Not hiring a lawyer for your car accident claim means you have to handle every step on your own. You won’t have legal guidance or professional advice from an experienced attorney. This is guaranteed to result in frustration, you being taken advantage of, and a low ball offer.
Can I Settle a Car Accident Claim Without Hiring a Lawyer?
If you choose to handle your case without lawyer, you’ll need to be sure you know how to carry out all of the following steps:
- Conducting an investigation into the accident and compiling evidence to support your claim
- Identifying all liable parties
- Building a compelling case to support your claim and clearly establish liability
- Contacting liable parties and their insurance companies to notify them of your claim
- Familiarizing yourself with state laws related to car accident and personal injury claims
- Identifying all possible damages you may be eligible to recover
- Determining a fair value for your recoverable damages
- Communicating and negotiating with insurance companies to reach a fair settlement agreement that addresses all possible damages
- Filing all paperwork necessary for court or a lawsuit
The fact of the matter is that most people don’t know how to handle these tasks. That’s why having experienced legal counsel for support and guidance can make the claims process much smoother. In addition to making the process easier for you, you’ll also have peace of mind knowing your attorney will make sure everything gets done within the statute of limitations. The times following a car accident are difficult times, especially when you’re trying to heal from injuries. It can feel impossible to handle a legal process alone while trying to recover emotionally, physically, and financially.
Hiring a lawyer isn’t just about making your life easier – it will also increase your odds of winning a fair settlement. An attorney can answer your questions from the beginning and even help decide if your case has merit or if it’s worth pursuing. The great thing about most personal injury lawyers is that they offer free consultations and work on contingency fee agreements. Basically, that means you have nothing to lose by having a legal professional assess your case and only pay if you win.
You May Encounter Some Issues You May Encounter When Trying to Handle Your Car Accident Claim Without a Lawyer
The claims process outlined above might seem straightforward when you see it in a list form that’s been written out for you. But actually carrying out each task is another story. Even if you know what needs to be done, you might encounter unexpected obstacles or issues.
For instance, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to push back when you submit a claim. They will ask questions and intentionally find ways to be able to pay you as little as possible. Insurance adjusters are essentially trained to find ways to protect the company’s profits and minimize payouts through any avenue possible.
Here are a few examples of insurance tactics you might endure in their pursuit to undervalue or outright reject your claim.
The Insurance Company Will Try to Lowball You
Insurance companies are notorious for offering unfairly and almost offensively low offers to start. This is called “lowballing” the claimant, and they do this almost immediately after the accident to try and get you to accept the money. They might try to convince you that accepting their offer will save you from the hassle of negotiations, but there’s a catch.
Their initial offer does not reflect the true value of your damages and you’ll end up without fair compensation for all of your losses. You may even have future expenses that arise, which you’ll have to pay for out of pocket if the settlement wasn’t enough to cover the unforeseen future losses.
Sadly, insurance companies intentionally contact you when they know you are injured and most likely missing work. That means any settlement offer will be appealing and you probably have little time and low energy to fight for a better settlement. However, hiring a skilled Denver personal injury lawyer will protect you from insurance tactics that leave you with less than you deserve.
They May Also Take Your Statements Out of Context or Use Your Own Statement Against You
It’s very important to be cautious about what you say to the insurance company immediately following the accident. They will take your statements and try to use it to minimize your financial recovery. For instance, if you apologize, that could seem like an admission of fault.
It’s best to decline giving a recorded statement before consulting with an attorney. If you make any statements about your health or your injuries, they could also misconstrued your statement and try to downplay your injuries. If you say the wrong thing, they can use your own words against you to undermine your claim. The good news is that a Denver car accident lawyer can communicate with insurance companies on your behalf to avoid inadvertently jeopardizing your claim.
They May Try to Suggest That You Are at Fault for the Accident
The insurance company may try to claim that you are at fault and either undervalue your damages or reject your claim altogether. They may even suggest that you caused the accident and your resulting injuries.
If that happens, you’ll need to decide to negotiate further by gathering additional evidence to support your claim or take your case to trial. Your attorney can advise you on this decision, but it’s ultimately yours to make. Whichever route you chose, you hold the burden of proof as the claimant. That means you need to prove that the other driver was negligent and caused your injuries. Having a knowledgeable attorney who is experienced in handling car accident cases will help increase your chance at a successful outcome.
How You Can Benefit From Having a Car Accident Lawyer on Your Side
Here are some benefits you can expect from working with a Denver car accident lawyer.
A Lawyer Knows How Important It Is to Conduct an Investigation
Not only do they know how crucial it is to conduct an investigation, but they will Put Time and Resources Into Investigating the Car Accident. Your injuries will leave you physically, mentally, financially, depleted. A professional yet compassionate attorney understands that you are not in a position to fight a legal battle. It requires time and resources – but luckily your attorney has these on hand and a large network of other professionals to help win your case.
You deserve rightful compensation if you were injured by a negligent driver and you should not miss out on that because you’re trying to recover. That’s why you need to find a legal team who is ready to stand by your side and fight for your rights. The point of hiring a lawyer is to have professional and trusted support to take care of the legal nuances so that you can focus on healing.
Car accident lawyers work on cases everyday and have handled various types of cases. Thus, they know what it takes to get you the best outcome. They can also handle the following tasks for you:
- Gathering evidence
- Analyzing car accident and police reports
- Locating and interviewing witnesses
- Collaborating with other professionals and experts such as accident reconstructionists, medical experts, and forensic specialists
- Determining a fair claim value and negotiating that amount on your behalf
Attorney Often Work With Other Experts to Help Your Case
Attorneys don’t work alone to win your case. They often have a network of other experts they bring in to find out what caused the accident and the full extent of damages. Your attorney might work with various experts to paint a comprehensive picture of what happened. This is critical to submit to the insurance company so they have clear and convincing evidence needed to justify your right to compensation.
Medical experts might testify on your behalf to help shed light on the severity of your injuries. They might provide a professional opinion on your prognosis and recovery to support your claim. Such testimony can help you recover maximum compensation for all of your current and future medical bills associated with your car accident injuries.
An Attorney Will Help You Identify Damages You Might Not Have Known You Are Entitled to Seek
Many first time car accident victims are not aware of the full extent of damages they have a right to recover. Car accidents can have far-reaching effects beyond just physical injuries. The damages can affect multiple areas of your life for many years to come.
You should discuss with your attorney all the damages you are eligible to seek reparation for. They can help you identify damages you didn’t even know you could potentially seek. It’s important to take time to identify all damages you need to recover, including those that will affect you in the future. Examples of damages you may be able to recover after getting injured in a car accident include:
- Physical therapy
- Transportation costs to doctors visits and medical care
- All medical bills
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and Disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
The ultimate goal of seeking damage compensation is to ensure you are not left with out of pocket expenses later down the lane. However, you’ll need an attorney to assess your case and identify which damages you are eligible to seek. All car accident cases are unique and therefore not every injury victim will be qualified to seek the same damages.
They Can Help You Assign an Accurate Value to Each Recoverable Damage
In addition to identifying all damages you can recover, it’s just as important to assign an accurate value to each damage and seek compensation accordingly. Economic damages like medical bills are fairly straightforward to calculate. However, non-economic damages like pain and suffering are more subjective and require experience to interpret and evaluate correctly. For instance, reduced earning capacity and pain and suffering require more information and interpretation to calculate a fair value. An experienced attorney will know how to assess and evaluate such damages to ensure you get a fair payment. They also know how to present the evidence and effectively negotiate the terms with insurance companies.
Your attorney might help you gather evidence such as receipts, invoices, bills, and any other documentation of expenses you incurred due to accident injuries. Additionally, they might ask you to collect pay stubs to show how much income you’ve lost and any proof of property damage and repair costs.
An Attorney Will Advocate for Your and Fight to Protect Your Rights
Unlike insurance companies, your attorney has your best interests in mind. They will save you a lot of hassle and headache by communicating with insurance companies on your behalf. That also means you won’t fall victim to tactics that insurance companies use.
Your attorney will be your advocate, communicating with insurance companies in writing, in person, or over the phone. They can also help you prepare a statement and file any necessary paperwork the insurance companies require. Another important part of dealing with the insurance company is preparing a demand letter which will include all evidence to support your claim. Remember, attorneys are skilled and trained negotiators who can steer negotiations in your favor. They can also advise you on whether a settlement offer is fair or if you should counter. If you can’t reach a fair agreement with the insurance company, your attorney might advise you to go to court, wherein they will represent you.
Attorneys Are Trained Legal Professionals Who Can Provide Trusted Legal Advice So You Can Make Informed Decisions
IF you’re unfamiliar with the legal system and tort law in Colorado, you might be vulnerable to make some missteps. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake that could jeopardize your claim and have lasting negative effects for you and your family’s finances for years to come. With an attorney fighting in your corner, you can avoid making mistakes that hurt your chances of recovering full compensation. They can provide you with legal counsel to help you make informed decisions.
A Lawyer Will Help You Navigate Any Issues That Arise During the Claims Process
Filing a car accident claim is not a walk in the park; in fact, you can expect a few obstacles to pop up while trying to pursue compensation. After all, you’re seeking money from a profit-driven insurance company who is working to protect their bottom line. There will definitely be resistance. A few common complications that arise with car accident claims include:
- There can be more than one liable party and determining liability gets more complex when more parties are involved. That also means you need to deal with multiple insurance companies.
- You may need to go to court. While most car accident claims get settled out of court, if you cannot reach a fair agreement with the insurance company, you may have to go to trial for a judge or jury to decide on how much compensation you will get.
- It’s possible that you were actually partly at fault for causing the accident. Even if you’re the injury victim, it’s possible you did something to contribute fault. In Colorado this concept is known as contributory negligence. If you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, your award amount would get reduced proportionate to your degree of fault.
Having an attorney working to protect your best interests will ensure that you are prepared to tackle any of these unexpected obstacles.
Working With an Attorney Will Help Keep Your Case on Track for a Timely Filing
Time is of the essence when it comes to seeking compensation for a personal injury case. Moreover, evidence is time-sensitive and can deteriorate or get lost very quickly, so it’s vital to collect it as soon as possible following the accident.
Colorado also has a deadline for the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim before your right to do so. If you miss the deadline, you can no longer file a claim for any injuries you sustained in that particular accident. If your accident involves a government agency, you have an even shorter deadline than other auto accident cases.
This is why it’s best to call an attorney right after you get injured in an accident so they can start working on your case right away. One of the first steps an attorney will do when taking on a case is identifying the deadline to ensure you don’t miss it.
You Don’t Pay Any Upfront Costs to Car Accident Attorneys
One of the most common reasons car accident injury victims hesitate to hire legal counsel is that they fear they can’t afford it. Understandably, when you already have medical bills, repair costs, and missed work piling up, you don’t want another fee to face.
However, the majority of personal injury lawyers operate on a contingency fee agreement, meaning they only get paid if you win. Once they secure settlement or award for you, the attorney will take a percentage of that award as their fee.
In addition to not having to worry about any upfront costs, your attorney will likely cover all of the expenses that are needed for your case to proceed. If they don’t win you a settlement, you don’t owe them anything.
Every law firm will have their own unique terms for the contingency agreement so be sure to read the contract thoroughly before signing anything.
Contact An Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today
Your health should be your top priority after getting injured in a Denver motor vehicle collision. With medical bills and missed work, we understand how stressed you might be. That’s why we want to help you and handle the legal proceedings on your behalf.
No one should have to endure such a difficult time alone, especially without counsel from a professional and knowledgeable attorney. We will fight aggressively to help you win the maximum compensation possible and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Call us today to schedule your free initial consultation.