If you or a loved one have been in a car accident recently, there must be some questions that repeatedly go through your mind. As a victim coping with injuries, medical expenses, trauma, pain, and suffering, you have to fight for compensation too? If yes, you need to hire a personal injury lawyer who would be able to get you fair compensation. While you might think you can file a claim for settlement yourself, the reality is quite complicated.
The good news is that motorcycle personal injury attorneys can get you increased car crash settlements, but only if you hire someone timely to take over the settlement procedure. According to The Insurance Research Council, hiring an attorney resulted in 3.5x the average settlement amount!
What’s the most common outcome of personal injury claims?
According to NOLO, approximately 70% of their readers received a payout, be it an out-of-court settlement or after trial. Around 67% of the total compensation received by victims came in the form of a settlement, and only 4% went to trial. The likelihood of a case going to trial is very low because trials are time-consuming, expensive, and come with certain risks for all the parties involved.
That’s the reason insurance adjusters and the lawyers involved in the case are more than happy to settle out of court. Without a lawyer by your side, the chances of your claims being taken seriously (no matter how legitimate they are) are greatly diminished.
Reasons to have a personal injury attorney
If you’re not convinced yet, let us present you with a few more facts. According to a NOLO survey, it was found that 9 out of 10 participants who had legal representation received a payout. Whereas the number of participants who received a payout without legal representation was cut by half. In simple terms:
9/10 people with a lawyer got money
5/10 people with no lawyer got money
Having an attorney also had a tremendous impact on the settlement amount each person got. Those who ‘lawyered up’ had won an average of $77,600 in compensation compared to an average of $17,600 for those who didn’t. Taking into account the lawyer’s fees (32% of the compensation), it also became clear that the clients ended up walking away with nearly 3x higher on average than what people who filed their own injury claim received.
These facts are rather unsurprising given that lawyers know what it takes to build a robust personal injury case, help in gathering evidence, negotiate with insurance carriers, and more. Still need more reasons to hire a personal injury attorney?
How to win your personal injury case
With a personal injury lawyer, getting a favorable response from the other party, insurance adjusters, or the jury, if the case ever goes to trial, becomes relatively easy. Still, there are some steps you could take to make the process flow smoothly:
- a) Contact a lawyer immediately: You’re hurt and in pain– that’s normal after an accident. After you’ve been treated well enough for injuries, it might be time to get in touch with a lawyer for a consultation. Most law firms or lawyers offer a free consultation so that it won’t be an additional burden on your finances. Also, it’s essential to let your insurance company know, irrespective of whose fault the accident was.
- b) Don’t give statements to anyone except the police: If the accident caused severe damages, there would likely be a police investigation. It’s crucial that you only give statements to the police as accurately as possible and not to any third party. Also, don’t submit any medical reports to either your or the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- c) Let your attorney negotiate: By no means try to negotiate your settlement claims yourself. Always let your personal injury attorney do the negotiations because they know how to present your case for the maximum possible settlement. Insurance adjusters are clever; they make profits for the company by reducing claim amounts or denying them altogether under the right circumstances.
- d) Save your medical bills: You must meticulously preserve your medical bills as they’ll serve as evidence of your pain and suffering. Car crash injuries are not easy to recover from, so you’ll also have to consider the possibility of future treatment costs if any further medical complication comes up. A lawyer can give you a reasonably accurate estimation of the settlement amount based on your current and future medical needs.
- e) Never accept the first offer: While it may feel tempting to take what the insurance company is offering as it’s more than what you expected, don’t say yes immediately. In some cases, you’re likely to get more in settlement offers if you hold out and negotiate. According to Nolo readers, those who held out for a better deal got around $30,700 on average.
Time it takes to resolve car crash settlement claims
According to a Nolo survey, half the people who filed a settlement claim received their due amounts within 2 months to a year, and around 30% waited for more than a year. The average came to 11.4 months to resolve the personal injury claim. You might want a quick resolution and payout, as is normal, but faster doesn’t always mean better for the victim. So, patience, in this case, is important.
For example– it was found that successful outcomes usually take longer, be in a settlement or in court. When it comes to getting the maximum from your car crash settlements, there’s undeniable proof that fighting for your rights gets the best results. And for many people, it means putting their case in the hands of a respectable attorney rather than taking what the insurance company offers.
So, unless you’re an expert in resolving car crash settlements, contact a lawyer in your area for a free consultation. Since most lawyers agree to work on a contingency basis, you really have nothing to lose.