Do I Really Need an Attorney for an Automobile Accident?
You have been in an accident. It was not your fault. You are in pain, re-experiencing the trauma, unable to work and not sure if your injuries are permanent. This is not the time to settle with an insurance company as you may not be thinking clearly, but do you really need an attorney? Without an attorney to negotiate for you the chances are the insurance adjuster will give you the lowest amount they possibly can and once you sign you cannot request more if you develop issues in the future.
What Does An Accident Attorney Do?
When you obtain the services of a competent attorney they can do several things to help you while you can focus on recovering. These include:
● Communicating with the other driver’s insurance company. Keep in mind that the adjuster is the one that controls the money so effective communication between them and your attorney is an important aspect to a reasonable settlement.
● Your attorney and their team will collect all the necessary documents, photos, witness statements to prove that the other drive is liable for your injuries,
● Communicating with your medical providers to get all records to prove you have damages as a result of the accident. Often hospitals have a certain procedure to obtain records. A good attorney can negotiate and complete all forms needed to get results quickly
● Demand letter. Once all information has been gathered by your attorney he will send the insurance company a demand letter and present evidence to them proving the other drivers liability and damages incurred.
● Negotiate with lien holders. If your car has not been paid for, your attorney will contact the bank or lender to reduce their lien.
● Work towards a reasonable settlement with either the insurance adjuster or if it goes to court an defense attorney.
How Attorneys Negotiate
In many cases, the at fault driver’s insurance company will refuse the first offer. Your attorney knows this and usually will ask for higher amount. Negotiation requires specialized skills. In most cases you can expect the following:
● The insurance company refuses the amount and will argue your claim of damages.
● Your attorney will respond to each of the insurance company’s objections.
● The insurance adjuster will offer a low settlement hoping you are in a hurry and will not want to wait for a greater amount.
● If the insurance company and your attorney cannot come to an equally acceptable agreement, your case will go to mediation
How Can An Attorney Help During Mediation
Most lawsuits are settled in the negotiation process, however, occasionally the two parties cannot agree and the case goes to Mediation. Mediation is an alternative method of resolution of your case by a neutral third party, usually a licensed attorney or judge to resolve the dispute and avoid trial. Before your mediation your attorney will prepare a brief that explains the settlement amount and arguments as to why this is a reasonable amount. The insurance will also provide a brief. The mediator will ask for clarification speak with both parties and help them to arrive at a mutually agreed upon amount. Mediation can last for a few days or weeks but usually an agreement is reached.
With all the aspects required to obtain a reasonable settlement for your losses, it is imperative you obtain an attorney so your only concern is to relieve stress and heal from your injuries. At Justice Pays, our attorneys will take over everything, so you don’t have to worry. We will fight for you every step of the way. If you’ve been injured, give us a call and see how our attorneys can help you.