Sometimes life likes to rear its ugly head and nip you in the heels—or, in this case, the back of a brand new SUV. The average person will experience three to four car accidents within his or her lifetime, and it is an affair one isn’t likely to forget. When it is all said and done, many like to wash their hands of the accident, leaving the wreckage for their insurance companies to clean up. But don’t be too quick to pass over the work; insurance companies are businesses, and many may undercut you.
So how do you know when to hire a car lawyer? Ask yourself these five easy questions:
1. Is the negotiated settlement too low? According to DMV.org, “Auto insurance companies typically offer low settlements on claims. Their goal is to save money by paying out the minimum that you will accept.” Do some light research to know what your car is worth on the market, and be flexible.
2. Is there pressure to settle quickly? Oftentimes, the first proposed offer may be unexpectedly low. If this occurs, question how the proposed number was calculated. If no specific reasons are given, it may be time to get a lawyer.
3. Is the settlement taking too long? Settlements have deadlines. Check your state’s statute of limitations to ensure your deadline isn’t approaching. Once it has passed, your case will most likely be dismissed.
4. Was anyone injured? Navigating personal injury laws is a long, painful experience. One small mistake can lead to a dismissed case and no money. “The biggest help car accident companies like ours can provide,” claims marketing consultant Jason Hennessey at Dallas Car Accident Lawyers, “is simply in doing our jobs. The laws surrounding accidents can be overwhelming to anyone who is not an expert.”
5. Will the loss of your vehicle have dire consequences? If the destruction of your automobile will result in effects beyond most people’s experiences in similar situations, an auto accident lawyer will be able to quickly and neatly settle your claim for you.
Car accident lawyers do not have to empty your wallet. Many request a contingency fee in which the lawyer will be paid a percentage of any recovered money. Before deciding to hire an attorney, keep in mind the following tips:
– Numerous companies offer a free case evaluation to give you an idea of the associated costs. Take advantage of such offers.
– On average, most car accident lawyers charge about 33 percent of the total money received.
– What’s the company’s reputation? Check on news sites and the company’s web page to see past results.
Being in a car accident is frightening enough, but the undue stress that occurs afterwards can be just as terrifying. Many insurance companies will work with you to resolve disputes, so don’t be afraid to negotiate a better settlement price. However, if you ever question your ability to partake in the claims process yourself, an attorney might just be the answer you seek.