Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer or Can You Handle the Case Yourself?
The law does not require you to hire a lawyer after a car accident. This is the short answer to whether you need to hire a car accident lawyer or can you handle the case yourself; however, given the amount of money potentially at stake, not to mention the stress that the aftermath of a car crash can cause, an attorney can protect your rights and take the burden of fighting your claim off your shoulders so that you can focus on recovering.
One concern that keeps many car accident victims from getting a lawyer involved is the cost. At Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD, we offer a free case evaluation. It will not cost you anything to find out if we can help you with your car accident claim and if you become a client, you won’t have to pay us anything out of pocket. Our car accident clients only pay us a portion of the money that we recover for them, and they pay us no fee unless they get paid.
How an Attorney Can Help You After a Car Accident
A lawyer can make your life easier after a car accident and potentially get you a better settlement than you would receive on your own. Here are a few specific ways an attorney can help you navigate the aftermath of a crash.
Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Keep two things in mind when deciding if you need to hire a car accident lawyer or if you can handle the case yourself:
- While you clearly want the highest compensation possible, the insurance company wishes to minimize payouts.
- The settlement the insurance company puts in front of you, assuming they do not try to deny your claim, might not cover the full scope of damages to which you are entitled.
An attorney who focuses on car accident cases knows how to approach insurance company negotiations to make sure you maintain the upper hand the entire time. You should not accept the first offer made to you but hold out for one that pays you the fair compensation you deserve.
Determining the Value of Your Claim
One of the biggest drawbacks of taking the insurance company’s offer without first consulting with a lawyer is it can be difficult to know whether the damages included covers everything you are eligible to receive.
A settlement offer might cover the costs of your current medical bills and perhaps the time you have spent away from work at this point. You might also be eligible to receive some or all of the following damages, most of which standard settlement offers do not include:
- Future anticipated medical costs
- Reduced short-term or long-term earning capacity
- Medical devices and prescription medications
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
A car accident attorney can evaluate your case and, looking at the evidence, determine the type and amount of damages to pursue. By representing yourself and not obtaining attorney representation, you could leave a significant portion of this money on the table.
Deciding Whether to Accept an Out-of-Court Settlement or Go to Trial
The first job of your attorney is to gather as much evidence as possible and build a thorough and compelling case showing:
- The other driver was responsible for your injuries.
- The amount of damages for which you are eligible.
Next, your attorney presents this evidence to the insurance company and begins the process of negotiating a fair settlement. Ideally, the insurance company agrees to pay you what you deserve, and the process does not need to go any further.
But if the insurance company is intransigent or refuses to pay fair compensation, you might need to file a lawsuit and try the case in front of a jury. Your lawyer can determine the right time to file a lawsuit.
Call Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD Today for a Free Car Accident Claim Evaluation
The legal team at Chisholm Chisholm & Kilpatrick LTD wants to fight for you and help you get the compensation you deserve for your car accident injuries. We offer a free case evaluation and want to see if we can help you.
For a free case evaluation to determine if we can assist you, call our office at 401-331-6300.
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