After you've been in an accident, you have a lot to handle. Lost wages, mounting medical bills, and the loss of use of your vehicle take a toll on your daily life and your bank account. If you are seriously injured, it's even worse. You have to worry about your health and recovery.
Fortunately, you don't have to do everything yourself. Instead, you can rely on a car accident attorney to help get you through this difficult time with your finances intact and your losses covered. If you're not entirely sure what an attorney can do for you, here are five things with which the best car accident attorney can help:
Prevent you from admitting fault
Many people admit fault to other people involved in the accident or an insurance company. This often happens even where the person admitting fault is not actually at fault. Your attorney will advise you on what to say and, more importantly, what not to say when you're dealing with people who do not share such your interests in the outcome of your case, such as insurance adjusters. If you make statements taking responsibility for an accident you did not cause, it could reduce the value of your case. Insurance adjusters are trained in tactics that are designed to elicit answers from claimants that could lower or even end their claim.
Stop you from accepting an unreasonable settlement
Your first settlement offer is almost always too low. The adjuster will start on the low end of the range the insurer is willing to pay for your claim, hoping that you will accept it and end the process. Remember, the goal of an insurance company is to take more premiums in than claims paid out. The lower your settlement, the more profitable an insurance company will be. Your attorney will evaluate your case before negotiating with insurance adjusters and give you an understanding of what constitutes a reasonable settlement offer in your case.
Another tactic adjusters may use is delay. Their hope is that if things take too long, you will accept a lower offer because you need the financial help. An attorney will keep pressure on the insurance company and keep your claims process moving.
Gather all the evidence
Some evidence may be relatively easy to obtain--such as a police report copy--but other supportive evidence may not be so simple to locate. Some things, like camera footage, might require a formal process or court action to obtain. Your attorney will investigate your accident and will be able to gather evidence from all potential sources, including places that may be tough or even impossible for you to access. Also, your attorney will send correspondence to all necessary parties to ensure that relevant evidence is preserved until your claim is fully resolved.
Negotiate with the insurer
Your attorney will negotiate with the insurer so you can focus on your recovery. Your attorney will have experience and training in negotiating claims like yours, and is far more adept at handling these negotiations.
Handle the details
Car accident claims have many moving parts. An untrained individual can hardly be expected to handle their own responsibilities in addition to things like negotiating with the insurance company, gathering medical records and other evidence, locating expert and fact witnesses, and resolving medical liens. While your attorney can't go to the doctor for you, they can do many other things to ensure nothing is missed in your case and that your claim proceeds in a timely manner.
Please be advised that this is provided for general information purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by the provision of this information. The best resource for information about your case is consulting an attorney.