You can represent yourself in a car accident case, navigating the legal process and negotiating a payout with the insurance company. However, working with a car accident lawyer might be a good idea in your case. Handling your own case is time-consuming and challenging, and many people end up calling in an attorney anyway.
There are no rules against representing yourself when taking steps to recover compensation after a crash. There are many advantages of working with an attorney, though. This includes having the firm’s experience, knowledge, and resources at your disposal throughout the process.
Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to Manage Your Case
Before you decide to handle your car accident case on your own, consider the many benefits of working with a lawyer. While things could go smoothly, and you may be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, do you know how to prove negligence and liability?
When you work with an attorney, some advantages you will have include:
Lawyers Handle Many Cases Like Yours Each Year
Car accident lawyers work on cases like yours daily. They know what it takes to get a fair settlement and even the tactics insurance companies use to reduce the money they pay out. They understand how to protect your rights and fight for your best interests.
They Know the Steps to Creating a Car Accident Case
Navigating the auto insurance claims process requires investigating what happened, calculating a possible settlement range, demanding fair compensation, and negotiating a fair settlement. Car accident lawyers know these steps and how to handle them.
They Handle the Time-Consuming Tasks
Building a compelling case against an at-fault driver takes time. This includes a wide range of tasks, small and large. It can seem like a full-time job when you are the only person working on your case. Working with an attorney takes all these tasks off your plate and gives you more time to focus on your physical recovery.
A lawyer can handle the following tasks for you:
- Obtaining the accident report filed by the police, your medical records, and other paperwork
- Identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses
- Canvassing for video of the crash from nearby cameras
- Working with expert witnesses
- Surveying the accident scene
- Gathering documentation of the damages you suffered
- Organizing the evidence into a compelling case
- Communicating with the insurance company
- Writing and sending a demand letter
- Negotiating with the insurer
You Will Pay Nothing Upfront
Most personal injury law firms work on a contingency-fee basis. They do not ask clients to pay upfront fees such as retainers. Personal injury firms typically do not charge by the hour, either. Instead, they work for a percentage of the total payout in the case. This makes it possible for any crash victim to afford quality representation, even when they are facing medical expenses and property repair costs.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-537-8185
Understanding How Car Accident Cases Work
Many people do not understand what goes into a car accident case and believe the insurance company will work with them to navigate the process. Unfortunately, the insurance adjuster is not always on your side. Their goal is not to ensure you get fair compensation. In fact, they want to pay out as little as possible to settle your claim.
If you represent yourself, your job will be to build a strong case against the at-fault driver and show why you should receive the money you demand from the insurance company. This will require you to:
Prove Negligence and Liability
Car accidents usually occur because one party acts carelessly or recklessly and causes a crash. You will need to present evidence to show the at-fault party’s actions were the proximate cause of the accident and your injuries.
Investigate the Crash
You must investigate the collision and gather evidence to build a compelling case showing what happened and who is responsible. This could require you to spend a lot of time and money collecting documents, reviewing videos, and talking to witnesses.
Document Your Damages
You will also need documents to support the value of your case. You will need to collect the paperwork to show:
- Your medical care costs to date
- Estimated future treatment and support expenses
- Lost income from time missed at work
- Diminished earning capacity based on lasting injuries
- The cost to repair or replace your car
- The value of your intangible losses, such as pain and suffering
Pursuing Damages in a Car Accident Case
When a victim pursues compensation for their car accident damages, they do so by demanding fair compensation from the insurance company or suing the at-fault driver. In some cases, both approaches are necessary.
Insurance payouts based on negotiated settlements are the most common way to recover money in these cases. This outcome can follow an insurance claim or a lawsuit since negotiations generally continue even after the paperwork gets filed.
If you believe you might need to sue to recover fair compensation or you have other questions about your case, it is important to consider hiring an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit if:
- The insurance company denies the claim
- The insurance adjuster refuses fair offers
- The insurer is intentionally delaying the payout of your compensation
Talk to One of Our Auto Accident Attorneys for Free
The Morris Bart law firm provides complimentary initial consultations for victims of car accidents in our service area. We have 15 offices serving Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas. If you suffered injuries in one of these states, reach out to us for a free case review today.
Contact us on the phone to speak to a car accident lawyer about your options for seeking compensation.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.