Being injured in a vehicle accident is a stressful experience on multiple levels. Not only do you experience the trauma of being injured in a car accident, but you also have to jump through hoops to receive your car accident settlement. While you may be eager to put the ordeal in the past, make sure you consult with a car accident lawyer in Cameron or Buffalo, TX, before accepting a settlement from the insurance company.
7 Reasons to Consult a Lawyer Before Accepting a Car Accident Settlement in Buffalo, TX
1. To Ensure you Understand How Settlements Work
Most people have no idea how to seek financial compensation for injuries they received in an automobile accident, and that’s completely normal. Unless you have a legal or insurance background or are unfortunate enough to have been injured in a prior incident, you will be traversing unknown territory. Since this process is new to you, it’s essential that you only accept settlement advice from a car accident lawyer who is operating with your best interest in mind.
Insurance companies working for the at-fault party are notorious for calling the injured driver and convincing them that they don’t need to hire a lawyer. The insurance adjuster will appear helpful and insist that they can answer any questions about the claim. They may be attempting to trick you into accepting a low settlement. A lawyer will explain the actual process to you and ensure you understand everything regarding your claim.
2. To Have a Car Accident Lawyer Explain Your Legal Options
When you are injured in a car accident in Cameron or Buffalo, TX, you will have many decisions to make that can significantly impact your financial future. Numerous factors will determine which choices will serve you best. For example, if you were found to be partially at fault in the accident, you may want to accept a lower settlement than if you were entirely innocent. Consider a scenario where the other driver ran a stop sign and hit you.
If the other driver hit you while you were talking on the phone without using a hands-free setup, you would be found partially at fault. This fault is assigned to you based on the assumption that you could have avoided the accident if you’d had both hands on the wheel. Being found partially at fault will limit the amount of money you receive if you go to court. Your lawyer can help you assess whether you hold any responsibility and if you should accept the offered settlement.
3. To Ensure the Insurance Company Is not Using Intimidation Tactics
While the insurance company will likely be pleasant during their early interactions with you, that will change if they sense you are not eager to take the small amount they are offering. As their focus is on paying out the least amount of money they can, it isn’t unusual for them to intimidate drivers into settling for less than they deserve. The insurance adjuster will try to make you feel as if you are lucky to receive any money, and you should be happy with their offering.
The insurance company may also try to trick you into admitting fault or changing your story to have a reason to withhold compensation. When you work with a car accident lawyer, they will be familiar with the tactics used by insurance adjusters and will operate as a buffer to keep them from harassing you. In addition, when insurance companies know you are working with a lawyer, they know they will have difficulty manipulating you and may offer a better settlement upfront.
4. To Evaluate if the Settlement Amount Is Reasonable
When the other driver’s insurance company offers you a car accident settlement, you will need to evaluate if it is acceptable or not. Multiple factors must be considered before you decide if the sum is adequate. For example, the severity of your injuries, the amount of property damage you suffered, the pain you experienced, any wages you lost due to the accident, and the extent of the other driver’s negligence.
It is easy to see a large number and assume it is a generous settlement, but that may not be the case. Insurers usually offer insultingly low compensation to see if you will accept it. Your lawyer will help you crunch the numbers and determine an acceptable range for what you are owed.
5. To Determine if the Settlement Will Cover Ongoing Medical Care
If the accident causes injuries that will take a long time to heal or be ongoing throughout your life, the insurance company may attempt to push you to settle before the severity of the damage is known. When you consider the bills that accompany multiple surgeries, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and medication, it’s no surprise the adjuster wants you to settle before you know the extent of your injuries.
An experienced lawyer can help you collect the documentation you need to establish projected costs for your future care. They will also help you compile any evidence necessary to prove that your new issues are from the accident.
6. To Review Evidence That Proves Your Innocence
If you spoke to the insurance adjuster before you had a lawyer and accidentally said something that made them question your level of fault, your lawyer needs to know. Insurers will sometimes call the injured driver while they are still recovering and try to get them to say something that paints them as responsible for the accident.
Working with a lawyer is the only way to remedy the situation. Your lawyer can collect witness statements, accident scene photos, and police reports that prove the other driver is at fault. You’ll need solid evidence to prove you hold no responsibility, and only a skilled lawyer will be able to provide the airtight proof the insurance company will require.
7. To Determine If Going to Court in Cameron, TX Would Be Wise
It is critical to remember that the insurance company doesn’t want to go to court, but they also don’t want to pay you a large settlement. As the first offer they bring to the table is most likely a low ball, you and your lawyer will want to counter their offer. If they refuse to negotiate a fair settlement, you’ll have to take your claim to court. Handling your claim in court should not be attempted without legal representation.
The insurance representative will be aggressive in their efforts to prevent you from receiving any compensation for your injuries. Your lawyer will represent your case and compile evidence that shows not only were you injured due to the negligence or reckless behavior of the other driver, but you are also deserving of reimbursement for your medical bills and property damage. Your lawyer will do everything in their power to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you were injured in a car accident due to another driver’s carelessness, you should seek fair compensation for your medical bills and property damage. Unfortunately, insurance companies will attempt to convince you that you should accept their low settlement offers to prevent you from receiving the funds you are entitled to for your injuries. Contact Brian C. Gutierrez and schedule a free consultation today.