Being involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault can be frightening. You might have suffered severe injuries, and you may now be trying to navigate a complex and unfamiliar legal world that you’ve never encountered before.
Even though you may be more than competent to handle proceedings on your own, seeing a car accident attorney for advice may be more helpful than you think. There are many surprising things they can assist with, such as these below.
1. Negotiate With Insurance Companies
A competent KC car accident attorney like ptlawkc.com can do more than be an imposing force in a courtroom environment. They can also communicate and negotiate with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf.
Depending on the experience level of your chosen Kansas City personal injury attorney, you may also find that they already have a good relationship with many insurance adjusters. They know how they operate, what their goals are, and how to communicate with them in a way that’s going to benefit your situation as much as possible.
Given how stressful managing insurance company interactions can be, having a lawyer taking care of this process for you can be a weight off your mind. It can also leave you to focus on healing from any injuries you may have sustained.
2. Find Evidence to Prove Liability
Three factors contribute to a strong personal injury claim: damages or injuries, clear liability, and a recovery source. Without any of these three factors, a case isn’t as strong as it may need to be for a successful outcome.
Therefore, your chosen car accident attorney’s job is to find evidence that proves the other driver was at fault. If you had to do this on your own, it could cause a great deal of stress and anxiety.
There are several ways to find the strongest evidence possible. Footage from the accident, police reports, expert witness testimonies, photos, and witness statements may all be suitable options for your case.
3. Prove Damages
Another driver may have done something wrong, but without damages or injuries, you may not get the outcome you had hoped for. Therefore, your attorney works hard to prove the injuries and damages in your accident were caused by the negligent party.
The first step in this process involves requesting your medical records from the hospital or medical clinic that tended to your injuries. If the medical records are not extensive enough, your lawyer may also write a letter to the doctor to ask for opinions on the likely causes of your injury or disability.
The letter can outline any injuries, disabilities or physical limitations you may have, and that they were caused by the negligence of the defendant. They may also look at medical treatments you have already received, such as physiotherapy.
4. Manage Liens
Liens are a form of security held over property to ensure payment is made. If you receive benefits from health, workers’ compensation, or disability insurance companies, those insurers will likely put a lien on your claim.
This means they are making sure they get paid before you do once your claim has been settled inside or outside of court. Even though a lien is a necessary part of an insurer’s job, there is wiggle room that your lawyer can take advantage of. They may be able to negotiate a reduction in that lien so that you end up with more money in your pocket than would have been initially arranged.
5. Calculate a Fair Settlement Figure
A car accident can turn your once happy and fulfilled life upside down. You may not be able to return to full-time work, and you may be struggling to maintain your independence with debilitating injuries.
If you’re the breadwinner in your family, financial hardship may also be a reality of your post-accident life. Your lawyer can take this and other factors into consideration. They use personal injury settlement calculators to determine how much your accident has cost you. Some of the costs factored into the equation include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Medical costs
- Property damage
- Emotional and mental trauma
- Pain and suffering
Once they have calculated what they believe is a fair sum for your accident, they send a demand to the negligent driver’s insurance company.
6. Negotiate a Fair Settlement
The unfortunate reality is that car insurance companies are in the business of making money. Therefore, they are going to try to save as much of it as possible by providing a low-ball offer in the hopes that you’ll settle quickly.
The best car accident attorney is one that does right by their client, rather than aiming for a speedy settlement. They will tell you whether the offer is acceptable or too low. If it’s too low, they can return to the negotiating table with a counter-offer.
If an acceptable settlement offer can’t be found, they can prepare you for a court case to fight for your right to the compensation you deserve. Every step of the way, they’re trying to make sure you’re presented with an offer reflective of your costs, pain, and suffering.
7. Prepare for Court
While the majority of personal injury claims are settled out of a courtroom, that doesn’t mean car accident attorneys aren’t adept at settling cases inside the courtroom. They can prepare you for court in a variety of ways to ensure you’re in the best position to receive the outcome you deserve.
Your car accident lawyer can compile documents that strengthen your case, familiarize you with trial procedures, and even show you how the courtroom is laid out. They can also walk you through sample questions you may be asked and let you know the most appropriate clothing to wear in the courtroom. By the time you enter through the courtroom doors, you’ll be as prepared as you could possibly be for what lies ahead.
As tempting as it can be to try and manage your car accident settlement process on your own, there’s certainly value in having an expert lawyer guide the way. Not only can their experience ease your mind, but they can also handle negotiations, courtroom settlements, and everything in between. If you’re ever involved in a car accident, hiring a car accident lawyer may be one of the best decisions you can ever make.