But is it really? Insurance companies are running a business at the end of the day and that business involves increasing revenue and reducing costs. When you’re making your claim, that becomes a cost that insurance company will do everything in its power to reduce.
2. How can you be certain that you will not have expenses down the road as a result of your accident?
Thousands of cases are being handled each day. Insurance companies know all the statistics and unfortunately when it looks at your case it only becomes just another statistic for them. If they think you may get some future expenses like medical costs or reduced ability to do certain tasks that you would have to pay for, they will gladly settle for a large amount right away. This may be really good news to hear at first but it is simply a savings game for the big insurance corporation.They know that if you wait or if they give you a low ball offer, you may consider looking at your situation more seriously and asking for a much, much higher amount, which you may very well be legally owed.
3. How much will you need to pay your lawyer?
Personal injury lawyers work on contingency basis. It means that they use their money to investigate and process your case and they will only get paid if they win you a financial settlement. Most of the lawyers charge 33.33% of the winnings but it may differ in your case.
For example, if you hire an attorney for 33.33% of settlement amount and you settle for $100,000, that means you will get $66,670 at the end. If you hire an attorney for 25% but he/she is only able to get a $75,000 settlement, you will get $56,250.
4. How comfortable are you dealing with claims adjusters
Claims adjusters are professionals who do what they do every day. The whole claims process may take its toll on you while dealing with body shops, vehicle inspections, repair estimates, medical billing companies, doctors, hospital records and all other issues that may come up.
Most personal injury lawyers themselves would hire another attorney to deal with their own car accident claim. When business gets personal it will eat away your peace of mind.
Other points to consider
If you’re still not sure if you need a lawyer, think of this situation. When a business owner files a tax return by him or herself, IRS is more likely to audit such a return because statistically they are more often to contain errors and misfilings than if returned by a professional tax accountant. The same goes for making a claim with insurance company without professional help. Insurance companies know that persons filing claims without services of personal injury law firm tend to accept lower settlements.
What if your claim is denied?
There have been numerous cases where insurance company would deny a claim, even deny it multiple times. Just because there’re so many car accidents happening every year (2.3 million of which result in drivers and passengers being treated in hospital emergency departments) insurance companies know every bit of detail of how they can deny your claim. Only personal injury lawyers dealing with similar situations in the same amount as insurance companies are able to stand up to them. Each case is unique and only experienced lawyers with expert investigators and medical professionals on their team can help you build a stronger case against your insurance company.
In other words
It doesn’t cost you anything to consult with a personal injury lawyer in your car accident case, and there is no obligation to hire the attorney you talk to. If you have made up your mind, read about what you need to know before you hire an attorney or if you are ready to start right away check on how do I choose a lawyer?