Car accidents are never good, whether it’s a minor fender bender or a crash causing serious injury and property damage. One collision can take a massive chunk out of your day, leave you without transportation, and even make you feel vulnerable on the road forever.
Your actions immediately following an accident are vital for several reasons, yet it is often the most challenging time to act calmly and deliberately. You’ll need to assess and record the damage done to both vehicles, injury to yourself or others, and successfully exchange driver insurance information with the parties involved.
Even if you’re injured and your car is totaled through no fault of your own, it can be difficult to obtain adequate compensation. Remember, insurance companies seek to pay as little money as they can. That’s where the proven skills of a professional car accident attorney comes in. So don’t try to play lawyer when you’re still licking your wounds from a recent automobile accident; let a professional cut through the legal red tape for you.
Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Insurance adjusters assigned to your car accident claim are trained to do what’s suitable for their company. Unfortunately, this often means downplaying your injury and damages, ignoring your best interests. Filing a claim without legal counsel often results in inadequate and low compensation from insurance companies.
Car accident attorneys speak the same language as insurance adjusters. They can easily interpret policy changes and bypass tricky negotiation tactics with extensive knowledge of legal terminology. Insurance companies will likely take advantage of your situation and ignorance of the law without legal counsel. An experienced attorney will be familiar with insurance laws and be able to apply them to your benefit.
Extensive Knowledge of the Law
Law school is tough for a reason; the law is highly complicated. Still, knowing the law as it pertains to your particular situation is imperative when seeking compensation. A car accident attorney will know specific laws, legal issues, and statutes as they apply to your scenario and understand their importance in a local court system. Expert utilization of the law will only increase your chances of receiving fair and adequate compensation.
Receiving due compensation after a car accident depends on proving the other party’s liability. Sometimes this is easier said than done. Often police and witness reports may point to the other driver being responsible for the accident, but proving they acted careless enough to ignore their duty of care is a different battle entirely. Car accident attorneys are burdened with proving four individual elements of negligence on the other driver’s behalf. Here they are in laypeople’s terms
1. The other driver owed you a duty of care
2. The driver did not abide by this duty
3. You and/or your property were injured as a result
4. You suffered a loss and are owed compensation
Substantiating Your Claim
Evidence is the keyword in law, and your car accident attorney will help gather sufficient evidence to prove the other driver is at fault. Evidence will undoubtedly be used to support your claim to your insurance company and in court if need be. They may even enlist the help of an accident reconstruction expert.
Specific articles of evidence that may be helpful include photographs of the damage, medical imaging and records, eyewitness reports, accident footage derived from intersection cameras, video from nearby businesses, and accident reports. This is a lot of intricate pieces of information, and you don’t want to be tasked with gathering them all on your own.
Deliberating the Amount of Compensation
Many factors determine a fair amount of compensation, and an attorney will help maximize your financial award. The bottleneck is that payment can increase over time as medical expenses and further injuries are uncovered, and some losses are difficult to put a price tag on. It is tricky to determine how long an injured individual may need physical therapy or mental health treatment, for example.
Therefore, you will need someone to help you accurately assess your losses and condense them into a number. Losses include damage to property, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
Explaining Complex Settlement Options
Most car accident cases are settled out of court in various ways. The at-fault party or their insurance company may make a compensatory offer to avoid the trouble of court or more significant fees. Accepting or declining these offers holds great importance because after accepting an offer, you will not be able to sue the at-fault party again. A car accident attorney will help interpret offers and aid you in making an informed decision.
Filing a Court Case
Sometimes out-of-court negotiations don’t work out, and you may decide the next course of action is to file a court case. Insurance companies and at-fault parties will do everything possible to avoid an expensive court case, applying pressure and scare tactics. A car accident attorney will help you deflect these strategies if you intend to continue in court.
They will ensure all of your documents and articles of evidence are submitted correctly and timely and answer any questions you may have along the way. A court case can be exhausting and lengthy; it always helps to have someone by your side.
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