Getting into a car accident is usually the last thing we think will happen, but it can happen in the blink of an eye. In the United States, families drive at least one car and with burgeoning populations in urban America, and lots of driving for recreational purposes even in remote mountainous areas, the sheer numbers of cars on the roads would indicate that many of us are at risk of being in a vehicular accident. If it happens to you, there are facts you should know concerning making a decision to hire a car accident attorney or not.
Tips on Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
First, understand there are three general categories into which your case will fall. Not all require the services of an attorney. Let's look at the three most common types of cases.
Property Damage Cases
If you were in a car, truck or motorcycle accident but did not sustain personal physical injuries, your case can most likely be settled without the services of a lawyer. The opposing insurance company adjuster will help settle the case for approximately the same dollar amount that you would get by hiring an accident lawyer. With no physical injuries, you should expect to receive the funds needed to repair or replace your vehicle, and perhaps even have the cost of a rental covered until the work is finished. You will obtain estimates from reputable body shops and get informed as to the fair market value should your vehicle need to be replaced. After collecting a few quotes, compare them to the quotes from the adjuster who is working with the insurance company. Kelly Blue Book is a great reference manual to look at fair market value on your vehicle if it has been deemed as “totaled.”
There is a more complex protocol required if you have suffered minor injuries. If you expect a fast recovery, perhaps you don't need an attorney to be involved at all. By definition here, minor injuries are when medical bills are under a thousand dollars. If you don't hire an attorney, please take time to educate yourself thoroughly by studying some self-help guides available to assist you in negotiating with an adjuster who will be assigned from an insurance company. If you choose to hire an attorney to help you with minor injuries, you will probably receive a lower settlement, simply based on the lower claim value.
If your accident has resulted in more than some property damage or minor injuries, then it's definitely the time to hire a car accident attorney. There will be aggressive negotiations required with large insurance companies and their adjusters, and the average person doesn't have the know-how or experience to do this and come out on top. In fact, if you don't hire a lawyer, you'll be at a huge disadvantage. In more serious cases insurance adjusters will do their best to convince you not to hire an attorney, telling you this would greatly reduce the settlement you deserve, or that it would create an untimely delay in receiving settlement funds. To the contrary, statistics from insurance companies in the industry do not support this, and show otherwise. The Insurance Resource Council reports that accident victims received more than three times the money they would have had they not had a lawyer representing their interests. So, do yourself a favor and don't try to settle major injury cases on your own! You'll need the services of an experienced car accident attorney who deals specifically with personal injury cases.
Don't add the stress of handling your own case while you are healing from injuries sustained in an accident. Leave yourself free to concentrate on your family and on getting your life back to normal.
Contact an Austin car accident attorney at the Traub Law Office today or call (512) 343-2572.