If you have recently been involved in a car accident, chances are at least one person in your life has made the suggestion that you contact a car accident lawyer. However if you are like many people, you have probably put off contacting an attorney simply because you are struggling to answer the question of whether or not you actually need a lawyer in order to effectively settle your claim. After all, the process of settling directly with the insurance company often seems straightforward enough, and truth be told, in many cases it is. The problem is that if you fail to contact a car accident lawyer when you really need one, you could be leaving quite a bit of money on the table by choosing to settle the claim yourself. That is why it is so important that you take the time to consider the three factors below before making a final decision about how to proceed with your case.
Factor #1: The Expectation Of Future Medical Costs
One of the most significant ways in which people sell themselves short when settling a car insurance claim is by failing to collect compensation for future medical bills. If the injuries that you suffered resulted in permanent or long-term damage that will require you to receive ongoing medical care, it is important to ensure that any settlement you accept will cover these future costs in full. Working with a car accident lawyer can help you to accomplish this goal, as your attorney will be able to coordinate with your doctors to determine exactly how much care you are expected to require and how much this care is going to cost.
Factor #2: Your Expected Quality Of Life
There are a wide range of ways in which a serious car accident can impact your future quality of life. For example, you may find that you suffer from PTSD after a serious accident and that this disorder prevents you from being able to drive a vehicle. You may also find that your ability to earn a living is impacted by long-term injuries. These types of damages can be very hard to get adequate compensation for when settling directly with the insurance company. Consequently, if you have suffered a change in your expected quality of life as the result of an accident, you should definitely contact a car accident lawyer.
Factor #3: Accepting Liability
If the insurance company readily accepts full liability for damages in your case, you may be able to settle your claim rather quickly, providing you do not have any extenuating circumstances to consider. However, if the insurance company is trying to place even a percentage of the liability on you, choosing to accept a settlement at this point could not only impact your overall settlement amount but reflect poorly on your driving record as well.
If the insurance company is challenging even partial liability and you feel you are at no fault, it is best to contact a car accident lawyer before settling your claim.