A lawyer represents you and advocates for your best interests. That support is critical in areas in which you are unfamiliar, which, for most people, includes the legal and insurance industries. It means that the damages you have suffered are taken seriously and, ultimately, reimbursed fairly.
Lawyers get their clients more money – a lot more. Statistically, the difference amounts to, on average, 3.5 times what unrepresented claimants get for themselves in a settlement negotiation. Anecdotally, our firm has handled cases where we got the client up to nearly 14 times the settlement offer he had negotiated for himself.
And it’s not just about the money. It’s also about saving you the time and hassle of handling a claim yourself. A good car accident attorney will put a lot of time into each case they handle. If you had to deal with every form, every insurance company interaction, and every demand of pursuing a legal claim yourself, without knowledge of the claims process, it would take you far, far longer, and you still wouldn’t get the same results. A car accident attorney will handle:
- Gathering and maintaining all evidence pertaining to the crash
- Investigating the cause of the accident and bringing in accident reconstruction specialists, if necessary, to shed light on liability in complex cases
- Retrieving all documentation of your damages, including your medical records and income losses due to the accident
- Using this evidence to craft a demand letter to open settlement negotiations
- Negotiating with the insurance company to get you the maximum payout possible for your injuries
- Preparing your case as if for trial from day one, so that if a trial is necessary to get you the money you deserve, we’ll be ready
- Handling interactions with the insurance company
- Representing you in depositions, arbitrations, mediations, and any other legal proceeding
- Keeping you updated on the status of your claim and respond promptly to any questions or concerns you have
- Helping you with finding qualified medical providers, arranging transportation, or handling your property damage claim, as needed
When Should You Hire a Lawyer?
It’s never too soon after an accident to take the first step of speaking with a lawyer. You may think that you can’t call a lawyer yet because you don’t have the police report in hand or you don’t yet know what will happen with your medical care. Maybe you haven’t even seen a doctor or reported the accident to your insurance company.
It’s still not too early to learn about your options.
All you need to know before you call an attorney is that you have reason to believe that the accident is someone else’s fault (at least, more than 50 percent) and that you have some injuries or symptoms that you think might be worth getting checked out. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay anything until your case is settled or won.
If there’s a chance you may have a claim, your attorney can get the process started by contacting your insurance company for you, helping you find a doctor who will treat you (you’d be surprised how many primary care doctors won’t treat auto accident injuries) or simply being your safety net.
If your injuries resolve with no lasting harm or significant financial consequences, then the case will usually close out at no cost to you. But, if you do need a lawyer, you’ve already got all of your bases covered. There’s no downside to speaking to a car accident attorney as early on after the crash as possible, but there are plenty of positives.