Many car accident attorneys offer a free consultation to review your settlement case. If you are seeking meaningful compensation for a recent crash, getting advice from a car accident lawyer could be the difference between settling for a lowball offer and having an amount sufficient for current and future damages.
Car crashes occur on our roads more than anyone can imagine. In 2018 alone, a total of 12 million cars were involved in an accident in the US. While there are stipulated traffic rules to enforce road safety, following them does not guarantee that you will not be involved in a collision yourself. Reckless, speeding or intoxicated drivers can cause a fatal accident, leading to wrongful death, injuries, and property damage.
When this happens, the law allows you to seek compensation for your injuries through the negligent driver’s insurance company. More often than not, the insurance adjuster will try to offer you a settlement offer immediately after the accident. When you have medical and vehicle damage bills glaring at you, taking the offer might seem like the only option.
But this is not the case. Before talking to any insurance company, it is important to give your attorney a call. Here’s why:
The Insurance Company Is Not on Your Side.
Sadly, this is the ironic truth. The very basis of an insurance company is to protect people’s future. Unfortunately, insurers make most of their money by denying claims or offering a way lower figure than deserved.
This means that their decisions and actions are not in your best interest. When the insurance company calls you to offer a settlement figure, it is likely that the amount is only to make the case go away. The insurer might convince you that they are helping by offering a settlement soon, but you should not agree to anything without advice from a car accident attorney.
An Attorney Will Fully Quantify Your Current and Future Damages
Another major reason why the insurance company is quick to offer a figure right after the accident is the issue of collective damages.
Many people know that the driver at fault has to compensate them, especially for medical and vehicle damage bills, but that’s about it. The insurance company is similarly aware that most victims do not understand their full rights to compensation and will take advantage of this fact.
A car accident attorney will evaluate your case and determine the total damages owed to you by the insurance company, including non-economic damages. In some cases, an accident victim might also qualify for punitive damages too, which is difficult to figure out without advice from a lawyer.
Conducting an Independent Investigation
The best time to call an attorney is right after the accident occurs. This is crucial because the negligent driver’s insurance company will start their investigation immediately their client calls in, giving them an upper hand. Getting an attorney at that time will level the playing field because they will conduct an investigation, too.
If you wait, your lawyer might miss an important piece of information that is key in proving fault. It is also possible for you to incriminate yourself while talking to an insurance adjuster, making it more difficult for your attorney to argue your case.
Negotiating a Higher Amount in Compensation
It is very rare for an insurance company to propose the rightfully deserved amount in compensation during the first offer. If you do not have legal representation, it becomes even easier for the adjuster to convince you to accept a lowball deal.
A car accident attorney uses their legal knowledge to prove why such an offer is insufficient for your compensation.