After suffering a car accident injury, facing the insurance company alone is rarely a good idea. Insurance providers have teams of professional negotiators who seek to minimize the value of every claim. A car accident attorney has the legal know-how and experience to push back against these negotiators and recover the full compensation you deserve. Here are the six main ways an attorney can help you handle an insurance company in Huntsville, TX, Rockdale, TX, or anywhere else in Texas.
6 Ways a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You Deal With Insurance Companies
1. File the Claim on Your Behalf
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may seek compensation from the insurance company of the driver who caused your injuries. But insurance providers stay profitable by paying out as few car accident claims as possible. For this reason, they often employ strategies during the filing process to encourage new claimants to unwittingly make mistakes.
One example of this is asking the claimant for a recorded statement, during which you’ll be asked leading questions in the hope that you’ll admit to a modicum of fault for the accident. Once that mistake is made, your claim may be devalued or even ruined entirely. Hiring an attorney right at the start of your case is the best way to avoid any such costly mistakes; your lawyer can investigate, evaluate, prepare, and file your claim on your behalf.
2. Handle All Communications With the Insurer
During the claims process, communicating with the insurance company is often a stressful experience for the injured accident victim, especially if you’ve suffered severe injuries. Once retained, an attorney can handle all communications on your behalf, so you never need to speak with the insurer directly.
If the insurer ever contacts you personally, you can simply provide them with your lawyer’s number. This is often a huge relief for injury victims, who can focus on rest and recovery instead.
Deal With Paperwork and Delaying Tactics
Some car accident claims can stretch on for several months. If the damages are very large, the insurance provider may attempt to overwhelm the claimant with seemingly unnecessary paperwork.
It’s also quite common for insurers to employ delaying tactics that may eventually frustrate and demoralize an injured victim who lacks legal representation. An experienced car accident lawyer can handle all paperwork for you and counter any delaying tactics to keep your case moving forward steadily toward a successful resolution.
3. Negotiate Effectively for You
It’s quite common for insurance companies to initially offer a lowball settlement figure. When an injured accident victim is facing looming medical bills and also lost income from missed work, that initial settlement offer can seem very attractive.
But accepting the insurer’s first offer is usually a mistake, which an attorney can help you avoid. Firstly, they’ll help you understand the full value of your claim: the total damages you have a legal right to recover. Armed with this knowledge, it becomes far easier to reject inadequate settlement offers.
Personal Injury Lawyers Are Expert Negotiators
Acting on your behalf, your attorney can inform the insurer that you require more money, provide a counteroffer, and begin the process of negotiation. Without detailed knowledge of personal injury law, it can be difficult for an injured victim to negotiate properly. This is one of the reasons why car accident claimants tend to win far higher settlements with an experienced lawyer by their side.
Find a Local Attorney in Huntsville, TX or Rockdale, TX
In order to calculate damages and negotiate effectively, it’s important to understand that personal injury law varies from state to state. So if you’ve been injured in Texas, or you’re a local Texan resident, it’s best to find a local lawyer who has extensive knowledge of Texan law. If you’re based in Huntsville, TX or Rockdale, TX, look for a lawyer who focuses specifically on cases in your region.
4. Handle Disputes Against Your Claim
In seeking to minimize the value of a claim, insurance adjusters look for any way to dispute the assertion that the other driver was responsible for the accident. To avoid a situation where it’s your word against that of the other driver, you need evidence to prove their liability. This is why it’s so crucial to gather evidence at the scene of the accident such as the police report, photos and videos of the vehicles and road conditions, eyewitness contact details, and more.
Your lawyer can help you gather this evidence and even go to the accident scene themselves or send a special investigator in order to take better pictures. They can get copies of police accident reports, gather eyewitness statements, and even attain surveillance camera footage. Car accident attorneys know how to use evidence to overcome insurer disputes and prove the liability of at-fault drivers.
Your Damages May Also Be Disputed
The monetary value of any car accident claim is the sum of the damages you’re seeking to recover. The insurer may also dispute some or all of your damages; they may either dispute that your damages resulted from the accident, as would be the case with pre-existing injuries, or they may dispute the amount of money you’re claiming your damages are worth.
Once again, handling such disputes requires evidence. With a strong track record of handling similar cases, an experienced attorney can gather evidence such as medical records, vehicle repair estimates, and expert witness testimony to prove the full value of your damages.
5. Face the Insurance Provider in Court
While the vast majority of car accident cases are settled out of court, you may need to file a lawsuit and have a judge and jury decide the outcome. A lawsuit and court case most often become necessary when the insurance provider refuses to pay a fair settlement amount. As your car accident claim unfolds, if the sensible course of action becomes a jury trial in court, you’ll most certainly want an experienced court-ready attorney in your corner.
Ideally, you’ll want to find an experienced Texas board-certified trial lawyer with a good reputation for winning car accident lawsuits. When insurance companies find themselves dealing with such a well-reputed attorney, they understand that you’re willing to take proceedings to court if need be. This may help you reach a fair settlement agreement even before a lawsuit becomes necessary.
6. Communicate With Your Own Insurer
In an at-fault state like Texas, you’ll mostly be dealing with the insurance company of the driver who caused your injury. But you may still need to report the accident to your own insurer to meet certain requirements in your auto insurance policy. You may also be able to obtain certain benefits from your own insurance coverage, such as Personal Injury Protection to cover your short-term expenses until the final payout arrives from the other driver’s insurer.
Your health insurance provider may provide similar help with your immediate medical expenses. In these cases, you may need to negotiate the terms of a lien whereby your insurance provider will gain a portion of the final car accident settlement when the claim is resolved. Your attorney can negotiate these kinds of agreements for you. It’s generally best to have an attorney deal with any insurance company on your behalf to avoid mistakes that may harm your future finances.
If you’d like a local Texan award-winning trial attorney fighting your corner, contact Brian C. Gutierrez today at (979) 364 5346 for a free consultation. For over fifteen years, Brian has been helping car accident victims just like you negotiate with difficult insurance companies to win full and fair compensation for their losses.