Motorists get into accidents every day and, unfortunately, numerous individuals decide to handle the settlement process without assistance—particularly if the accident was minor. They may not think the advice of a lawyer is necessary and believe the process will move faster without taking the time to hire a reputable legal professional. We understand that this may be the quickest way to obtain a small amount of compensation; however, it is generally not the recommended course of action for anyone.
Why People Fail to Seek Professional Advice
Most individuals forgo hiring a lawyer for similar reasons. Many times, the accident did not have result in major injuries or fatalities and therefore, the driver automatically assumes that the settlement process will be simple.
Many motorists simply do not realize they are entitled to specific compensation. In some cases, individuals are told by their insurance companies that they may end up with less compensation if they’re represented by an attorney.
However, these are not good reasons for failing to seek legal counsel. Retaining the services of a lawyer typically increases the settlement amount, rather than decreasing it as some misinformation would have you believe.
It is also a mistake to automatically assume the settlement process will be simple if there were no major injuries or fatalities. It is important to understand that if you fail to hire an attorney, you may inadvertently forfeit compensation to which you are entitled simply because you did not know your rights under the law.
Below are some additional reasons you should hire a car accident lawyer, even if your accident was minor.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer
Being the victim of a car accident presents many unanswered questions. You may wonder how much compensation you are entitled to and what your rights are under the law. Failing to understand these issues can result in a lower settlement, which makes expert advice invaluable to your case.
Because the settlement process can be a complicated matter, it is important to work with an experienced car accident lawyer who can speak to insurance companies on your behalf and negotiate settlements with the responsible party.
Although some car accidents may seem like simple cases, determining all of your available insurance coverage is sometimes the most complicated aspect. If no serious injuries were sustained during the accident, the first item that must be addressed is damage to your vehicle.
It’s possible for insurance companies to offer less than the full settlement to which you’re entitled. They may also fail to make a rental vehicle available to you while the repairs are being completed.
Hiring an attorney helps to ensure your claim is handled efficiently and fairly by the insurance provider and anyone else involved so that this chaotic situation can be as comfortable and convenient as possible.
Lawyers also understand exactly what insurance companies require to settle a claim. Insurance coverage underwriters are simply doing a job that involves justifying their decision to pay money for damages. They do this by documenting and explaining why a certain amount should be paid to a particular motorist.
If you cannot provide the proper documentation, you will ultimately obtain less money under the settlement. Thankfully, car accident attorneys have a significant amount of experience working with insurance companies and can provide the exact documentation necessary to ensure you receive the fairest possible settlement.
You may be unaware that there is a limited amount of time to pursue a settlement following a car accident. Under Louisiana law, you must file your suit within a year of the incident. If you file too late, your claim can be barred forever. Hiring an attorney helps to ensure all necessary steps are taken in a timely manner.
Determining fault is tricky for car accidents. Often times it is determined through police reports and due diligence from the insurance companies, but in certain cases, the opinion of an accident reconstruction expert is required. A lawyer well-versed in car accident cases has the experience and resources necessary to properly investigate the incident and make sure you are fully and fairly compensated for property damage, damage to your vehicle and bodily harm.
Negotiating Personal Injury Settlements
In the event of injuries (even minor ones), you almost certainly have medical bills that must be settled as well as lost wages from missed work. Additionally, if the accident was your fault and another driver was injured, you need a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf to ensure that compensation claims are not being inflated by the opposing party.
Fortunately, most personal injury cases are settled through pre-trial negotiations. However, the majority of accident victims have absolutely no experience with regard to negotiating their claims. This can result in under-compensation or failing to settle the case at all. With a qualified lawyer on your side, you can rest assured that your best interest is being fought for by an expert.
When it comes to legal cases, there are certain things you can and can not say—lest they derail the outcome of your case. Hiring a professional to handle your car accident settlement helps to inform you of what you can and cannot discuss so that your case isn’t jeopardized by a few innocent remarks.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident or your car or property has been damaged during such an event, there is no reason to go through the stressful settlement process alone. Consulting with experienced legal counsel helps to ensure you’re protected in all areas so that you can take this situation head-on. Call us today to discuss your potential case with a qualified attorney and get the assistance you need for the best possible outcome.