If you get injured in a car accident – which was not your fault – you shouldn’t get stuck with expensive medical bills, miss paychecks, property damage, or incur any financial losses.To recoup damages after a collision, you will need to negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to receive a fair settlement. These companies have processes in place to minimize their payout after an accident – even your own insurance company.Trying to negotiate a fair settlement is nearly impossible without a car accident attorney.As a car accident injury law firm in Wisconsin, we want to explain the role an attorney plays in your ability to earn compensation for your injuries – and every other expense associated.Let’s get moving.
There are a lot more legal obstacles than many people might assume after a car accident.
To put it bluntly: car accident victims must negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company for a settlement to cover all costs incurred. Trying to negotiate without a lawyer will almost certainly end poorly for the victim.
Experienced car accident attorneys have spent years studying, practicing, and staying updated with ongoing legal changes. They understand the complexity of laws related to liability, negligence, and damage assessment, which are integral to car accident cases.
This expertise allows them to navigate the legal process efficiently and make sure the victim gets rightful compensation – and doesn’t get taken advantage of by insurance companies.
A car accident injury attorney plays a key role in the investigation process – most of which involves gathering/organizing evidence to build the case. This involves several moving parts.
For one, they will initiate an examination of the accident scene, which involves gathering information including (but not limited to):
– The police report
– Photos of the scene
– CCTV footage from traffic cameras
– Witness statements
– Medical assessments
These are just a few pieces of the puzzle.
The goal of this process is to establish the degree of negligence from the at-fault party, quantify all the damages suffered by the victim, and build the case. Without a detailed understanding of personal injury law, certain factors may get overlooked. Your car accident attorney will make sure no stone is left unturned.
By collecting and organizing evidence, the attorney will lay the groundwork to navigate the car accident settlement process and argue for the highest compensation.
The damages suffered by the victim form the monetary amount specified in the car accident settlement demand. These damages include economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages involve every expense incurred with a clear price tag, including (but not limited to):
– Medical expenses
– Future medical treatment (estimates)
– Property damage
– Lost wages
– Loss of earning potential
Non-economic damages are much more subjective, and include:
– Pain and suffering
– Emotional distress
– Reduced quality of life
In some car accidents, there may be punitive damages. These are meant to punish the at-fault party for reckless behavior. For instance, if the at-fault party was intoxicated and driving 60mph in a 25mph zone, the victim may choose to pursue punitive damages.
Car accident attorneys will use their expertise to calculate all the damages incurred and generate a tangible monetary value. They will make sure all areas of the victim’s recovery are assessed to secure the maximum car accident settlement.
The negotiation process with insurance companies is the most important reason to hire a car accident attorney.
In fact, insurance companies may not even negotiate with you if you don’t have a lawyer. The car accident attorney will draft and submit a demand letter. This letter will outline the facts of the collision, the liability of the at-fault party, the car accident injuries suffered by the victim, and the damages incurred.
The insurance company will then respond – likely with a low settlement offer – and the lawyer will engage in a series of negotiations, countering any attempts by the insurer to minimize the claim’s value, or flat-out deny liability.
Negotiations require in-depth knowledge of personal injury law – as well as aggressive tactics to convince the insurance company of the validity of the car accident claim.
If the negotiation process with the insurance company does not result in a fair settlement, victims have the option to take car accident claims to court.
It’s important to understand that most car accident cases are settled out of court. Only around 4% of cases end up going to trial. Taking a case to court is very expensive – and it’s typically a last resort.
If this happens, the lawyer will manage the process of filing a car accident lawsuit, which outlines the case against the at-fault party(s). From here, there will be a pre-trial phase – involving the discovery, where both parties exchange evidence.
The lawyer will then prepare and respond to interrogatories (questions), requests for documentation, and take depositions to gather more evidence. The car accident lawyer may file motions to resolve legal issues before trial.
If the case ends up going to trial, the car accident lawyer presents the case before a judge or jury, argues the facts, examines witnesses, and challenges the at-fault party’s arguments.
Throughout the litigation process, the lawyer will continuously push for a car accident settlement – focused on securing the best possible compensation for the victim.
Some victims of car accidents assume that they can negotiate a fair settlement on their own.
Truth be told, most insurance companies won’t take you seriously without an attorney. More often than not, victims who choose this route end up with a lowball settlement (if anything at all).
It’s important to understand that hiring a car accident attorney costs you nothing out of pocket.
This is because these attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement – meaning they make their fees in the form of a percentage of the settlement AFTER they win the case. Victims are not charged a penny upfront.
At Mahony Law, we offer FREE consultations to victims of car accidents. We’ll discuss your accident, determine the validity of your case, and explain the next steps in seeking justice.
Call our office at 262-331-3553, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out an online form to get started.
Abby is the founder of Mahony Law and devotes her time to representing people who have been seriously hurt due to the negligence of others. Abby has handled injury cases of all types, including birth injury, wrongful death, automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and truck accidents.
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