Is it worth the time and money to hire a lawyer if I was in a car accident but not at fault? We get this question all the time, and the answer is most likely, yes. When dealing with insurance companies, many clients find working with a car accident lawyer in Houston, TX, comes with benefits, including faster settlements, better offers, and even lower stress levels. Read on for more information about the advantages of working with an attorney.
I Was Rear-Ended and Obviously Not at Fault: Do I Still Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Houston, TX?
Your Insurance Companies Isn’t Working on Your Behalf
Many accident victims are shocked to discover that their insurance company isn’t working on their behalf. Your interests and those of your insurance company frequently simply don’t align. It’s often in the insurance company’s best interests to drag out settlement negotiations, delay payouts, and extend low-ball offers to reduce the amount of compensation paid to victims.
Most victims, on the other hand, simply want to be fairly compensated for their losses, seeking money to pay for medical bills, vehicle repairs, and to replace wages lost during post-accident recovery periods. Working with a lawyer in Houston, TX gives victims a fighting chance against insurance companies, improving the likelihood of an appropriate recovery.
Smooth Transitions from Negotiation to Trial
Working with a personal injury attorney from the beginning of your case puts you in a better position if you can’t come to a negotiated settlement with the other party and ultimately have to go to trial. While most personal injury matters resolve during negotiations, occasionally, cases go to trial after discussions have failed. But attorneys need time to prepare before heading into court and making claims before a judge.
If you haven’t been working with an attorney during the negotiation process, it can take a newly-hired lawyer a bit of time to get up to speed, increasing the time until your case’s resolution. Attorneys deeply involved in personal injury matters from beginning to end are often better equipped to transition quickly from negotiation to trial.
Expert Help With the Technicalities
Prevailing in a personal injury case requires more than just having “the facts” on your side. The law is full of technicalities, such as deadlines by which specific legal pleadings and documents must be filed with the court or turned over to opposing counsel. Clients often underestimate the importance of abiding by these statutory and court-ordered deadlines.
Much of what attorneys do involves management, including overseeing investigations, ensuring court requirements are followed, and making sure documents get to opposing counsel in a timely fashion. Finding a way to stay on track with legal timelines is essential in situations when you’ve been in an accident but weren’t at fault. Failure to submit filings and pleadings on time can have serious negative consequences for your case, including potential dismissal.
Higher Settlements and Payouts
You can often improve your chances of obtaining a favorable settlement just by engaging the services of an experienced car accident lawyer. Personal injury attorneys know the system, including how it works and who to contact to get things done. And they know the types of evidence most helpful in convincing insurance companies to extend reasonable offers.
A personal injury attorney can also help if your insurance company starts dragging its feet regarding payouts for items covered by your policy, such as vehicle repairs and medical bills. And a lawyer can also attempt to negotiate with your insurance company to increase payout amounts for covered damages.
Faster Settlements and Payouts
Working with a personal injury attorney can also speed your case’s resolution. Accident attorneys deal with the aftermath of car crashes every day. They’re experts in the entire process, meaning they’re in a unique position to help you recover the compensation you’re entitled to, quickly and with fewer detours along the way.
Attorneys can often be particularly helpful in speeding settlements for individuals hurt by the negligence of others. They can ensure your insurance company quickly issues a check for expenses such as vehicle repairs and medical costs. And they can stay on top of the opposing insurance company until it gets busy issuing compensation for items such as lost wages and other damages.
Personal injury attorneys regularly work with expert investigators: individuals with years of experience uncovering and documenting the evidence that car accident victims need to obtain a fair offer or prevail at trial. They have the photographic, video, and recording equipment to properly document damages to your vehicle, obstructions at the scene, and even witness interviews.
These experts also know what questions to ask and how to interview witnesses, specifically in preparation for court. And investigators form a critical part of any trial team. They can even be called to the stand during legal proceedings to provide evidence and impeach story-changing witnesses.
Expert Offer Evaluation
It can be almost impossible to know if an offer you receive from an insurance company is fair or too low. Accident victims, by definition, simply don’t have much experience dealing with and evaluating similar situations and offers. Personal injury attorneys see hundreds of fact patterns and settlement offers every day.
They have the background to quickly and accurately evaluate a proposed settlement and provide educated guidance on the best response, something essential if you’ve been rear-ended and are clearly the victim. Working with a car accident lawyer in Houston, TX, ensures access to a wealth of experience-based information to help you make good choices about offers, counter-offers, and more.
Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident on your own can quickly become overwhelming, particularly if you’re recovering from injuries. Most accident victims have plenty to worry about without taking on the added stress of attempting to determine how they should respond to things such as phone calls from the negligent party’s insurance company or attorney.
Personal injury attorneys can help minimize your immediate post-accident stress by quarterbacking the entire legal process. Once you hire an attorney, they’ll take the lead, let you know what needs to be done, and even ensure critical deadlines are met. Many clients find the attendant stress reduction to be one of the most significant advantages of working with an attorney.
Affordable Payment Options
If you ultimately decide you’d like to engage an attorney to protect your rights, you might be concerned about the ultimate cost. Most personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis, typically taking a percentage of the judgment or settlement. Contingency arrangements make it possible to obtain legal representation even if you’re not able to pay upfront.
If you’re still unsure whether or not you’d like to hire an attorney, consider taking advantage of a free consultation. Many personal injury attorneys offer potential clients a free consultation during which you can briefly discuss your case and ask specific questions about how the lawyer can help.
So there you have it, our ideas on the importance of hiring a lawyer to help you navigate the post-accident recovery process, even if you’re clearly the victim. A personal injury attorney can help you efficiently resolve your case, from evidence gathering to trial. Contact Houston Injury Lawyers if you have questions about anything you’ve read here or would like to schedule an appointment to have your case reviewed by a personal injury attorney with experience handling car accident cases.