The legal principle that applies to every car accident is clear; when someone else causes your accident and injuries, they should cover your crash-related losses. Unfortunately, the process to obtain compensation often requires an experienced Denver car accident lawyer to overcome.
You might deserve payment for the full extent of your damages when someone else causes the accident, but you must overcome several hurdles between the time of your accident and when the check hits your account. The insurance company processing your claim places these obstacles in your way.
Hiring a car accident lawyer is the best way to maximize your compensation while preserving your right to it in the first place. Car accident attorneys understand the process and its hurdles. Further, insurance companies know they cannot treat experienced lawyers the same as unrepresented clients dealing with injuries.
You know you should hire a lawyer, but what will the car accident lawyer actually do for you? Read on for more information about the benefits of hiring the right attorney for your claim.
You Need a Lawyer at the Very Beginning of Your Car Accident Case
Your lawyer’s role begins when you hire them for your case. You should not delay getting legal representation for a car accident claim. Even unexpected things can jeopardize your rights when you do not have the services of an experienced car accident attorney.
Many crucial things may happen in the early days following a car accident. One of your attorney’s early roles in your case is to begin to investigate your accident. If you seek car accident compensation, you need proof to show that someone else has the legal obligation to pay.
Your Lawyer Can Prove that Someone Else Was Responsible for Your Injuries
In a car accident case, the legal standard you must meet is proving that another driver was negligent. There is a four-part test, and you must prove each element to show negligence.
The four elements are:
- The other driver owed you the duty of care
- They breached their duty to you by acting unreasonably under the circumstances
- You suffered an injury
- You would not have suffered an injury had it not been for the actions of the driver
Your Lawyer Needs to Gather Proof to Satisfy the Insurance Company
Your word alone is not enough to prove someone else’s negligence. Instead, you need actual evidence, especially because the other driver may be telling their own story in a truth contest. Your attorney must compile the proof you need when you file your claim. Without it, the insurance company will deny your claim entirely.
Here are some forms of proof that can persuade the insurance company:
- Eyewitness testimony from objective third-party witnesses who saw what happened
- Pictures of the scene of the accident and the damage to the cars
- The police report written by the officer who showed up at the scene of the accident
- Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert
- Video footage of the accident from a traffic camera or a dashcam
It is virtually impossible to piece together what happened in the accident months later. Certainly, you cannot effectively gather all the evidence before it disappears forever, especially while dealing with physical injuries. You need an attorney to gather sufficient evidence to support your claim.
Your Lawyer Prepares the Claim or Lawsuit Complaint
Once you and your lawyer have determined the best course of action, they will prepare the insurance claim or the lawsuit complaint. In addition to gathering evidence, the other essential pre-claim function that the lawyer will perform is estimating the value of your claim.
When you file an insurance claim, you must also prove your damages before the insurance company pays for them. The insurance company knows what you claim is worth. Your car accident lawyer can give you this knowledge.
Your Damages in a Car Accident Case
In any car accident case, you might receive:
- Economic damages, including medical bills, lost income, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages, compensating you for your post-accident experience, including your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
You are entitled to compensation for both the harm you already suffered and the damages you will sustain in the future. You need to know now what the future may hold for you because this is the only time you can seek payment for your injuries. If you accept too little now, you cannot go back and request more once you realize your future losses.
You must have a lawyer who will consider and value both your current and future losses.
Your Attorney Will Negotiate with the Insurance Company
Once you have filed your claim, you and your attorney have to wait for the insurance company’s response.
Usually, the insurance company likes to make you wait as long as possible to gain an advantage over you. If they take too long to respond, your lawyer will pressure them because the insurance cannot unreasonably deny responding to your claim.
Your attorney’s real work often begins once the insurance company makes its first offer to settle your claim. You cannot expect their first offer to be anything reasonable or realistic. The insurance company is rarely serious about settling your claim in the early going. They fully anticipate a lengthy negotiation. That is what the insurance company wants.
Your Attorney Can Pressure the Insurance Company When Necessary
Here, your lawyer’s role becomes even more critical. Something needs to make the insurance company act more reasonably and align its behavior with reality. Fear is the greatest motivation for insurance companies. It will be your lawyer who instills fear in them.
Insurance companies do not like litigation. First, court cases cost them more money. Not only will they need to pay you the same amount in a settlement, but they will also need to pay for an attorney. Unlike your lawyer, an insurance defense attorney does not work on a contingency basis. They are paid either by the hour or by the case.
Then, the insurance company has every reason to fear a jury. When your lawyer turns up the pressure in settlement negotiations, you may need to litigate the case in court.
If your attorney does take your case to court, you might lose. However, a jury might award far more than the insurance company might have ever offered in a settlement.
Most car accident cases will settle before they reach a jury verdict. However, the insurance company first needs to see your lawyer’s display of strength when negotiating on your behalf.
Your Lawyer Protects Your Legal Rights
Even though you may think you are on offense after a car accident, you need someone to defend and protect your legal rights. Some want to take them from you or compromise them.
The insurance company does not respect your right to full and fair compensation after someone else caused your car accident. They do not want to pay you what they owe you, so they do everything possible to get in your way during the claims process.
Your attorney will first defend your legal rights by taking over as your primary point of contact with the insurance company. After your accident, the insurance company wants to talk to you.
Their adjusters know how to get you talking on the record. They want you to make an admission because, once they feel that they have it on the record, they will always try to use it against you in any way possible. You may not have even thought you made an admission, but the insurance company will treat it that way.
Once you hire a lawyer, the insurance company must go through them to get to you. If the insurance company tries to speak with you, you have to tell them to call your lawyer. Your lawyer’s mere presence may even be enough to scare the insurance company from trying to use their normal tactics at your expense.
Your Lawyer Will Keep You Making Mistakes in a Car Accident Case
You can do several things to complicate your legal situation in a car accident case. Talking to the insurance company is a no-no and can put you in a difficult position. Your lawyer will also advise you about other things to avoid, such as posting about your accident and situation on social media. They will give you tactical advice throughout the case to preserve your right to full and fair compensation.
Your Lawyer Will Defend You When the Insurance Company Is Trying to Point the Finger at You
Another way the insurance company will try to compromise your legal rights is by unfairly blaming you for the accident, in whole or in part. Doing so will cut the amount they owe you or even get them out of paying you completely.
If you do not have an experienced car accident attorney, you may have no way to disprove the insurance company’s allegations. Your compensation will decrease, and the insurance company may get away with it.
Your lawyer can explain what you did in the lead-up to the accident. They will push back when the insurance company tries to scapegoat you to save themselves money. Otherwise, you may have no means to defend yourself when facing unfair blame for what happened in whole or in part, and you will be at a distinct disadvantage.
Your Lawyer Gives You Peace of Mind
When you have suffered an injury in a car accident, you have many things going on simultaneously.
Focus on your health and getting the treatment you need to recover to the fullest extent possible. The last thing you want to do is to wade into the details of the legal process. Not only do you not have the capacity to handle your legal matters, but you will also lack the knowledge to go up against the insurance company that has been at this game for years. Your car accident lawyer does all this, so you do not need to worry about the details.
In addition, you may be stressed for the duration of the case because you think you will not get full compensation. You can breathe a little easier when you hire the right lawyer for your injuries. You have an experienced advocate whose job is to always fight for you. Your lawyer’s presence allows you to sleep a little easier because you already have enough physical and emotional issues.
Hiring a Lawyer Costs You Nothing Upfront
Given all your lawyer’s effort into your case, you may wonder how you can afford their services. After all, you are already dealing with financial challenges post-accident life.
Your car accident lawyer will not ask you to pay anything upfront for their services. Your lawyer will not ask you to pay them until you win your case. Then, they will receive part of your settlement or jury award as compensation. There is no obligation to pay for your attorney’s services if you do not win your case.
You have nothing to lose by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney in Denver today.