It is rarely a good decision to attempt handling an auto accident insurance claim personally. Insurance company claims agents are trained professional negotiators who deal with claims daily and are focused on protecting the company’s bottom line. And of course, their priority is also on protecting their client as well.
Any legal action is typically filed against the negligent driver when cases are forced into court. Many cases never reach this point when an experienced auto accident attorney is representing the claim. This is because all case elements are laid out when the insurance company receives the notification of requested financial damages.
When insurance agents think they can settle the claim quickly without dealing with a lawyer, they will do. This is especially true when there is a possibility of a significant benefit payout that the injured claimant does not realize. This happens more often than many injured parties know. This is why hiring an attorney is usually the right decision in any accident injury case from the very beginning.
The Value of Comprehensive Legal Representation
One of the first concerns that injured accident victims have is simple. They often want to know how much it’s going to cost. If you’re wondering, ”How much does a personal injury lawyer charge?” you can follow this link for more information about paying on contingency.
Having an attorney shows the insurance provider that you mean business. Multiple studies have shown that claimants fare much better with legal representation. Often the increased financial compensation easily exceeds any concern about the contingency percentage attorneys receive for representing injured clients.
How Attorneys Can Improve Damage Amounts
Accident injury claims are divided into economic and non-economic payments. The first element of a claim is usually the damages that are specific amount damages. This may include:
- The cost of ambulance services
- Your medical bills
- Rehabilitation therapy costs
- The cost of replacing damaged property
Necessary additional expenses such as travel or lodging can apply also when certain medical appointments are required, which insurance companies rarely want to allow without legal counsel insistence. These damages can also include lost wages when the victim cannot work due to the accident injuries and even a rental car while a personal vehicle is being repaired.
These claims can all be calculated in definitive amounts, and an attorney can keep the insurance company honest in providing these benefits.
Negotiating Non-Economic General Damages
General damages for ongoing problems while dealing with the injuries and fallout of the accident are the portion of a claim that insurance claims agents want to avoid at all costs. Anyone who tries to negotiate their own claim will be denied at least some level of general damages, and often the insurance company will adopt a take-it-or-leave-it stance.
This is especially true when they think they can enhance any comparative negligence shared fault on the part of the claimant if the case goes to court. This is always the most contentious component of an accident injury claim, and having professional legal representation is the best method of ensuring fair financial compensation, even if the claim goes to trial.
Potential Punitive Damages
When the negligence in a case has been particularly egregious, such as the case with drunk drivers or perpetrators of road rage incidents, punitive damages may also be awarded.
Punitive damages are only awarded following a jury trial when an experienced and aggressive trial attorney can convince the jury that they are warranted. This can be especially important in truck accident cases when the shipping company or employer could also have vicarious liability exposure due to material case factors.
Injured accident victims typically only have one opportunity for economic justice whenever they have been injured. Regardless of the severity of your injury, it is always best to have legal professionals handling the case when compensation is being sought. The financial benefits outweigh any concerns regarding attorney fees.