Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is always highly stressful. There are so many things you need to do, and people you need to contact, and on top of that you could be experience the pain and trauma that accompany moderate to severe injuries. The last thing you want is to be taken advantage of when determining who was at-fault. You can easily avoid the time and energy it takes to self-advocate with the police and insurance companies, by hiring a lawyer to work on your behalf. It is so important to always contact a lawyer before the insurance company — and here are the three main reasons why.
Reason #1: Your Lawyer Is On YOUR Side
The problem with insurance companies is that when you are the claimant in a car accident matter, they are not necessarily on your side. It is the nature of the business that their self-interest is rooted in maintaining profits, which means even when they are not acting in bad faith they could be offering you a lower settlement than you deserve. They could be more skeptical towards your side of the story, and they will urge you to jump through their hoops and use their repair shops to save money.
Your lawyer, on the other hand, focuses on your best interests. It is their direct job to defend your rights and make sure you get a fair settlement. So, if you are being scammed, if the police reports are not accurate, if your insurance company or the plaintiff’s insurance company is dragging their feet or acting in bad faith, your lawyer will be able to notice it immediately and advocate for you.
Reason #2: Your Lawyer Can Give Important Legal Advice
The time immediately after a car accident can be very chaotic — even more so if you suffered an injury of any kind. If you’ve never been in an accident before you will have to make a lot of decisions in a short amount of time, and those decisions can have a massive impact on how much of a settlement you get in the future. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on what you need to do, such as:
- What to do at the scene of the accident — giving a statement to police, collecting evidence of your own if possible, etc
- What to do when you call your insurance company — giving your account, asking for specific services, how to self-advocate, and responding to the insurance company after the fact, etc.
- How to negotiate with other parties — negotiating with your insurance company, the other party’s insurance company, etc
Remember, your lawyer is an expert at handling every possible kind of personal injury case in your specific city, county or state. Being able to give you advice on how to handle your insurance company is huge, and if you are dealing with an injury they can perform all that communication and negotiation on your behalf.
Reason #3: Your Lawyer Can Speed Up Everything
For cases that involve a serious injury or even death, having your lawyer on your side from the start can make all the difference in how swiftly everything is resolved. Car accidents lead to a lot of very large bills that will need to be paid sooner rather than later — car repairs, medical treatments, possibly funeral arrangements, and so on. For such cases, where you need some sort of financial settlement as soon as possible, your lawyer can help make that happen.
With insurance companies, they do not have much incentive to act any faster than they want to. They might be sympathetic to your financial situation, but not at their own expense. Seeking legal advice can help you make informed decisions right away and avoid any costly delays.