Do I need A Car Accident Attorney to Get a Car Accident Settlement?

With over five million car accidents reported each year in the Unites States it is no wonder th

With over five million car accidents reported each year in the Unites States it is no wonder that they are one of the biggest causes of personal injuries. The majority of these accidents become car accident claims that conclude with car accident settlements for property damage and injuries. While you technically don’t need a car accident attorney to get a car accident settlement, the attorney is better equipped to negotiate with the insurance company to get a fair settlement. In fact, lawyers often get settlements several times bigger than a person could get on their own. Note that personal injury cases are usually handled on a contingency fee basis which means that there are no out of pocket expenses to the client; attorney fees are paid from a percentage of the settlement.

Many car accident victims rush to put the whole situation behind them by settling with the insurance agency as quickly as possible. The problem is that insurance companies typically offer a low settlement amount that may sound reasonable to you but that may not actually cover your damages. You want the settlement to cover both economic damages from medical expenses to ongoing physical therapy and lost wages and non-economic damages for pain and suffering and emotional trauma.

How does a car accident attorney get you a bigger settlement?

  1. Notify the insurance agency

If you were just involved in a car accident you may be too busy trying to recover physically to even contact the insurance agency. A personal injury lawyer will take this task off of your plate by notifying the insurance agency about the accident promptly. They will also provide all the necessary details on your behalf.

  1. Gather evidence and conduct interviews

You do not want the insurance agencies to be the only parties completing an investigation and interviewing witnesses because their interest is in keeping settlements as small as possible and settling as quickly as possible. Your car accident attorney has your benefit in mind when they gather evidence and conduct interviews on your behalf. He or she will work with the insurance agency to handle the investigative work.

  1. Identify a fair value for your claim

Your car accident lawyer will look at all aspects of your accident and personal injury including how it has impacted your quality of life and the financial costs that you have and will incur. Your insurance agency will try to value your claim for as little as possible and may leave out important expenses such as lost wages.

  1. Write a formal “Letter of Demand”

Most people who are not a personal injury attorney have never even heard of a “Letter of Demand” and yet it is a critical part of the settlement negotiating process. A good car accident attorney will not only take care of this for you but it will use professional terminology and tactics that will be the most effective. A “Letter of Demand” is a letter stating a legal claim and demand for payment/restitution to settle the claim.

  1. Negotiate with the insurance agency

Perhaps the most important thing that your personal injury lawyer will do for you is to negotiate the settlement on your behalf. Car accident lawyers know how insurance agencies work and how to get the highest settlement possible for your case.

Common car accident injuries that factor into car accident settlements

Head injuries: In a high-speed car crash, it is common for the head to strike steering wheels, dashboards or windows. The impact can lead to traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to comas and lasting cognitive problems. Head injuries can also be in the form of lacerations or skull fractures and lead to hearing loss and vision problems.

Back injuries: Serious damage to the spinal cord can lead to partial or full paralysis of arms, legs and other extremities. In some cases the paralysis is temporary and shows up as reduced sensation of and control over extremities. In some back injury cases, victims suffer a painful herniated disk; while this injury tends to be less severe than spinal damage, a herniated disk can cause numb or tingling sensations, muscle weakness and arm or leg pain.

Neck injuries: It is well known that car accidents are associated with whiplash injuries; a sudden jerking of the head and neck that can cause serious neck muscle and ligament damage. Whiplash often leads to neck pain and swelling and in some cases victims suffer from temporary vocal cord paralysis.

Chest injuries: Blunt force trauma from car accidents can cause broken ribs and collapsed lungs. Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs in the pelvis and abdomen can also result from a car crash. People with heart problems may go into traumatic cardiac arrest from the shock of the accident.

Hand, arm, foot and leg Injuries: Fractures, ligament damage, severed limbs, sprains, cuts and bruises are common car accident related injuries affecting the extremities of the body. Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to these types of injuries.

Emotional injuries: We don’t always talk about the psychological and emotional toll that a traumatic event can have on us. When a car accident happens with friends or family members in the car and severe injuries or death results then the emotional pain can run very deep. Victims should seek counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder if needed.

This information is not meant to be legal advice. If you have been injured in a car accident it is in your best interest to seek appropriate medical care and then contact a personal injury lawyer in your state as soon as possible.