Unfortunately, car accidents are very common. Car accidents can range from minor “fender benders” to catastrophic accidents. While you never technically need an attorney to handle your accident case, the facts of your case will suggest whether or not you should hire one. If you have suffered severe injuries or if the other party is contesting their fault, you may want an experienced attorney to help you recover the maximum settlement or damages award possible. Consider the following factors when deciding whether or not to hire an attorney to handle your accident case:
How severe are your injuries?
If you sustained only minor injuries then you may be able to handle filing an insurance claim and dealing with the insurance adjuster on your own. However, those suffering from more serious
injuries may benefit from having an experienced attorney on their side. Determining damages in a personal injury case is often a complicated process that requires placing a monetary value on subjective factors like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. An attorney experienced in handling car accident cases can help you to determine and collect the true value of your claim.
What are your out-of-pocket costs?
Your out-of-pocket costs for things like time off from work and medical bills are a very important factor in determining what your claim is worth. If your out-of-pocket costs are low, then any settlement offer will most likely also be low. Where you have significant out-of-pocket expenses for which you are seeking reimbursement, hiring a lawyer will greatly increase your chances of recovering all of your expenses.
Who is at fault?
Proving liability, or fault, is essential in any car accident case. If you cannot prove who is to blame for your injuries, then you will not be able to settle your claim with the insurance company or recover damages in court proceeding. If liability is unclear or contested in your case, hiring an attorney may be well worth the cost.
Can you reach a settlement without filing a lawsuit?
Dealing with an insurance adjuster and going through legal proceedings are two different things. While you may be able to handle an insurance adjuster on your own, legal proceedings involve many procedural rules that are often confusing, and in some cases may bar you from recovering damages if you fail to comply with them. For example, if you do not file your lawsuit within a certain time frame, your suit will be barred and you will not receive compensation for your injuries.
Do you have the time and energy to advocate for yourself?
The claims process and legal proceedings are both stressful and time consuming endeavors, especially if you are still recovering from your injuries. You will need to gather evidence to substantiate your claim, correspond with the insurance company and either negotiate a settlement or initiate court proceedings. A Tennessee Attorney can advocate for you and take care of all the minutia of your claim, allowing you the time to recover.