If you were hurt in a car accident, you could be facing serious medical problems and a substantial loss of income that could affect your life for months or years to come. You may have a right to compensation from the negligent driver for your lost wages, staggering medical bills, and emotional trauma. While you may be tempted to try to negotiate a settlement on your own, this would be a big mistake that could cost you when you settle for less than your case is really worth.
How a Lawyer Can Help Maximize Your Settlement
The insurance adjuster for the negligent driver may try to convince you that you can resolve your case yourself. However, do not be fooled. He may offer you a settlement, but it will be significantly less than if you had an attorney on your side. Ways a lawyer can improve the likelihood you will receive a more favorable settlement include:
- Knowledge of law and procedures. An attorney will know the laws and local court procedures that apply to your case, including the statute of limitations—or time limit—to sue the negligent driver. He will also understand how to defeat potential arguments the insurance adjuster will make to try to reduce your claim.
- Accident investigation. In order to obtain compensation, you will need to show the other driver’s negligence caused the crash. An experienced attorney can help you get the police report, locate witnesses and obtain their statements, and utilize experts like an accident reconstruction expert when liability is complicated.
- Documentation of your damages. Obtaining all the medical records and bills from your doctor and hospital can be challenging, but it is critical to helping you obtain a good settlement. Often these records are incomplete or do not provide vital information such as your prognosis, future medical treatments you will need, and how the accident caused your injuries. An experienced attorney will know what is needed and will follow up on obtaining it before settling your case.
- Identification of all liable parties. While many auto crashes involve one negligent driver hitting another vehicle, other cases could include more than one guilty party. For example, in a multi-car accident, more than one driver could have been negligent and may be responsible for compensating you. If a defect in a car contributed to your injuries, you may also have a claim against the vehicle manufacturer. An attorney can identify all the responsible parties—which will increase the amount of your settlement.
- Negotiation of a settlement. A lawyer who is experienced in handling car accident cases will understand how much your case is really worth and may have experience negotiating with the insurance adjuster or attorney. This knowledge can help him obtain a significantly higher settlement than you could achieve on your own.
If you or a family member was injured in a car crash caused by another driver, check out our case results to see how our experienced legal team has helped people like you. Then call us at 866-299-0558 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.