For accident victims, the stress and trauma of a car accident, no matter the severity, can sometimes be overwhelming. It can be difficult to know where to turn or who to trust. Add to that uncertainty mounting medical bills, physical pain and suffering, and financial stress, and it’s easy to see why insurance companies try their hardest to get you to settle quickly. For the insurer, you are just another number affecting their bottom-line, and the sooner you will accept a settlement the sooner they can go back to making profits.
With that in mind, determining if you need the legal advice of an attorney is not always evident. In this article we will examine the many likely scenarios you may find yourself in after an accident, and how you can make an appropriate decision to achieve your desired goal, getting your life back on track.
Managing Your Own Case
Before you begin to attempt to handle your own case, it is important to understand that doing so may make it more complicated later if you decide to hire an attorney. If you are unsure of how to handle a claim or what to do, you should consider contacting an attorney. At The Garza Law Firm, we do not charge a fee for a case evaluation, and most cases can be evaluated over the phone. This alone, means you will speak to a qualified and experienced professional who will help you determine if you should seek attorney representation.
However, here are some scenarios where you might want to go it alone.
- You Were In a Minor Car Accident With No Injuries
- An example of this situation is a low speed rear-impact that causes very little damage and the injuries to yourself or your passengers do not necessitate visits to a doctor. In this example it may be more efficient to file a claim with your insurance or the at-fault parties insurance. Assuming minimal damage, this route should cover the costs of repair and is recommended if all parties are agreeable and not suffering from injury.
- You Feel Confident That You Can Negotiate With An Adjuster
- Adjusters are people too, which means they can sympathize with your situation quite well. However they have a fiduciary responsibility to their employer to protect the financial interests of the insurance company. Ultimately this means that the insurance adjuster does not have your bests interests at heart when it comes time to negotiate repairs and settlement. They may deem certain vehicle repairs as pre-existing damage, or find previous accidents you may have been involved in as the cause of your current injuries. Often times they may expedite your case, in an effort to get you to settle quickly under the guise of helping you out. Whatever the angle of approach the goal for the insurer remains the same, settle the claim quickly and cheaply. We do not recommend negotiating with insurance alone, for this simple reality.
- You Are Prepared to Spend Hours Researching Personal Injury Law and The Settlement Process
- With the vast amount of information on the internet (often times inaccurate) many people have adapted to the DIY approach to many of life’s challenging problems. There exists numerous helpful articles and legal letter’s on the web that do offer useful information surrounding personal injury claims. We often posts such information here on our own blog as a resource for our clients and visitors. However, we simply cannot recommend handling your own case if you experience substantial injuries from your accident. In our experience every case has a unique set of challenges that must be addressed individually through an expert attorney’s review. Our firm specializes in personal injury cases, it’s what we do, it’s what we have always done for 35 years. We know the law, front to back, and that depth of knowledge saves you time, headache and frustration in the long run.
When You Should Hire An Attorney
Now that we have examined situations where you might not need an attorney, let’s examine when it is in your best interest to have an attorney represent you.
Your Injuries Are More Severe Than You Thought
As we addressed earlier, minor accidents tend to have minor to no injuries and this can lead you into a false sense of security. However, as medical evidence will show, after an accident your adrenaline is high and your fight-or-flight instinct will usually take over. This can overwhelm any actual pain at the moment of accident and lead you to believe you are okay. Yet below the surface, your internal organs have experienced a massive shock. We often find our clients come to us after a few weeks describing debilitating muscle pains, inability to sleep, or overall aches and tension. This can require months of rehabilitation to recover from, racking up thousands of dollars in medical expenses.
Any good lawyer will advise you to wait until you know the full extent of your injuries, as at that time you can determine what is a proper offer to accept.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Often times we see new clients that are unaware of the damages that they are entitled to. Accidents are stressful, emotional and taxing on not only the body, but the mind as well. This pain and suffering is part of what we are here to make sure you are compensated for. Understanding that you were a victim of a careless driver is important to understand what you deserve. Negotiating these types of damages is not always easy to do alone, and we can advocate on your behalf to make sure you receive full compensation.
Can I Afford An Attorney?
This question alone is one of the primary reasons most people are reluctant to hire an attorney. The fear of expensive legal fees, especially when you have already experienced a financial setback, can be daunting. However, we are here to remind you that hiring us costs you nothing.
How It Works: Contingency Fee Agreements
Contingency fee agreements work by allowing the attorney to collect compensation from your settlement or damage award. This is commonly based on a percentage of the amount of money you receive. An agreement may stipulate that the lawyer gets 30 percent if you settle before a lawsuit is filed, one-third if you settle after the lawsuit is filed but during the discovery process, or 40 percent if the case actually goes to trial and damages are awarded by a jury.
What this means to you, is that the legal fees we charge for our services should never be a factor in determining if you should hire us. Our No Fee Guarantee means that you do not pay us a dime unless we settle your case. This also means that we have an inherent duty to be open and honest with you. When you request a case evaluation from us, we will review the accident specifics, and give you the truth about the viability of your claim. It is not in our interest to waste your time, or sell you on a weak case, because we will not receive compensation if we cannot win a satisfactory settlement.
You have nothing to lose when you contact us. Our case evaluations are free.
A Larger Settlement
Based on a 1999 study by the Insurance Research Council, the average person receives a settlement 3 ½ times larger when represented by an attorney than when not. Often in personal injury cases this difference can be substantial.
Any time you are injured and are dealing with an insurance company or another private party directly for your claim, you have the right to consult an attorney and have one represent you if you choose.
If you are ready to begin this process, do not hesitate to contact us today, either using the contact form below or calling us directly. We are here to help you move forward with your life, by getting you the compensation you deserve!