Cars accidents are a grave reality in this country. More than 37,000 people die in crashes each year, with an additional 2.3 million injured. About 1,600 children under 15 die each year and 8,000 are killed in crashes that involve a driver age 16 to 20. They happen to be very expensive, too, incurring costs of $230 billion a year in the United States, nearly $300 per person.
On our home turf, traffic deaths have increased 43 percent in 2016 over 2015, where Los Angeles saw 260 people killed in car crashes, says the LA Times. Thousands more are injured in auto accidents every single day. Car crashes are caused by a variety of factors, from poor driving skills and distracted driving to bad weather and road conditions.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you may consider handling the matter on your own while letting the insurance companies battle it out. The result will surely be in your favor, right? Not always so. To assume that is foolish. That being said, minor injuries sustained in a minor car accident may not be appropriate for a lawsuit. It’s important to know when to hire a car accident lawyer and when to just settle things with the insurance company.
Here we outline the situations in which you should absolutely retain the services of a car accident lawyer to work on your behalf.
The aftermath of a car accident, especially one that caused lasting injury, is a complicated web of he-said, she-said. To the uninitiated, this process can get overwhelming very quickly. There are steps that need to be followed in order to file a claim against the insurance company for damages. If you don’t know the first thing about filing a claim, much less all the volleying that goes back and forth about the amount, then you should seek out a car accident lawyer to help you. Failure to do so could mean getting tripped up on one of those many hurdles, failing to file a document by the deadline, and generally missing out on the compensation you deserve. Your claim could even be rejected. There are many barriers to getting financial compensation in a car accident case. A lawyer skilled in these areas knows exactly what to do and when.
The insurance company will judge the depth of your injury on three main factors: the type of injury you have, projected timeline of recovery, and current and future medical bills. For the average person, this instantly becomes a war of wits, as you attempt to prove your injuries are grave enough to pose long-term or permanent disability. Your car accident lawyer knows the laws inside and out, and has a strong network of medical and other professionals necessary to prove your disability.
It’s not uncommon for the insurance company to question your liability. You may have no idea why they are doing this or how to resolve it. Many times, it’s just a shot in the dark on their part. Accepting their conclusions without fighting back will certainly bring an end to your visions of a generous settlement. Essentially, the insurance company is saying that either you are not at fault or you are not liable to receive the insured amount. Thus, they are not responsible for any payments. Lawyers know all these stall tactics and cut through the red tape to get you the amount you deserve.
When filing forms on your own, you may miss one of the many requirements or deadlines, which can result in the company refusing to pay up. Why does this happen? Only a professional car accident lawyer knows the loopholes to rectify the issue.
Most people take the insurance company at their word and accept the first settlement they are given. Big mistake. The insurance companies are banking on car accident victims shying away from the complicated process of dealing with the red tape. It’s human nature not to want to go through this stress. They know that. However, if you are suffering from extensive injuries and time out of work, you need a car accident lawyer to step in and intervene on your behalf. That first offer is never enough. Respect your injuries enough to hold out for your deserved amount.
For a free initial consultation on your car accident and related injuries, contact us at 800-323-POWER. Our experienced LA lawyers give you personalized attention and aggressive representation surrounding car accidents anywhere in Southern California.