Far too often, victims of car accidents contact an attorney after damage has been done to their case when they tried to handle it themselves. If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a wreck, speaking to insurance adjusters without a lawyer present can cause you to get less compensation or no compensation at all.
In this article, we’ll go over the mistakes victims make that lawyers want them to stop. A car accident lawyer can help with gathering evidence and will usually want you to know details about how much could be requested in a settlement claim against the other party.
One detail that lawyers want you to know is that you can hire someone to represent you right after a car accident. The following are a few common questions to ask during your initial consultation:
- How much could I get?
- What documents do I need to provide?
- Will I have to go to court?
If you plan on filing a claim, then this is one of the first things that you should do so that you have someone available to answer questions and so that there is someone available to talk to insurance companies and other professionals on your behalf.
If you’re involved in an accident, you might think that you can talk your attorney into filing a claim for any amount that you want. The truth is, in some states there are limits on the compensation that can be awarded. Click here to learn more about limits of compensation depending on different types of damages. Most limits are based on the coverage provided by insurance companies and the minimum amount set by the state.
The responsible party’s insurance policy likely won’t pay out any more than necessary in order to keep the person’s rates at the lowest amount and so that the company spends as little as possible. If the policy has a $50,000 limit or a different amount listed, then that is usually the most that you’ll walk away with in the settlement.
Those who work in the insurance world aren’t going to be your friend after a car accident. They will likely try any tactic to get you off the phone and offer as little money as possible. This is where your attorney comes into play. They can talk to the agent for you so that you get as much money as possible.
Be prepared for your claim to be denied. Although this might not be what happens, especially if there’s enough evidence to support that you weren’t at fault in the accident, it is a possibility. You can file an appeal almost immediately after a denial. Keep all of the medical documents that you have pertaining to injuries as well as information about lost wages and how the accident has impacted your personal life.
If the accident was your fault, you might think that you won’t be able to present a case to the court. However, this isn’t true as you can try to obtain at least half of the amount of a full compensation depending on your state’s laws. The court looks at the overall settlement amount and determines the percentage of responsibility before issuing a payment amount.
Although there will be a basic investigation after an accident to determine who was responsible, your attorney can also conduct a private investigation. This can often yield more information about each driver and the details involved in the accident that could be missed by the officers who conducted the initial investigation.
Don’t let someone try to take your rights away after an accident. You need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible because there are limits on how long a claim can be filed. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to an insurance agent or answering questions, then ask your attorney to meet with the agent or be on the phone with you during the session.