Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

Listen to this article

Image by cynthiagaytan09 from Pixabay

The days and weeks following a car accident could be frustrating and painful. If you were injured in a crash that another driver caused, you might believe that you will be compensated for your medical expenses and other damages without much effort. However, that could not be further from the case. Having experienced legal representation is critical to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Depending on your state and your insurance coverage, you will have options after an accident. In a “no-fault” state, you might be working with your insurance company through your personal injury protection (PIP) policy. In other situations, especially when another person was to blame, you could find yourself negotiating with another driver’s insurance provider.

No matter what options are available, a pragmatic and experienced car accident attorney will help and advise you through the process. Many people assume the job of an attorney is to file a personal injury lawsuit. While they are not completely mistaken, a skilled car accident attorney in Philadelphia will also provide other invaluable services necessary to help ensure your compensation is reasonable and fair.

An Attorney Will Help You Calculate Your Damages

Whether you are dealing with your insurance company or trying to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider, you need to know what your damages are before you can evaluate any offer.

Damages is the legal term used to describe an accident victim’s financial losses. These losses could be out-of-pocket expenses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. They also include your emotional and physical harm.

A seriously injured accident victim could require weeks of medical treatment while missing weeks or months of work. When an insurance check is offered, it might appear to be a much-needed financial life preserver. However, if the amount is insufficient to cover all the costs related to the injury, there is no second bite at the apple. Before agreeing to a settlement offer, you need to calculate the full extent of your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney will work with you, your healthcare providers, your employer, and other experts to determine your present and future losses. In addition to calculating your actual expenses, a seasoned lawyer will also place a reasonable monetary value on your physical and emotional suffering.

An Attorney Will Help Your Determine Liability

After the smoke settles and the debris is cleared, you are sure another driver caused the accident. In fact, several witnesses also corroborate your version of events. Even the police report indicates that the other driver was at fault. However, proving liability requires more than some statements from witnesses and a police report. An insurance adjuster could work to have you admit some slight wrongdoing or a defense attorney could find witnesses that interpreted events differently. The bottom line is that proving liability requires evidence. Finding that evidence requires investigation. An attorney will thoroughly examine the facts and circumstances surrounding your accident to help establish that another driver was to blame. If there is a preponderance of supportive evidence, the settlement amount will likely increase. If not, the evidence could be used as a solid foundation for a personal injury claim.

An Attorney Will Work with the Insurance Companies

Legal representation will allow you to concentrate on your physical well-being while your counsel works with the various insurance companies. Insurance adjusters have a job – to limit their company’s liability and reduce any claims that must be paid. Their job is not advocating for the accident victim’s best interest – even if it is your insurance provider.

Insurance adjusters are professionals who will work to find opportunities to settle a claim for as low as possible. They know that accident victims are in pain and financially hurting. By offering a fast settlement, they anticipate that an injured person will accept a windfall without questioning or understanding the full extent of their damages.

Adjusters will also engage in casual conversation and ask specific questions to elicit responses that shift liability and fault. In a handful of states, if you contributed to an accident, you could be prohibited from any compensation. Many insurance companies will base their settlement offer on what would likely happen if a lawsuit were filed. If an insurer believes it would prevail in court, a reasonable offer is unlikely to be forthcoming.

When an attorney handles your negotiations, the insurance adjuster is not working from a position of superior knowledge and experience. Furthermore, the conversation will focus on your damages, the available evidence, and a fair settlement.

An Attorney Will Prepare to Take Your Case to Court

If another driver was to blame and their insurance company is refusing to offer a fair settlement, you might consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. Filing a claim in court does not preclude a settlement in the future – an agreement could be reached up until a verdict is entered. Sometimes, receiving the compensation you deserve requires taking aggressive measures. When a lawsuit is filed, an insurance company knows that an injured accident victim is serious. Furthermore, if the evidence gathered during the pre-trial stages of a personal injury claim strengthens your case, it increases the odds of a fair settlement. When faced with the expense and uncertainty of a trial, an insurer is more likely to take steps to finalize an agreement it is prepared to pay.

Always Contact an Attorney After a Car Accident

After a car accident, your priority should be your health. However, you also have to protect your legal rights. Agreeing to an unreasonably low settlement amount will get you a check. It will also release the at-fault driver and their insurance company from any future liability. By contacting a professional car accident attorney, you put yourself in the best position to maximize your potential compensation. It is critical to have an attorney who knows the law and the process advocating for your best interests. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee, so there is usually no risk in speaking with someone who will be fighting for your rights.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.