If you've been in a car accident, particularly if you or someone else has been injured, one of your first questions may be "Do I need an attorney?" The next question may be "Can I afford one?" Many people think they can save money by settling a car accident claim without a lawyer. This makes as much sense as trying to save on an airline ticket by flying the plane yourself.
Instead, you should ask yourself, "Can I afford to NOT have one?" It's in your best interest to let lawyers with years of experience handle your claim for you. Lawyers know the ins and outs of car accidents and legal claims. They can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Personal Injury Attorneys Only Get Paid if They Recover Money for You
If you're worried about costly attorney charges, we're here to dismiss your fears. Accident.com can help you find an accident attorney and get a free consultation. Plus, a reliable car accident attorney only charges fees if you win. The contingency charge stops you from paying legal fees out of pocket. In fact, most personal injury attorneys don't charge hourly rates.
Instead, you pay the lawyer a percentage of what they recover for you. This agreement means you only pay the attorney after they recover your compensation. They won't bill you for their work if they don't get a recovery. This set-up lets injured people who can't pay high hourly fees still recover damages for their injuries.
Personal Injury Attorneys Know Insurance Company Tricks
Insurance companies earn money by taking in more premiums than they pay out in benefits. Since you're trying to get benefits, you have to prove you're qualified for benefits. To make things harder, insurance companies may use tricks to get people to settle claims for less than what's fair. Some tricks insurance companies use are:
- Describing their connection to the claim. This tactic makes it sound like they're on your side. However, they may be from the other person’s insurance.
- Contacting you at a bad time, so you're more likely to accept a smaller recovery.
- Saying their own experts are “independent.”
- Saying your recovery should be less because you partly caused the crash just by being on the road.
- Hiring investigators to record and follow you.
- Asking leading questions (like on recorded calls) to trick you into agreeing that you're recovering faster than you are.
- Stalling for months or years by saying they need more paperwork.
- Downplaying the injury as a “part of growing older.” If you had any prior pain by the new injury, watch out for this trick.
These examples are just a few ways insurance companies may try to get you to accept less compensation. Speaking with anyone other than a lawyer can harm your rights and your compensation. Third parties may not want you to win your case.
A car accident attorney from Accident.com can identify these insurance tricks and stop you from falling for the scheme.
Personal Injury Attorneys Know How to Value Cases
States have different rules about what damages they allow. These rules change often, but personal injury attorneys stay on top of any updates.
For example, say your car accident injury prevents you from working. You may have a past wage loss claim. A past wage loss claim is the money you would have earned between the accident and the time of the settlement had you not been injured. You may also have a claim for the future harm the injury may have on your ability to work. In other words, someone who's not working now, such as a full-time homemaker, may have an earning capacity claim even if they don't have a wage loss claim.
A good lawyer knows the different ways your injuries have affected and will keep affecting your life. Without a lawyer, you may never know you could have had a fair settlement. The insurance company has no reason to tell you about the extra money you could get. They want to pay the smallest amount to close your claim.
Personal injury attorneys also know the monetary values for general damages. These damages include ongoing pain, disfigurement and emotional distress. General damages don't have official monetary amounts. It's important to have a car accident attorney on your side who's familiar with their values in your area.
Personal Injury Attorneys Do More and Recover More for Their Clients
Personal injury attorneys don't just help you get compensation. Lawyers help you by:
- Stopping insurance companies from bothering you. You can then focus on your family and your recovery.
- Studying and organizing your medical records, bills, work documents, witness statements, expert reports and costs.
- Explaining what insurance companies mean — and what you can do about it.
- Carrying the weight of the “fight” so you can face the medical, professional and personal problems of the injury.
- Working with your doctors to get records that use words that are more likely to increase your recovery.
Get the help you need
An expert car accident attorney can navigate a tough situation with insurance companies. The insurance company hires experts and lawyers to protect their interests. You should too. In order to get fair compensation for your car accident injury, you need an advocate to level the playing field. Accident.com has a network of expert lawyers who can support you.
Don't wait to contact Accident.com. There may be time limits to filing your claim.