Can You Settle a Car Accident Lawsuit Without a Lawyer?
The country is full of do-it-yourselfers these days.
Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to save money, and there’s no better way to do that than by handling a project on your own without hiring a professional.
Or is it?
Painting a room in your house may be an okay DIY project, but many people also look to save money by handling their accident claim themselves.
The line of thinking is sound.
If your insurance company offers you $10,000 to settle a claim, why would you need to hire an attorney just so they can take a cut of your settlement?
If you can receive a quick $10,000, why should you ever hire an Atlanta car accident attorney, right?
However, settling a personal injury claim is not as easy as painting a wall or building a new coffee table.
Personal injury claims deal with medical expenses, property damage, and several other moving parts, which can get complicated quickly.
So, can you settle a car accident lawsuit without a lawyer, or is it best to hire a professional?
We’ll take a look at that question below.
Maybe You Can Settle Your Accident Claim Without a Lawyer
If your motor vehicle accident was relatively mild, like a fender bender at a stop sign, you might be able to settle your accident claim on your own with your insurance adjuster.
If the other driver admits fault, you aren’t significantly injured, or you miss substantial time from work, you might be able to reach a fair settlement with your insurance company on your own.
But, there is no such thing as an “open and shut” case, and there are things you should know about the claims process before you get started.
First, don’t delay.
Your insurance company knows that there is a statute of limitations limiting the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit.
If the insurance company starts delaying or denying your claim to try to make you go over that time limit, you should contact an accident attorney as soon as possible.
Before you reach out to your claims adjuster to begin settlement negotiations, you should ensure all of your paperwork is in order.
This means having copies of your medical records, statements from your employer regarding lost wages, and any information you have from eyewitnesses.
You should also have a copy of the official police report and information regarding the relevant insurance policies.
You also shouldn’t make a recorded statement, especially without a car accident attorney present.
More often than not, a recorded statement isn’t necessary.
One exception to this rule would be for an uninsured or underinsured driver, but it’s best to discuss this statement with an attorney, or you could undermine your claim.
And never accept the first offer you are given.
Your insurance company will never open with their best offer in an attempt to keep from paying you the money you deserve.
As you can see, things can get complicated pretty quickly, even in a minor accident.
That’s why it’s always good to at least consult with an attorney after your accident.
Here are a few reasons why an accident lawyer will likely get you a much better settlement offer.
They Know How to Identify and Hold the Negligent Parties Responsible
Even in a rear-end collision at a traffic light with witnesses at the accident scene where the fault of the accident is blatantly obvious, the negligent driver will rarely outright admit to fault.
Proving that someone is negligent in an auto accident isn’t as simple as blaming the other driver.
When they get behind the wheel, everyone has a duty of care but proving someone breached that duty of care isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Maybe multiple vehicles were involved in the accident, making it hard to determine where the fault lies.
Or maybe the driver at the red light tried to stop, but their brakes didn’t work. This could mean the manufacturer of their brake pads or the mechanic who installed them incorrectly may be negligent parties.
If a traffic light was faulty, the local government might be partly responsible for the accident.
Your legal team can hire a team of investigators, medical experts, and even accident recreation specialists if necessary.
This will ensure everyone responsible for your injury is being held accountable.
Injury Lawyers Know Insurance Company Tactics
Your insurance provider is in the business of making money.
And to do that, they have to pay out as little as possible for injury claims.
Insurance companies know how to intimidate injury victims into lowering the amount they have to pay and raise your out-of-pocket expenses.
Your insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault party will try to convince you that you’re actually to blame for the accident or that you can’t prove the full long-term physical and emotional impact of your injury.
They may even try to make you believe that your doctor’s assessment isn’t good enough.
They’ll try to get you to submit to an examination by one of their approved healthcare professionals to have your medical costs covered.
Insurance companies will use every tool at their disposal to tie up your claim settlement.
They want to make you desperate enough for money to pay your medical bills and your lost wages that you will settle for an amount far less than what you deserve.
If you have a law firm with extensive experience handling accident claims on your side, you will have a much better chance of receiving the money you deserve.
The insurance company will know that picking a fight with an experienced, proven personal injury lawyer during the negotiation process will eventually cost more in legal fees than the claim is worth to them.
An Accident Attorney Can Calculate the Full Value of Your Insurance Settlement
To receive fair compensation, you have to know how much financial compensation you deserve in the first place.
Calculating your economic and non-economic damages after an auto accident can be very complicated.
And since an insurance settlement is considered full and final payment for your expenses and losses, you need to be absolutely sure your calculations are accurate.
Trying to do this without a lawyer is extremely difficult, especially if you are also nursing accident injuries.
You will need to consider things like:
- The total value of your medical bills, including things like chiropractic treatment.
- Required medical devices, like crutches, a neck brace, or a wheelchair.
- The cost of your property damages
- Accumulated current and future lost wages
- A dollar amount for your pain and suffering
And since no two car accident cases are alike, yours may have additional costs that can be recovered from the at-fault driver or their insurer.
Your accident lawyer will help you accurately assign a monetary value to your compensation claim before the negotiation process begins.
This will help ensure that the at-fault driver and their insurance company do not undervalue your claim and that fault for the accident is accurately assigned.
Consult An Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney
If you’re an accident victim that has sustained an injury in Atlanta, it’s best not to try to settle your claim by yourself.
Instead, you need to seek the legal advice of an experienced car accident attorney.
Accident lawyers specializing in auto accidents will make a massive difference in the outcome of an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
Having adequate legal representation will ensure that you are compensated for your medical treatment and any property damage.
It will also help ensure that an insurance adjuster won’t try to undervalue your claim.
Contacting the Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyers at The Mabra Law Firm will ensure you are fully compensated for your injuries after your car accident.
You are much more likely to have a favorable outcome in your accident injury claim.
Fill out the form below to schedule your Free Consultation with The Mabra Law Firm today.
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