Car accident lawyers help you get the best compensation from insurance companies after an automobile accident. There are several things that car accident lawyers do to enhance the value of your automobile claim. These include:
- Gather the evidence neccesary to prove liability
- Gather the evidence necessary to prove medical causation
- Gather the evidence necessary to prove damages
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Negotiate with lien holders
What will my car accident lawyer do for me?
Your car accident lawyer will help you at every step along the way. He or she will take over all communication with the liability insurance carrier. They will get the police report and accident scene photographs. Your lawyer will organize all of your medical bills and records for the insurance company.
A smart lawyer will also work with your doctors to make sure the doctors provide you the medical information necessary to support your automobile accident claim. The lawyer will communicate with your health insurance provider and your health care providers to make sure that all bills are paid.
And once your treatment is completed, your car accident lawyer will negoitate with the automobile insurance companies to get the most money they can for you.
Dealing with the Other Driver's Insurance Company
The other driver's insurance company will do what they can to avoid paying you compensation. Your car accident lawyer will take over all communication with them so that they get the information necessary to maximize your claim. The insurance claims adjuster will be the person who ultimately writes the settlement check so it is important for your attorney to open the lines of communication and make sure the evidence is presented favorably.
It is also important for your car accident attorney to have an established reputation for getting good results. Many lawyers who advertise for cases have the reputation of trying to settle claims quickly and do not work to maximize the settlement. The insurance claims adjusters know who those attorneys are and they offer lower settlement to those attorneys.
You should talk with your attorney to make sure he or she is willing to fight for you, even if that means going to trial. If you hire an attorney who has an established reputation with claims adjusters, he or she will be able to get you a better settlement.
Gathering Evidence to Support Your Car Accident Claim
Like court cases, insurance claims have to be based on evidence. The insurance companies wil not pay on claims that are not properly supported. This is one of the big mistakes people make when they try to handle their cases on their own. They think that the insurance company will evaluate their claim fairly, but the insurance company will only evaluate those portions of the claim that would hold up in court.
Some important pieces of evidence are:
- Police report
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Vehicle repair estimates
- Medical Records
- Medical Bills
- Pay stubs to prove lost wages
- Causation statements from qualified medical professionals
- Photographs of injuries and/or scars
Your car accident lawyer will gather these pieces of evidence, along with other evidence specific to your case. He or she will then organize the evidence and information in a way that will demonstrate to the insurance claims adjuster that they should take your claim seriously.
Evaluate Your Damages Claim
After gathering the evidence to support your claim, your car accident lawyer will evaluate your damages. This is a difficult task because there are countless factors that affect the value of a claim.
One of the primary elements of your automobile accident claim is the injuries you sustained and how those injuries are documented in the records. There are significant differences between soft-tissue injuries and broken bones. The insurance company will also evaluate the severity of your injuries, and how complicated the injuries are to treat. Another important factor is how much your treatment has already cost and how much additional treatment will cost in the future.
Lost wages and/or lost earning capacity are also important to consider after a car accident. Some people sustain injuries that take them out of work for a period of time. Other injuries may prevent a person from being able to return to the type of work they did before their car accident. Although not all cases involve a lost wage claim, your loss of income may be one of the things that significantly affect the value of your personal injury claim.
Finally, your car accident lawyer will evaluate your claim for "pain and suffering." This is the hardest part of the claim to evaluate because there is not an easy, "one-size-fits-all" approach to pain and suffering damages. Every person is different, and every accident claim deserves its own analysis. Usually, your car accident lawyer will be able to estimate a range for the value of your pain and suffering damages. The range is helpful to know for negotiating claims and for assessing the risks of trial. Because this is not something most people know how to do, this is one area in which your car accident lawyer can be extremely helpful.
Can I handle my own car accident claim?
Some people handle their own car accident insurance claims without hiring an attorney. If your injuries were not severe and you have the time to invest in gathering medical records and bills, then you may be able to handle your own insurance claim. However, a good car accident lawyer can add value to cases--even those cases arising from minor fender-benders.
Your car accident lawyer will help you to gather the evidence, deal with medical providers, communicate with the insurance companies, evaluate your daamges claim, and negotiate on your behalf. These tasks are time-consuming and technical. Having an experienced car accident lawyer will be a great benefit to you.