It’s only logical why the law should permit compensation to those who are harmed by the actions of someone that is negligent. However, the downside to this is the fact that you must first prove to the court (or more specifically the insurance company, or jury) that the harm done was indeed caused by someone that was negligent.
One of the most common forms of negligence involves an automobile. In fact, since the US has one of the busiest roadways globally, there were over 12 million vehicular accidents in 2018. Generally, the reason for these devastating accidents was drunk and reckless driving, as well as speeding, all of which are against the law, too. Because of this, victims were demanding their right to compensation. But will the simple act of ‘demanding’ suffice?
Reasons to consider an attorney
Prove liability for the injuries you’ve sustained
As mentioned above, navigating through your right of compensation can be a difficult task. This is especially true since the first and most important thing you have to prove is the fact that your injuries are caused by someone else–the negligent party.
The reason this can be difficult lies in the possibility that the negligent party may also deny or shift the blame to someone else. Hence, you can’t directly pinpoint that they’ve caused the accident since it’ll be a ‘your word against mine’ situation.
However, an experienced attorney at your side will go through the necessary evidence to piece together what really happened, allowing them to determine who really caused the injuries. Your attorney can gather pieces of evidence by:
- Getting the accident report from the police – and more importantly interview the officer
- Reconstruct how the accident really happened, and hire an expert witness if needed.
- Interview eyewitnesses to the accident.
As the evidence begins to show the exact situation, your attorney can then build a case on what really happened. To expedite the process, you should also gather the right evidence, too, if you’re physically capable of doing so. Tracking down the evidence and witnesses as soon as possible can be your best chance at proving liability.
Attorneys deal with the insurance company
In addition to proving who’s to blame, one hindrance to getting fair compensation is dealing with the insurance companies. For one, the insurance adjusters are trained at offering as little as possible – even if the claim is a “clear liability.”
Because of this, they’re capable of minimizing what their company will pay, even to the point that they can deny your valid claim. This means that if you don’t have any experience with negotiating, especially with insurance adjusters, then it’ll be difficult, if not impossible, to receive proper compensation.
Attorneys can help you by:
- Negotiating with the insurance company so you can receive the full value of your claim
- Dealing all of your claim’s details, and make sure all of your valid claims are included
- Holding the insurance company accountable by filing a lawsuit if the claim is denied or “low-balled”
You’ll have a representative in court
If the insurance company has offered you an amount that clearly won’t cover your losses, then it’s up to you to accept it or not. The next step is to file a lawsuit.
Most insurance companies reevaluate a claim once a lawsuit has been filed. So, just by getting an attorney involved, it’s likely the settlement offer will be higher.
You get to focus on your recovery
Most people do not enjoy dealing with the insurance company. If you do, great, you may want to negotiate on your own with the insurance company.
Hiring an attorney means you get to focus on your medical recovery, while your lawyer will help you deal with the insurance claim. Your medical treatment is your first priority.
Since auto accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, you won’t have to worry about any down payment. This attorney fee means that you only have to pay your lawyer a percentage of the settlement. Thus, by calling a lawyer after an auto accident, you can let your attorney deal with the insurance headaches while you focus on your health and recovery.
While you may not plan on hiring an attorney, it’s generally in your best interest to at least talk with one. This is especially true if you’ve suffered major (long-lasting or permanent) injuries from the collision. You also want a lawyer on your side if your liability is being contested by the negligent party, as well as if the insurance company offers an amount that won’t cover your financial loss.