After a car accident, you may wonder whether you really need a personal injury lawyer. Some cases really are as simple as submitting a claim to the insurance company and waiting for the proceeds. Many injury cases are more complicated, though. What if the insurance company blames you for the crash? What if their offer barely covers your current bills, let alone future expenses?
There are many ways a car accident lawyer can help you and make the process less stressful. This is especially true if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Here’s an overview of what a car accident lawyer does throughout your personal injury case.
One of the most important ways a car accident lawyer helps you is by guiding you through the claims process and answering any questions you have. Your lawyer will help you understand your legal rights and potential issues with your case.
They can help you avoid common pitfalls, review any offers you receive from the insurance company with you, and discuss the best strategy for your case.
After hiring a lawyer, they will get to work building the strongest case possible. This starts with a comprehensive investigation into your accident. To recover compensation, you must prove causation, or that the other party caused your accident. The stronger the evidence of liability, the less likely the insurance company will be to shift blame or fight a fair settlement amount.
You will benefit from an entire legal team working on your case. During this phase, your lawyer and team of professionals will:
This evidence will be organized and analyzed to develop the best strategy for your case. It may be used during negotiations or presented during trial.
Your lawyer will also gather evidence to establish another important aspect of your claim: your damages. Your car accident lawyer will have you keep track of any out-of-pocket expenses, request evidence of your lost income and benefits, and offer advice to document your pain, suffering, and mental anguish after your crash.
Calculating the value of your damages is not always easy or straightforward, but an experienced lawyer will understand the best ways to document damages and estimate value.
After hiring a car accident lawyer to represent you, they will take over all communications with the insurance companies and other parties. Your lawyer will act in your best interests to fight back against any attempts to blame you for your crash and hold the at-fault party accountable.
Your lawyer will make sure all deadlines are met, guide you through the claims process, and review policies to determine coverage that may be available. After calculating the full extent of your damages, your lawyer will prepare a settlement demand package. This is sent to the insurance company and provides facts of the case, legal arguments, and documentation supporting liability.
After the settlement demand, your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company. This process may take weeks or even months, depending on the circumstances and the strength of your evidence.
Both parties may continue to exchange information until a mutually agreeable settlement amount can be reached. Your lawyer is an experienced negotiator who understands the tactics insurance adjusters use and the best way to use the facts and evidence to your advantage.
If a settlement agreement can be reached, your lawyer will go over the agreement with you, make sure it does not violate your legal rights, and offer advice about whether you should accept.
Sometimes negotiations are unsuccessful. If the insurance company fails to make a fair offer, your lawyer will prepare to file a personal injury lawsuit. Your legal team will:
Even after filing a lawsuit, negotiations may continue with the insurance company, and mediation may be used in another attempt to reach an agreement outside of court. Otherwise, your case will go before a jury. Your lawyer will demonstrate how the other party caused your crash and argue for your right to compensation for your losses.