The first question many people ask after being injured in a car crash is do I really need an attorney. The answer is yes, you do if you want to obtain the compensation you deserve. Filing a case against an insurance company is not easy, and they won't allow it to be. Insurance companies are not in business to give money away, and they have a legal department to help win their case.
Pros of Having an Attorney
Studies have shown that having an attorney results in higher compensation for the plaintiff (injured party). There are several reasons for this:
- The insurance company will try to settle for a low-ball amount. Your personal injury lawyer will not let this happen.
- The insurance company will try to say that your injuries were not caused by the accident, or they are not as serious as claimed.
- A personal injury lawyer will prove that this is untrue using medical experts.
- The insurance company will try to use your own words against you. Your personal injury lawyer will represent you with the insurer.
- The insurer may try to blame the accident on you. Your lawyer will investigate the accident and determine liability fairly.
- Insurance Companies Are in Business to Make Money
After an accident, the injured party is often physically hurt and unable to work. The problem is medical bills and household expenses are piling up, instilling a sense of urgency that the case should be concluded as soon as possible. The insurance companies know this and offer a low-ball amount, trying to conclude the case for the smallest amount possible.
They do this because as time goes by the injured person may need more costly treatment since not all symptoms are obvious right away. The settlement may look fair at first, but it does not necessarily include the totality of the funds needed to pay for the cost of the negligent driver's mistake. Your personal injury attorney will advise you to wait until treatment is concluded. Once you agree to a settlement, you will have to pay for additional treatment yourself.
Prior Injuries Cause Your Pain
Many times, the insurance company will say that a previous injury is causing the physical pain you are claiming was due to the accident. It happens all the time. Sometimes, they even try to prove that an old injury is really the culprit by obtaining your medical records.
Your attorney will tell you not to relinquish old medical records to the insurer for just this reason. In fact, even if you suffered an earlier injury in the same part of your body, the accident not only harmed you, but it may have aggravated a previously healed injury.
Paperwork Is Late
Insurers will often try to say that you did not file your paperwork on time, and payment will not be forthcoming. This means they are reneging on paying for your injuries, which should be covered by your policy.
The problem is the injured party may be too busy trying to heal to do the research needed to avoid this situation. Having an attorney means that all paperwork is turned in on time to meet the tight submission dates the insurance company imposes.
Obtaining medical attention as soon as possible after a car accident is another layer of proof you can provide. Insurers often say if the injury were really that serious you would have visited a medical facility. Seeing a physician also gives you a baseline and information about late-appearing symptoms.
Multiple Vehicle Accidents
When multiple vehicles are involved in a collision, it is difficult to determine who is at fault. An experienced attorney will protect your interests when cross and counterclaims are being made by others involved in the accident. Not paying attention to this can result in a smaller compensation.
Disability - Long-Term or Permanent
If your injuries are expected to require long-term care or are permanent, you need the legal insight an attorney can provide. Your lawyer will be able to calculate your losses over the long term. This includes not just pain and suffering but also medical expenses and lost wages.
It is vital to know your future losses as well as those in the present before accepting an insurance payout. In addition, if the insurer offers a settlement that is too low and negotiations are unsuccessful, you need an attorney who can take the case to court.
The Jeff Morris Law Firm
Morris Law has your back after you suffer injuries and financial loss due to the negligence of another driver. It is his compassion, diligence and legal acumen that leads ranking companies such as Super Lawyers to name him one of the top attorneys in South Carolina. Call his office at (843) 232-0944 to schedule a free case review. Remember, you will not pay him a fee until you have won your case. You can reach out to him online also.