You can settle your car insurance claim without a lawyer by personally handling all correspondence with insurance agents and negotiating a settlement. However, you may choose to retain a lawyer to help with your insurance claim instead, and there may be several benefits of doing so.
Insurance companies may generally have significant resources and an interest in paying you as little as possible, so having a car accident lawyer represent you may be helpful as a defense of your rights.
Insurance Companies’ Resources Can Be Daunting
Handling an insurance claim on your own may seem like a palatable idea, but being aware of what you are up against could change your perception. Yahoo! Finance points out that the auto insurance industry accounted for $285 billion in revenues in 2019 alone.
The various financial and legal resources insurance companies have access to may:
- Allow them to hire numerous lawyers to represent them when disputes arise
- Provide them the ability to wait you out if doing so might compel you to accept a lesser settlement amount
- Generally give them an advantage when it comes to settling your claim
A car accident can leave you reeling financially. One or more insurance companies may offer you a quick settlement, but it may be an amount that does not provide the full amount of compensation that you are entitled to recover. You may not have to settle for such an offer, and a lawyer may be able to help you deflect the tactics of an insurance company that is not operating in good faith.
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You May Face Multiple Losses After a Car Accident
The losses that can come from a car accident may tempt you into accepting a less-than-fair insurance settlement if you do not have a lawyer on your side. This is no surprise, as car accidents can be expensive in several ways beyond finances.
Some of the losses that may come from a car accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income due to your injuries preventing you from working, either temporarily or permanently
- A decline in your earning power caused by physical or cognitive trauma
- Damage to your vehicle
- Damage to personal property inside your vehicle or tethered to your vehicle
- Loss of your physical abilities, which may be temporary or permanent
- Damage to your mental health
- Changes to your personality
- The emergence of conditions such as anxiety or depression
While you can settle your car insurance claim without a lawyer, experiencing substantial losses could heighten the importance of getting a fair settlement. If you cannot recoup compensation that is in line with your losses, you may find yourself experiencing debt, paying more out-of-pocket than you should, and generally struggling.
You may also consider that an insurance settlement may not be a feasible way to obtain fair compensation—you may need to pursue a lawsuit instead.
Bringing a Lawsuit After a Car Accident
Several circumstances may compel you to seek compensation through a lawsuit. Some of these circumstances include:
- The driver who caused your accident is not insured, or some aspect of your collision voided any insurance coverage that they have.
- You have experienced severe injuries, causing losses beyond what the at-fault party’s insurance policy can cover.
- You believe the actions of those responsible for your accident were egregious and want to obtain financial justice beyond what insurance can provide.
- Your loved one has died as the result of somebody’s negligent actions.
You may have other reasons for bringing a lawsuit after a car accident. Whatever your rationale for considering or initiating a lawsuit is, a lawyer can help you complete the legal process.
You Only Have So Much Time to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident
Texas enforces strict timelines on car accident victims bringing lawsuits against liable parties. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, you are generally given two years to file either a personal injury or a wrongful death lawsuit.
While some exceptions apply, you should get started on your lawsuit right away. Evidence could be lost or destroyed after a few months, and witnesses’ memories could fade. As a result, your claim may not be as effective if you procrastinate.
Also, the state may refuse to hear your car accident case if you fail to meet the deadline set by the statute of limitations. If that happens, you may have little to no options for compensation, forcing you to make up the costs of your damages out of your own pocket.
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Hiring a Lawyer to Help with Your Claim or Lawsuit
Having a lawyer’s help could ease the process of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. The services a lawyer provides will allow you to focus on other responsibilities in your life and could reduce the stress associated with the legal process.
Some of the ways a lawyer may help include:
- Obtaining documentation of your injuries
- Collecting evidence of your accident
- Filing your lawsuit
- Writing your core argument for compensation
- Submitting all paperwork necessary to complete your lawsuit
- Making legal appearances on your behalf
- Negotiating a settlement
- Completing a trial
- Defending your rights
You may have serious injuries such as whiplash that can produce lingering symptoms, as the Mayo Clinic explains. Such injuries can interfere with every aspect of your life, and your lawyer will work for awards that may compensate for the losses you have experienced.
Most Personal Injury Law Firms Will Represent You on a No-Win, No-Fee Basis
If you’re worried about the costs that come with hiring a lawyer to settle your claim, don’t be. Many personal injury firms that handle car accident cases will represent their clients for a contingency fee. This means:
- A team member will go over your case with you for free when you first call.
- The law firm will finance your claim or lawsuit from start to finish.
- They will not charge you any fees by the hour, upfront, or out of pocket.
- Retainers aren’t required.
Your lawyer won’t take a fee unless and until they achieve a settlement or verdict for you. So, if they don’t secure a positive outcome, you don’t need to pay them for their assistance.
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You Can Still Be Involved with Your Car Insurance Claim If You Hire a Lawyer
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, their job is to take care of all aspects of your case while you focus on getting your health back. However, there are some things you can do to help your case, such as:
Obtaining Medical Treatment After Your Car Accident
If an ambulance didn’t take you to the hospital after your car accident, go see your primary care doctor as soon as possible. They will identify all your injuries and should start treating you right away.
The longer you wait to make an appointment, the more likely your injuries are to worsen. In addition, the insurance company may try to claim that your injures were minor or that something else caused them.
Following Through with Your Doctor’s Orders
After your doctor has diagnosed you, they’ll probably set up a treatment plan for you. Make sure you follow it exactly as they prescribe. That means:
- Attending all follow-up appointments
- Taking all medications
- Practicing all physical therapy exercises
Once your doctor determines you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), you are free to go back to your regular activities. If you stop adhering to your plan against medical advice, you could set yourself back, and the insurance company could blame you for making your injuries worse. In turn, they may refuse to pay for the full extent of your medical bills.
Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins Today for Help with Your Car Insurance Claim
A lawyer may be able to stand up for you if you were the victim of motorist negligence or careless actions by others resulting in injury or death. Call in the Strong Arm by calling Loncar Lyon Jenkins today at (800) 777-7777 for a free consultation.
Do not wait to call, as you may have a limited window to bring legal action.