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Hiring an Attorney After a Car Accident

"Why should I hire a personal injury lawyer after a car accident? I have insurance." This question has so many answers that it is difficult to know where to begin. But there is one thing that everyone should remember, whether your injuries were serious or whether your car was in a fender-bender: The insurance company is not your friend.

Especially if you were critically injured or the accident involved significant property damage, the insurance company is going to do everything it can to limit how much it pays for your claim. The company will assemble a battery of lawyers, adjusters and experts. The goal of those working for the insurance company is to reduce the value of your claim.

Insurance companies do this in many ways. They will try to show that your injuries were not that significant and that you are perfectly capable of working. They claim that you do not need certain tests, treatments or drugs. They try to prove that your vehicle was not worth much. They hold your claim without acting until you give up. With tactics like these, they stand a good chance of succeeding - unless you have similar resources on your side - your own lawyer and your own experts. With an attorney, you stand a much better chance of obtaining the compensation you need and deserve.

Reasons to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Car Accident Case

But a good personal injury attorney can do much more than stand up for you. They can provide advice and counsel about any issue related to your accident. For example:

  • A lawyer will tell you whether it is worth it to fight the insurance company. Maybe the facts are not on your side or the injury and damage was minimal. It's good to know this before you begin preparing for a long campaign against the insurance company.
  • An attorney will tell you upfront how much legal action is likely to cost you. In most instances, lawyers handle cases involving motor vehicle accidents on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay no attorney's fee unless you win. Some law firms will also front the cost of litigation so that you don't need to deal with court costs, car repairs, expert testimony and other expenses associated with bringing your case until after you win a verdict or settlement. If a lawyer is willing to take your case, it usually means that they believe you have a good chance of winning.
  • An experienced personal injury lawyer has dealt with the red tape of a civil lawsuit many times before. They understand the paperwork and the terminology. Most importantly, they know how insurance companies operate because they have handled cases like yours before.
  • Both individual attorneys and personal injury law firms have investigators that help determine what really happened. The opinions of the insurance adjuster and the company's experts should not be the only voice the court hears.
  • A lawyer has objectivity - something you may not have after you have been injured and then given the run-around. For example, you might want some money right away, but an attorney might advise you to wait and get a larger amount, depending on his or her assessment of the situation.
  • You may not need to go to trial. An out-of-court settlement can save you time and money. However, in some cases it really is in your best interest to try the case. Your lawyer will give you the pros and cons and advise you about your options.
  • An attorney knows how to deal with other attorneys. This is particularly important when the parties to a lawsuit exchange information with the other side.
  • Early resolution is more likely with an attorney. Having an attorney shows the insurance company that you mean businesses and are not going to disappear, as the insurance company probably hopes. If you have an attorney, you are more likely to get a fair settlement offer because the insurance company does not want to undergo the time and cost of defending itself against your claim. When an insurance company makes a fair offer, they do so knowing that it reduces the chance that you will file a lawsuit against it.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

After you decide to hire a lawyer, it's important to select one who is familiar with the courts and procedures in your area. At our New York City law firm, our attorneys know the courts in the five boroughs and surrounding counties. This knowledge allows them to fashion your case in a way that is appropriate to the venue. To learn more, call us at 212-736-5300.

Source: FindLaw