It’s only logical why the law should permit compensation to those harmed by the actions of someone that is negligent.
However, the downside is 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 negligent.
One of the most common forms of negligence involves an automobile. 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 and speeding, all of which are against the law. 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 your right to compensation can be difficult.
This is especially true since the first and most important thing you must prove is 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 happened, allowing them to determine who caused the injuries. Your attorney can gather pieces of evidence by:
- Getting the accident report from the police – and, more importantly, interviewing the officer
- Reconstruct how the accident happened, and hire an expert witness if needed.
- Interview eyewitnesses to the accident.
As the evidence shows the exact situation, your attorney can build a case on what really happened. To expedite the process, you should also gather the right evidence 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 can minimize 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, 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 total value of your claim
- Dealing with all of your claim’s details and making 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, it’s up to you to accept it. 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, you may want to negotiate 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 the negligent party is contesting your liability, as well as if the insurance company offers an amount that won’t cover your financial loss.