There are many misconceptions surrounding car accident injuries, particularly when it comes to what victims can expect when filing a claim. Before you decide whether or not to pursue your case, you should learn the truth about what the process involves. Here's the truth behind some of the most common misconceptions about car accident injury cases.
"You'll Need to Pay a Retainer Before You Can File."
Many people believe that hiring an auto accident attorney for an injury case will require significant up-front payments. The truth is that most personal injury attorneys, car accident attorneys included, will take cases without requiring a retainer. In those cases, you will only be expected to pay the attorney if the case is successful and you get a settlement. And, most attorneys will offer a consultation appointment for free. Don't commit to an attorney who wants an up-front payment without looking around for someone who will take the case on contingency instead.
"You'll Have to Go to Court to Get a Settlement."
If you work with an accident injury attorney who specializes in settlement and negotiation, you may be able to settle the claim for a fair amount without having to go to court. By working with an attorney, you show the insurance company that you are committed to seeing the process through. This will encourage them to negotiate to save on court costs.
Negotiations aren't always done in a single meeting, though. In many cases, you'll find that the insurance company starts with a low offer that your attorney will counter. The two will discuss the situation and your attorney will explain why he or she feels that more is justified. Together, they will come to a fair settlement amount.
"Your Attorney Has the Final Say on Everything."
It is important to understand that hiring an attorney doesn't mean that you have no say in the rest of the process. If you reach a point where you are confused, uncertain about a decision or uncomfortable with the direction it is heading, you can take time to talk with the attorney about it.
If you aren't happy with the explanation that you receive from your attorney or you don't feel as though you are being heard, you have the right to seek a second opinion. You can request a consultation with another attorney at any time for more guidance.
"Even if You Settle, You Can Get More Money Later."
Don't go into the settlement process with the belief that you can go back for more money later. Once you sign a settlement, you relinquish any right to seek more money. Even if you find yourself facing additional unexpected costs for medical care or other issues, you will not be able to get any more money. The paperwork signed in most auto accident settlements releases the insurance company from any further claim.
"If You Were Even Partially at Fault, You Can't Get Any Money."
Many people believe that if they were found to be even partially at fault, it eliminates any claim for financial support. Unless you are completely at fault, you may still be able to get some money toward your expenses. In these situations, the insurance company will base your award on the percentage of responsibility. For example, if you were found to carry 25 percent of the fault for the accident, you may still be able to recover 75 percent of your costs.
"You Can Get Just as Much Money Without the Attorney."
Although you don't have to hire an attorney for the process, it is important to understand the benefit of legal support. If you try to get a settlement from the insurance company on your own, you are more likely to get a lower offer and less flexibility.
By hiring an auto accident lawyer, you will have someone you can talk to for support along the way to ensure that you are treated fairly. An attorney has the expertise to negotiate with the insurance company and the authority to help ensure that you receive the amount that you deserve.
If you have been involved in a car accident, don't let the overwhelming amounts of misinformation deter you from pursuing a case. If the accident was due to someone else's actions, you may be entitled to money that can help with your recovery.Share
2 September 2014
I have never been someone who likes the idea of suing another person, but after my family was plowed into by a drunk driver with no regard for the law, my tune changed. I realized that I needed to do what I could in order to make things right, so I started looking for a lawyer who could help me to fight for the settlement I deserved. It took a few months in court, but by the time I won my settlement, I felt a lot better about things. This blog is all about getting the legal help you need when you need it the most.