Car accidents are disruptive. They ruin your plans and interfere with your daily routine while forcing you to spend your time dealing with repair shops, the insurance claims process, police reports, and more. And that’s assuming the crash was relatively minor, leaving you with reparable vehicle damage and minimal or no injuries. When an accident involves serious injuries, totals your vehicle, or worse, the aftermath becomes all the more overwhelming. It’s no wonder you might want to forgo involving an attorney to pursue compensation beyond what insurance offers. Or you might think that your situation is so cut-and-dried that you can handle getting the most for your claims alone. We’re here to explain why that is a decision you will likely regret.
The aftermath of a car accident
The only time you might not regret eschewing a professional automobile accident lawyer post-accident is when you walk away 100 percent uninjured and your vehicle only has minor dents and scratches. However, you should remember that in the week or so following an accident, many victims become aware that they did not escape as unscathed as initially thought. That’s because, in the immediate aftermath, you are likely to experience some amount of shock, which masks pain and trauma. As the shock ebbs, aches and pains of injury flare up.
Other injuries simply take longer to discover, and unfortunately, these could be very serious like organ damage and internal bleeding. This is why we always advise motor vehicle crash victims to get checked out by first responders and to follow their advice to go to the emergency room for a more thorough evaluation or at least see their personal care physician as soon after the accident as possible. Only after you have confirmation from a medical professional that you are uninjured should you decide whether or not to hire a lawyer.
Maybe you don’t want to go to court and feel confident you can negotiate a very fair compensation package with the insurance agency. Here’s the thing: as we’ve explained in previous blogs, accident investigators for insurance companies are not in the business of paying victims what they deserve. Quite the opposite—success for them is measure by how much money they can avoid paying out. Unless you are also a seasoned car accident insurance agent, you cannot be certain that you won’t be tripped up by one of their inquiries. You might unintentionally minimize your injuries and losses or give them a reason to shift part or all of the blame for the accident onto you.
A seasoned car accident attorney will know how to present a solid case proving the extent of your injuries and material losses, taking into consideration loss of income from being unable to work, your family’s loss of your financial and emotional support during your recovery, and other more obscure damages to which you might not know you’re entitled.
You may be hesitating to hire an attorney because you are concerned about affording one. The best way to mitigate this concern is to research and find a lawyer who works on a contingency fee basis. In lay terms, this means that you do not have to pay unless the law firm collects money for you, and the amount is based on a percentage of the total. Simply put, if the lawyer doesn’t win your case, you owe them nothing. Also keep in mind that a contingency fee relationship means it is in your chosen attorney’s best interests to win you the largest settlement or jury award as possible, so the likelihood is very high that you will still walk away with far more money, including the attorney’s fee, than if you’d gone it alone.
Talk to an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer
One thing is certain—when it comes to pursuing claims following an accident, not just any lawyer will do. Contact a Los Angeles automobile crash attorney with the experience and track record of success to get you the compensation you deserve. Call Scott J. Corwin at (310) 683-2300.