If you’ve been in a car accident and were not seriously injured, or the damages to your vehicle weren’t very severe, you might start thinking about whether you can handle the insurance claim yourself, or if you need to hire a lawyer.
While it’s true that some car accidents are minor enough to not need a lawyer, you should think long and hard before you decide to go at it alone.
What are the dangers of representing yourself in a car accident claim?
Here are just a few of the downsides to settling a personal injury/car accident claim yourself:
- You have to learn A LOT about the legal and insurance fields: Do you know all the terminology associated with insurance claims? If you don’t, then you’ll have to learn, and quickly. Do you know the ins and outs of medical billing, medical costs and how to factor in any future injuries that may arise? Do you know all of the regulations associated with medical liens? If not, then you probably want to consult with an attorney. And what if you learn everything there is to know about insurance companies, and then they still won’t pay you the amount you deserve? If that happens, you will have to file a lawsuit, and are you prepared to do that without a lawyer? Disputed liability is something that happens all the time in car accident claims, especially when the victim doesn’t have an experienced legal advocate working on their behalf.
- Paying out of pocket for expenses related to your case: Typically, personal injury attorneys cover the everyday expenses of your claim, from copies to police reports and lots of other small hidden costs, then subtract that amount from your overall settlement amount after the case is closed. These costs can all add up very fast, and if you are handling the case yourself, you will be responsible for those upfront expenses.
- Less money: Attorneys have years of experience in analyzing the particulars of a personal injury case, and they know when and where to look for more money. They are also expert negotiators who know when it’s best to settle and when it’s best to battle it out in court. Often, you will get much less money when you represent yourself.
While it’s true that some cases are more complicated than others and some require less work than others, the money you save by not hiring an experienced personal injury attorney could end up costing you more in the long run.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.