Well, it happened again. This article is admittedly self-serving, but yet again, I took a call from someone who’d been hit by a careless driver, and without talking to a lawyer, had conversations with the other driver’s insurance company, signed a release for them to obtain medical records, and then signed off on a settlement. He’d never been in this situation before and thought the insurance company was honest and trying to be helpful, like a “good neighbor,” only to realize the settlement doesn’t even approach covering his medical expenses, not to mention his lost wages or his pain and suffering or the cost of medical care he’ll need in the future.
This caller’s situation is all too common. People are trusting. People are capable in many areas of life. They think they can handle an insurance claim. And maybe some people can. But many car accident claims involve complex issues, especially when dealing with insurance companies. It’s crucial to understand the potential pitfalls of trying to handle a claim without a personal injury lawyer. In this post, we'll explore why having a personal injury attorney might be a good idea, focusing on insurance tactics and the advantages of legal representation.
Limited Understanding of Insurance Tactics
One of the most significant challenges individuals face when handling a car accident case without an attorney is their limited understanding of insurance tactics. Insurance companies are businesses, and their primary goal is to maximize profits. This often means minimizing the amount they pay out to claimants, even when it's clear their insured party is at fault.
Personal injury attorneys have extensive experience dealing with insurance companies. They understand the various tactics these companies employ to reduce or deny claims, such as offering lowball settlements, delaying the claims process, or disputing liability. Without a legal advocate, you may be more susceptible to falling victim to these tactics.
Difficulty in Determining Fault
Establishing fault in a car accident is a critical factor in determining compensation. Insurance companies may try to shift blame onto you or downplay the fault of their insured driver. Proving fault can be challenging without the help of an attorney who can investigate the accident thoroughly, gather evidence, and consult with experts when necessary.
Personal injury attorneys have the resources and expertise to reconstruct accident scenes, analyze police reports, interview witnesses, and assess medical records to establish fault accurately. This can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Insurance companies are notorious for offering inadequate compensation to accident victims who represent themselves. They often make lowball settlement offers early in the process, hoping to save money. Without legal representation, you may not have a clear understanding of the full extent of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future expenses.
Personal injury attorneys can assess the true value of your claim and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you receive fair compensation. They are skilled at building a compelling case that demonstrates the full extent of your injuries and losses.
Navigating Legal Procedures
Car accident cases involve complex legal procedures, including filing paperwork, meeting deadlines, and adhering to court rules. Failure to follow these procedures correctly can jeopardize your case. Personal injury attorneys are well-versed in these processes, ensuring that everything is done correctly and in a timely manner.
While it may be tempting to handle a car accident case on your own, the pitfalls of doing so can be costly. Insurance companies have experienced professionals working on their side, and without the guidance of a personal injury attorney, you may find yourself at a disadvantage. To protect your rights and secure fair compensation, it's crucial to seek the assistance of an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases. Their expertise, negotiation skills, and legal knowledge can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case, ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.Doug Bailey at Bailey | Stock | Harmon | Cottam | Lopez LLP specializes in personal injury cases in Wyoming and Colorado. For a free consulation, contact us today to discuss your case and learn more about your options for seeking the compensation you deserve.