Hiring a car accident lawyer can increase your chance of recovering fair compensation for your injuries after a collision. The law firm’s resources and the attorney’s experience level the playing field against a large insurance company. But, precisely what will a car accident lawyer do for you that benefits you in your personal injury case?
Ways a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You With Your Claim
The claims adjuster might tell you that you do not need a lawyer to settle your accident claim. You might find “how to” articles and other information online that tell you how to settle your insurance claim without a lawyer.
However, before you decide to handle your car accident case without an attorney, consider these important factors:
Explain Your Legal Rights and Options Regarding a Personal Injury Claim
Many people do not understand insurance and personal injury laws. Florida’s no-fault insurance laws can be confusing. Therefore, victims might not realize when an insurance company tries to undervalue or deny a valid accident claim.
They may not realize that the allegations of comparative fault and failure to mitigate damages by the insurance company are not supported by the evidence. Instead, these allegations are merely an attempt to undervalue the claim.
A car accident attorney will explain your rights and options for seeking compensation for damages. The attorney will also offer legal advice to help you maximize your recovery. Car accident attorneys have spent years in law school and training, in addition to the considerable experience gained from representing clients over numerous years of law practice.
Obtain Evidence Necessary to Prove Liability
As the injured party, you must have evidence proving the elements of negligence to win a car accident case.
The evidence must prove the following elements by a preponderance of the evidence:
- Legal Duty of Care – The other driver owed you a legal duty of care;
- Breach of Duty – The other driver breached their duty of care;
- Causation – The other driver’s breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of the accident; and
- Damages – The other driver’s breach of duty caused you to sustain injuries and losses.
Investigating a car crash can be time-consuming and costly. Lawyers have the resources to conduct accident investigations to identify liable parties and collect evidence proving fault. They also have the ability to hire accident reconstructionists and other expert witnesses to assist with the investigation.
Document and Calculate the Value of Damages
Insurance companies undervalue damages to avoid paying large claims. The companies do not inform accident victims that they could be entitled to more compensation for damages, such as future damages and non-economic losses.
Most car accident victims can claim compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages, including:
- Past and future cost of medical treatment
- Loss of income and benefits
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Future lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Disabilities and impairments
- A decrease in their quality of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
Catastrophic injuries and permanent impairments might entitle you to future damages. A car accident lawyer will assess the full extent of your damages. They might hire financial professionals, medical specialists, and other experts to provide opinions and estimates of future damages.
In addition to compensatory damages, an attorney may evaluate the case for punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to “punish” a person for gross negligence or intentional misconduct. Punitive damages can add a significant amount to an award for a car accident lawsuit.
Do You Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
In addition to the above factors, a car accident lawyer can also:
- File insurance claims and monitor the statute of limitations (deadlines) for filing a lawsuit
- Handle all communications with insurance investigators, claims adjusters, and other parties
- Protect you from bad faith insurance practices
- Organize evidence, medical records, and other documentation
- Obtain copies of police reports, accident reports, and records
- Review and confirm insurance coverage, including searching for additional insurance policies that could pay benefits for your claim
- Negotiate fair settlement agreements and payoffs for medical liens
A car accident lawyer will provide support and guidance throughout the case. Dealing with an accident claim while you are healing from injuries can cause additional stress you do not need. A lawyer takes care of the legal aspects of the accident while you focus all your efforts on recovering from injuries and getting your life back to normal.