Determining whether you should hire an attorney to help you handle your car accident case really depends on your needs after the accident and the severity of the damages. If the other driver was responsible for the accident, you can be sure that their insurance company will be prepared with claim adjusters to try and assign you with some of the fault of the accident, so they can pay you less.
Facing the Insurance Company
When facing an insurance company alone, especially the adjuster, you have to be particular with what you say. In most cases, it is beneficial to write a letter explaining the accident details rather than having the recorded phone call everyone thinks is required. An attorney can help you write a carefully worded letter instead, to explain your side of the story and illustrate why it was the other driver that should cover your medical bills and damages.
Where Do You Live?
Depending on where you live, a no-fault state versus an at-fault state, will determine if you are filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company, or both them and your own personal injury protection insurance.
- No-fault states require drivers to purchase additional PIP insurance, so some of their medical bills are already covered. If your bills are expected to exceed the PIP maximum, you would have to reach out to the other driver’s insurance and file a claim with them.
- At-fault states operate with the view that someone is at fault for the accident. If you are found to be partially at fault, even 20 or 30%, the insurance company will reduce your payments by that percentage.
In both types of states, hiring an attorney can help you navigate your state’s car accident laws, and help ensure you obtain a fair amount of coverage without settling for less. Obtaining legal help can also take away the stress of dealing with insurance claims on top of medical treatment and injury recovery.
Protect Your Rights
If your accident was severe enough to injure you to the point that you require a significant amount of medical care along with property repairs, and something has happened where you think there is a good chance the insurance company won’t pay you nearly enough to cover your bills, you might consider an attorney. An experienced car accident attorney, can help you work with the insurance companies in the best way possible, while providing all the necessary evidence and communicating the accident clearly so your claim is accepted and your bills are more likely to be paid.