Why Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident?
Having a local attorney to assist in the handling of your bodily-injury claim can greatly benefit you. The biggest misconception about a personal injury attorney surrounds the costs as most individuals assume that they cannot afford to hire legal representation. This could not be further from the truth! In this article, we will outline why hiring an attorney immediately can help to maximize your recovery and protect your rights while not costing you any money up-front.
Insurance companies are big businesses with teams of attorneys and adjusters. They profit many millions of dollars, and their main job is to protect their bottom line and not yours. Their priority is to best protect their financial interest while consequently neglecting yours. An experienced law firm can help level the playing field for you while handling and litigating your car accident claim and maneuvering through the ins and outs.
Your initial conversations with the insurance company may lead you to believe that they are on your side. Often times, these adjusters can seem very friendly, while telling you that they have accepted liability for the accident. This means that they agree that the other driver was at-fault and that they will take care of everything, right? Wrong!…
You first need to understand that just because they accept blame for causing the accident does not mean that they accept blame for that same accident causing your injuries. It is one thing for the insurance company to admit that their driver who rear-ended you is at-fault for the driver, but it is a completely different thing for the insurance company to admit that this same rear-end collision caused you to experience a significant back injury. Thus, you need to really start asking whether the insurance company has truly accepted blame for their driver’s negligence.
This allows us to address the need for an experienced attorney. First and foremost, an experienced attorney can protect your rights. For example, immediately following an accident, the insurance company will request that you provide them with a recorded statement, and they will tell you that this statement is necessary in order to proceed with their assessment of your claim. This recorded statement, however, is not necessary, and, more often than not, can do more harm than good to your case. The insurance company fails to inform you that this recorded statement could be used against you should your case go to court.
The insurance company will also send you many forms to sign informing you again that your signatures are necessary in order to proceed with their evaluation of the claim itself. However, some of these forms allow for the release of information that may seem very common, but open records or self-provided information can heavily aid the insurance company in creating a case against you. These forms may even allow the insurance company to request your medical records, and if a single complaint of pain within your neck or back etc. has ever been recorded by a physician, then the insurance company will use this against you. Thus, your willingness to work with the insurance company could have the negative result of helping to build their case for them.
Likewise, did you know that the insurance company tracks your social media profiles? They look at your photos to assess your physical well-being both before and after the collision, to see if you made any statements about the accident, and to see if you were posting on any of your profiles at or near the time of the collision. An experienced attorney, however, will ensure to protect your rights and make certain that you do everything possible to maximize your recovery.
Most importantly, hiring an attorney means that you do not have to deal with the insurance company. The attorney and his/her team will handle any all the conversations and correspondence with the insurance company so that you can focus on your recovery. Hiring an attorney means not having to deal with the voluminous paperwork, pushy adjusters, and insurance tricks. An attorney experienced with car accidents can cut through this red tape to efficiently and effectively handle your claim. A well-versed attorney can properly review your past medical history, categorize the type of accident that occurred, the damage was done to both vehicles, and can advantageously assess the venue in which a lawsuit would take place (if the attorney had to file a lawsuit). All of these factors, particularly the last one, can have a profound impact upon your claim.
Still, many people that we have met did not know that they could hire an attorney, primarily for fear of costs. They assumed that they could not afford the upfront cost of hiring an attorney (otherwise known as a retainer fee). However, most car accident attorneys do not charge you any upfront costs/retainer fees. Instead, they work on what is known as contingency fees basis. This means that the attorney does not get paid unless and until they make a recovery on your claim. The contingency fee that an attorney will charge can vary based upon a number of factors such as the age and/or experience of the attorney or the location of their practice. Nevertheless, the average attorney fees pre-suit range from 33%-40% meaning that the attorney’s fee will be 33% (etc.) of whatever he/she can recover on your claim at the time of settlement.
This article only touches on a fraction of topics of why hiring an attorney after a car accident is necessary. To better understand the numerous ways that an attorney can protect and assist, give our office here at Klob & Larrison Attorneys a call (770-554-8100). We can set you up with a free consultation, often times that same day, to discuss your claim and your rights, and unlike at many other attorneys’ offices, your consultation will be with the attorney. Our office will take the time to listen to you and to discuss your options.