Settling Your Car Accident Case with Insurance vs. Hiring a Lawyer
You’ve been in an accident with another driver, and your insurance company has offered a settlement to compensate you for the damages. But do you want to settle out of court, or would you instead get legal help from a car accident lawyer to represent you in your case? Wyatt Law Firm has prepared this article to guide you toward making the best choice.
What Happens When You Settle an Insurance Claim?
When you settle an insurance claim, the insurance company will pay you an agreed-upon amount to cover your damages. In exchange for this payment, you will sign a release that states you will not sue the other driver or their insurance company for any additional damages.
The most common settlement amount is the state minimum coverage limit of $25,000. You may also be offered another type of compensation as part of the agreement, such as a rental car or medical expense reimbursement.
You’ll also need to waive your right to pursue a lawsuit against the other driver and their insurance company. If you decide not to sign this waiver, they are free to take legal action against you in court (which could result in more expensive fees).
But if you want to pursue litigation, there’s no guarantee that you will win your case because you’re going up against a corporate entity. Settling out of court avoids this hassle, but it does mean giving up some fundamental rights.
What Happens When You Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
When you hire a car accident lawyer, they will work on your behalf to get the best possible outcome for your case. This may include negotiating with insurance companies, gathering evidence, and taking your case to court if necessary. Once the claim is settled, the law firm takes a percentage of what was awarded as their fee. They also do not charge any upfront fees, meaning they do not ask for money before working on your case.
Lawyers can offer much more representation than an insurance company because they have years of experience in this field and all of the resources needed to take care of it quickly and efficiently. They can also cover things like medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering. In contrast, if you settle with an insurance company, then these aspects are left out.
In addition to helping you better understand the process of dealing with injuries from a car accident, lawyers can help by reducing stress by doing everything for you, including filing paperwork and following up on deadlines.
An experienced attorney will know how settlements should be handled based on previous cases, which means there’s less chance that something could go wrong or slip through the cracks during negotiations between both parties.
Settlements tend to come faster when an attorney is involved, and they can often negotiate a higher settlement amount due to their negotiation skills. With personal injury law firms, you’re never going into this alone; instead, you’ll have someone who has your back while walking with you every step of the way.
The benefits of hiring a lawyer far outweigh the cost associated with doing so, which means that when considering settlement versus legal counsel, it’s best to choose legal counsel.
What is the Best Option?
If you’ve been in a car accident, you may wonder if it’s better to settle your case with insurance or hire a lawyer. The answer depends on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, vehicle damage, and who was at fault for the accident.
If you’ve suffered severe injuries or extensive property damage, you may want to hire a lawyer to help you get the most compensation possible. Insurance companies are in business to make money, so they will try to offer as little as possible for claims involving serious injuries or fatalities. However, if your injuries are minor and there is little damage to your vehicle, settling with insurance may be the best option.
Of course, there are situations where both options are viable. Sometimes, it’s best to do both: contact your insurance company first and see what they’re willing to offer, then hire an attorney if you aren’t satisfied with their offer.
Also, be aware that every case is different. For example, some personal injury attorneys work on contingency—that is, they don’t get paid unless you do—but many will charge by the hour or collect payment upfront for costs like medical bills and vehicle repair.
In serious accident cases, it is usually best to hire an attorney. Your attorney will not only negotiate on your behalf but also help you recover lost wages and take care of the administrative tasks involved in a lawsuit, such as attending medical appointments and assisting with insurance paperwork.