Why get a lawyer for a car accident? Is a car accident lawyer necessary? Doesn’t the insurance company handle the car accident for me?
In this helpful article, the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Cousin Benny explain what a car accident lawyer does and when you need a car accident attorney.
If after reading this article you believe you need a car accident attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve, call Cousin Benny, where we treat you like family. Call us today to discuss your case, free of charge!
Your Car Accident Lawyer Gathers Evidence that is Difficult to Get on Your Own, Investigating and Using Experts
While you may have access to the police report and the contact information for the other drivers involved, there is more to investigate and calculate to prove that you deserve compensation and how much.
Car accident cases are a particular type of personal injury case. In a personal injury case, you must prove the negligent party owed a duty of care to you and breached that duty, causing you damages. In a car accident case, the other driver or drivers owe you a duty to act as a reasonable driver would under the circumstances, and if they failed to do so and caused or partially caused the car accident, they are liable for your damages.
Your Car Accident Lawyer Gathers Necessary Evidence of Liability
Pennsylvania is a comparative liability state, which means that those suffering an injury in a car accident may recover their total amount of damages if they are 0% responsible for causing the accident, and their damages are reduced by their percentage of fault. For example, if a driver is 25% responsible for causing the accident and their damages are $400,000, they will only receive 75% or $300,000.
There is a lot of money at stake, and for this reason liability in car accidents is hotly contested. If your percentage of liability is calculated too high, you could lose tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars that you need to pay your medical bills and other expenses.
Don’t leave the issue of liability to chance. The only person who will look out for your interests is your car accident attorney, who will investigate, take witnesses’ depositions, and use experts to recreate the accident to accurately determine liability and get you the compensation you deserve.
Your Car Accident Attorney Gathers Necessary Evidence of Damages
It is common for those injured in a car accident to underestimate the amount of their damages early on. First, they are still healing from their injuries and may need additional medical care. Second, they do not know whether their injuries will have a long-lasting or permanent effect on their health, family life, or their ability to work.
Your car accident attorney consults medical experts to calculate your present and future medical expenses and whether you will be disabled or disfigured and therefore entitled to non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or emotional distress. If your injuries affect your ability to do your job, your car accident lawyer will consult forensic accountants to calculate how much in earnings you will lose in the future.
Your Car Accident Lawyer Communicates with the Other Driver’s Insurance Company
Armed with evidence of liability and damages, your car accident lawyer takes over communications with the insurance companies involved, leaving you free to get the medical attention you need, heal, rest, and deal with the damage to your vehicle.
Insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. Just like any other type of business, insurance companies are concerned with their bottom line. They make more profit when they collect premiums and then deny or underpay claims.
An insurance adjuster is an advocate for their employer, the insurance company. They are tasked with finding a way to either deny your claim or find justification to only partially pay on your claim. They will likely contact you with an initial low-ball settlement offer. How do you argue that you deserve more?
Your car accident attorney advocates for your interests, using the evidence they have gathered to negotiate with the insurance company’s attorneys and get you the settlement you deserve, considering your damages and relative liability for your accident.
Your Car Accident Lawyer Represents You in Court
If the insurance company will not offer an acceptable settlement, your car accident attorney will file a lawsuit and advocate for you in court. Your car accident attorney will present evidence of liability through expert and witness testimony and evidence of your damages using your past expenses, calculated future expenses, loss in earnings, and emotional suffering.
It is common for an insurance company to offer a better settlement once litigation begins, because litigation is a costly and time-consuming process that has a negative impact on their reputation as well as their bottom line. But if the insurance company does not settle prior to judgment, your car accident attorney will argue to the judge or jury that you deserve the money judgment you are asking for, and they will get you the judgment you deserve.
Why You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer Instead of Representing Yourself
This article set forth the pitfalls of trying to represent yourself against the insurance company or companies after your car accident, which were, in short:
- The insurance company is not working in your best interests
- The insurance company has incentive to offer you less than what you deserve
- The insurance company has a team of lawyers trying to justify their low-ball offer to you
- Your car accident attorney has access to the resources to prove liability
- Your car accident attorney has access to the resources to prove damages
- Your car accident attorney knows the law and will craft a persuasive case for you
- Your car accident lawyer has experience negotiating with the insurance company, using the evident they gathered, to get you the money you deserve
- Your car accident attorney litigates on your behalf to get you the money you deserve if the insurance company will not settle
- Your car accident attorney works on contingency, meaning you pay no legal fee up front and they only get paid unless and until you do
If you’ve suffered an injury in a car accident, call the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Cousin Benny, where we treat you like family. Find out how much your case is worth, free of charge!