For as long as I can remember, the legal field has always fascinated me. While my friends watched sitcoms and cartoons, I chose to watch courtroom dramas and real life trials unfold. There was never really any question as to what I wanted to be when I got older. The only profession for me was that of a trial lawyer. Unfortunately, a serious car accident several years ago changed all that. Now, my injuries prevent me from leaving my home most days. However, my love for the law has never went away. While I may not be able to realize my dreams of becoming a trail lawyer, I still wish to help people with their legal problems. That is why I decided to start this blog. It is my hope that the information contained in these pages will help other accident victims like me when filing their personal injury claims.
While it's true an attorney can help you successfully settle an accident claim, it's equally true not all cases require a lawyer's assistance. Sometimes it's possible to get a fair settlement from the insurance company on your own; however, determining if that's the case in your current claim can be a challenge. Here are two things to consider to help you decide if you can resolve your claim yourself or you need an attorney's assistance.
Your Damages are Limited
Generally speaking, the lower the amount of your damages, the easier it will be to get your claim paid. The insurance company may not think twice about cutting a check for $1,000 for vehicle repairs, whereas you may encounter some resistance on a $50,000 claim for medical bills.
If you only sustained property damage, like a damaged fender, then you may want to save yourself some legal fees and handle your claim yourself. You could also still handle your case yourself if any injuries you suffered were minor (e.g. cuts and bruises) and had minimal impact on your life.
On the other hand, you may want to get an attorney if you suffer major injuries like broken bones or brain injuries. These types of injuries typically make you eligible for other kinds of damages, like pain and suffering, or may result in long-term medical issues that you'll need to properly be compensated. The insurance company may try to lowball you in this area, and it's good to have an attorney who will negotiate a fair settlement for you.
The Strength of Your Case
Another thing you want to consider is whether or not you have a strong case. The stronger your case, the better position you'll be in to get your entire claim paid. For instance, the insurance company is less likely to cause you problems if you have video evidence the liable party ran a stoplight and crashed into you. This is because they would probably lose the case if you decided to sue for damages in court. Therefore, the company will be more willing to settle with you to avoid paying legal fees.
Unfortunately, the opposite is true if your case is weak or you don't have good evidence supporting your side of the story. The insurance provider may take a gamble that you wouldn't win in court and may not settle your claim fairly or outright deny it. In this case, you'll definitely want to get an attorney rather than manage your claim yourself, because the lawyer can use a variety of tactics to help strengthen your case.
Although lawyers charge $100 to $400 per hour, many of them offer free consultations. Take advantage of this offer to speak to an attorney about your case, which can help you decide which direction to go. Also, keep in mind that a car accident attorney will usually work for a contingency fee, which means they will accept a portion of any settlement your receive instead of billing you hourly.Share
19 April 2016