Settling a car accident without a lawyer?

If you are looking to fight on your own in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident for any of the damages and injuries you have received you should keep a few things in mind.
Car Accident

Motor Vehicle Accidents in the United Sates

Every year more than 3 million people are injured in car accidents, motorcycle accident, and truck accidents.

According to the National Occupational Research Agenda, in 2002 more than 1.8 million car accidents happened at intersections.

If you are involved in any type of car accident, motorcycle accident, or truck accident it is important that you call 911 immediately (if you are able) and then contact an attorney before speaking with anyone else about your case.

Car accident cases can be very complicated and it is important that you find an experienced car accident lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident it is important to consult with an attorney before speaking to the insurance company. All too often we see victims of car accidents settle for less than what their case is actually worth because they failed to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer first.

When is it possible to settle a car accident claim without the assistance of a lawyer?

When the injuries and damages are minor:  If you have suffered only minor injuries and your vehicle has not been significantly damaged, then it may be possible for you to negotiate a settlement on your own.

– If both parties agree that there isn’t enough evidence to show who is at-fault: Often times when a car accident occurs there simply isn’t enough information available to determine who was responsible for causing the accident.  

In these cases it would be best if both parties could agree on how much money each person will receive from the settlement, rather than trying to present faulty evidence in front of a judge.

– When the insurance company is willing to pay for all of your medical bills and future treatment:  If your injuries are not that severe, then it may be possible for you to settle your case without hiring an attorney.

However, if you have suffered very serious injuries or will need extensive medical treatment in the future then it is in your best interest to contact an attorney immediately.

Remember, insurance companies are notorious for low-balling accident victims, particularly if the person who is most seriously injured does not have an attorney representing him or her.  

For this reason, you should never attempt to negotiate a settlement on your own unless you are absolutely confident that the injuries you have suffered are not very serious and that you will be able to maximize your settlement by representing yourself.

If you do decide to go it alone

Evaluate the extent of the damages to your property and your injuries

Start by taking some time to properly assess the damages that you have suffered as a result of the car accident.  If you are dealing with damage to your vehicle, then it may be beneficial for you to take some photographs or do an in-person inspection in order to estimate how much money will need to be spent on repairs.  At the same time, it is important that you seek medical attention in order to receive a thorough evaluation of your injuries.

Insurance Adjuster

Negotiate with the insurance company for all of your damages

If you are capable of negotiating directly with an insurance adjuster then you should be able to get anywhere from 70%-80% of what will actually end up being your total recovery.  Keep in mind, however, that if you do not negotiate a settlement on your own then the insurance adjuster will only offer you 20% of what your total recovery would be.   

Request that they pay for all of your medical expenses and future treatment

f the accident has left you with serious injuries and/or you need extensive medical treatment, then it is vital that you ask the insurance company to pay for all of your past and future medical expenses as well as other damages.  If they refuse to offer you compensation for these things then this should be seen as a red flag and there is likely another car accident lawyer out there willing to help you.  

REMEMBER:  It is possible to settle a car accident claim on your own, but only if you have suffered minor injuries and not too much damage to your vehicle.  

If you have suffered serious injuries or will need extensive medical treatment then it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as quickly as possible because the insurance adjuster will only offer you a small percentage of what your total recovery should be.

However, if your injuries are not that severe then it is possible to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company yourself.

Craft your demand letter

Once you have evaluated the damages to your property and injuries, it is time to craft a demand letter.  

When writing this letter it may be helpful to use some of the language below:

“Please be advised that my demand is $X for all medical expenses related to this accident.”

OR

“Please be advised that I am asking that you pay for all of my past and future medical expenses in addition to $X for property damage.”

OR

“Please be advised that I am asking for a total amount of $X, which includes the following compensation: $X for past and future medical expenses; $X for damage to my vehicle; and $X in additional damages.”

If you are not able to get what you need from them, then seek help immediately.  

Now that you have successfully negotiated for the total amount of compensation you need, it is time to deal with other details such as your medical expenses.

Since the other party’s insurance company should be paying these bills directly, you should have a very clear picture of what you will be receiving from the insurance company.

Verify that your bills are being paid correctly

Once they have been submitted to the insurance company, you will likely need to wait a few weeks for them to process them and then pay your medical providers.

However, if there is a problem with the bills not being paid by the insurance company, then you may need to get in touch with them and ask for assistance.

Once your medical expenses have been paid, it is time to start receiving compensation for your injuries and property damage.  

While this can often take a while, if you did everything correctly up until this point then you should be in a good position to recover the proper compensation for your damages.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can handle your own case if you have serious injuries'!

Car accident cases are very complicated and a victim must have an experienced car accident attorney on his or her side in order to ensure that all options are explored and that the case is not settled for less than what it is actually worth.

Our experienced car accident lawyers have the knowledge and expertise necessary to help you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to speak with an attorney about your specific situation, don’t wait!

A common question that many people have after being involved in a car accident or truck accident is whether or not they need to hire a car accident attorney.

In fact, many people believe that their best course of action after being involved in an auto accident is to attempt settle the case on their own.

While it is true that you will probably receive more compensation if you have a personal injury attorney working on your behalf, there are some instances where it actually makes sense to settle the case on your own.

We recommend that you seek legal advice before attempting to negotiate with an insurance company or trying to deal with them on your own, but there are some cases where it is possible for you to try and negotiate a fair settlement without the help of a car accident lawyer.

Getting Help from an Accident Lawyer

Representing yourself isn’t always the best answer. It has been shown that an injury victim who has an attorney will recover more money, in some cases twice as much, than if they tried to negotiate their own settlement.  

Even if you are confident that you know what you are doing, there are certain aspects of the negotiation process where having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side can make a huge difference.

For example, while you may be able to get the other party’s insurance company to pay your medical bills, if you present them with a demand letter that is not written properly then there is no guarantee that they will agree to it.  

However, an experienced car accident lawyer would know exactly what to say and how to phrase the letters in order to make sure that their client obtains the compensation that they need.

If you have suffered serious injuries and/or extensive property damage then it is not recommended that you try and handle the settlement on your own.  

There is too much at stake and if you don’t do things correctly, it could greatly affect your chances of receiving the proper compensation.

Instead, contact a car accident lawyer as quickly as possible so they can take over and ensure that you receive everything that you need and deserve.

For a free consultation with an experienced nationwide car accident attorney contact Goldberg & Loren today!  +1 (800) 731-4878 or use our form.

About Godberg & Loren

Goldberg & Loren represent client nationwide in personal injury.

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