Car accidents lead to property damage and personal injuries. Claims can get complicated quickly. It is important for those in car accidents to know how to handle resulting claims.
Those who are trying to decide if they need to seek legal representation for a car accident claim should think about a number of factors, including the severity of the accident and the amount of damages, as well as who will be involved, including the insurance companies.
Those who are considering representing themselves should think about the time and effort they will need to put in to learning the regulations and laws in the location where the accident occurred.
Factors in Car Accident Claims
- The other driver’s insurance company
If the other driver’s insurance company does not admit fault in the accident, you may be in for a legal battle over your car accident claim. In this scenario, drivers should seriously consider obtaining legal representation to make sure they get the damages they are entitled to.
Alternatively, the insurance company may “admit liability” for the accident, but make a lowball settlement offer. If the other driver’s insurance company does admit fault, ensure you have evidence of all the damages you suffered, including medical bills, lost earnings, future expenses, and property damage to negotiate fair compensation. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, it may be time to enlist an experienced attorney.
- Where the car accident claim will take place
If a car accident claim is going to court, it is important to consider legal representation to ensure you are following all court rules; however, if your car accident claim is going to be negotiated as an out-of-court settlement, in mediation, or in small claims court, less formal procedures apply. Victims of car accidents in any of these scenarios should still be aware that they will need to learn and follow some procedures should they choose to represent themselves and if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries, it may still be advisable to get legal representation to handle your car accident claim.
- Injuries and damages
If you or a loved one suffered severe injuries or damages as a result of a car accident, you may need to recover significant damages and should consider legal representation. An experienced attorney will know the rules of court and can vigorously defend your interests while you focus on recovery. Alternatively, if you only need to claim a small amount, i.e., less than $10,000, the risk is not as great.
- Willingness to learn the rules
Relatedly, those who suffer significant injuries or damages may not have the time or capability to learn the rules and laws, not only for court, but also concerning their car accident claim in general.
Others who do not have the time or just don’t have any interest in learning the rules, should consider retaining a lawyer to do it for them.
For relatively straight forward car accident claims, negotiations can take a full work day to research, while small claims court can take up to five or so hours – this is in addition to attending small claims court or negotiation proceedings.
Regular court takes a much more significant amount of time to prepare for.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and you are unsure about whether or not you need an attorney, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at McDonald Worley.