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It's important to protect your legal compensation rights after being injured in a car wreck so you won’t pay for someone else's negligence. Going it alone to get the money you need to pay medical bills, replace lost income, compensate for pain and suffering, and for other legitimate damages is a long-shot. On the other hand, an attorney who knows all the details of calculating, demanding, and winning fair compensation for injured victims’ losses is essential. But just what’s involved in this complicated process? How exactly does an injury lawyer give victims the edge?
Seasoned car accident lawyers know how to handle insurance companies -- both the negligent driver's and the victim's. Below are the most prominent – but certainly not all – of the ways in which a seasoned accident lawyer handles opponent insurers.
Your Most Dangerous Opponent – the Defendant’s Insurance Company
Almost immediately, the other driver's insurance provider contacts you, asking you to make a statement about the accident (which they will certainly record). They also try to offer you a very low settlement amount. Insurance companies are in the business of taking in millions in premiums and paying out as little as possible in claims. It’s what they do. Their adjusters are experts at “predatory negotiations” to attain that “lowball settlement.” Many insurers also initially deny virtually all initial claims as standard practice. For those who have no experience negotiating with an insurance company, it’s just about impossible to get a fair settlement without a seasoned attorney’s assistance.
Investigations and Determining the Value of Your Injuries
The legal staff and experts, quarterbacked by your lawyer, perform the following and other related tasks to paint a crystal-clear picture of the accident and how that driver’s carelessness harmed you:
Once all the information is obtained, it must be arranged – sort of like a winning hand at cards. There is a sequence to this task, because once all the information is known and organized, it becomes the foundation of your claim. Your attorney will create a demand package that clearly outlines the monetary value of your economic damages (past, present, and future medical bills; lost income; and any other bills associated with your injury) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and additional damages if a wrongful death was caused by the accident).
Once your attorney submits your demand package to the defendant’s insurance company, it’s time to negotiate a fair settlement amount that you ultimately approve.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement, or Go to Trial if Their Insurer Won’t Deal in Good Faith
Seasoned car wreck attorneys are skilled negotiators, having worked with insurance adjusters many times. This gives victims a clear advantage over those who don’t hire a lawyer, because they know how to effectively press your claim. This involves tenacity, diplomacy, and an ability to counter all the frivolous claims insurers make to knock down the amount of money they must pay. Victims who don’t understand the nuances of such negotiations should never try to deal with an insurance adjuster alone. It’s a rigged game in which the victim has little chance of winning alone.
Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation to see whether they can assist with your accident injury case. During this meeting, you can use this “free advice” to learn more about the complicated world of injury claims and civil cases. Smart victims quickly understand the important connection of an attorney to winning the fair and full compensation they must have.
Can’t I Just I Handle my Car Accident Claim Myself?
Most people don’t need lawyers for small cases. If they are comfortable gathering the evidence and documents themselves and negotiating the settlement, then maybe handling minor matters might serve their best interests.
The question is, what is the tipping point between a small case and what is not? Generally, if your medical bills are substantial, and you were out of work for more than a week, you should seriously consider hiring a lawyer.
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