If you’ve been in a car accident, can you negotiate with an insurance company on your own? The short answer is yes, you can negotiate your car accident insurance claim and settle it, without an attorney. But read on to find out a few reasons why you might want to consider hiring a Charlotte personal injury lawyer to assist you with the personal injury claim.
When Should I Consider Representing Myself?
As a personal injury lawyer, my temptation of course is to scream “Never!” but the fact is that’s just not true. I think one of the first things to consider in representing yourself is how badly you were hurt. If you slip and fall in a grocery store and suffer only a bruise or twisted ankle, you may be able to quickly negotiate what you believe to be a fair settlement with the insurance company. The same could be said of a very minor car accident.
Insurance companies do want claims to ‘go away’ and for a small claim like the ones referenced above, you may be able to successfully negotiate the injury claim to get your medical bills paid and put a small amount of money in your pocket for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of someone else’s negligence.
When Should I Consider Getting A Personal Injury Lawyer?
In most other instances outside of those listed above, you’re typically going to come out better with a personal injury lawyer, even after they take their fee from the settlement. The reason is that, much like anything involving insurance and liability, what appears to be cut and dry in the beginning quickly becomes complicated. Below, are just a few issues that can necessitate you to make a phone call to a personal injury lawyer:
- The insurance company denies the claim based on Contributory Negligence. This is a common response and essentially in NC, it means that the insurance company believes you were at least 1% at fault, and as such, believes a jury would not find it in your favor.
- The other party doesn’t cooperate. It’s amazing how often the other side simply won’t give you their insurance information, which allows you to get a claim started. In an instance like this, your personal injury lawyer will either threaten the other side with legal action or take legal action to force them to disclose the existence of applicable insurance policies related to the incident or accident.
- The fault isn’t clear. Quite often, once the facts are on the table, an argument can be made that you contributed in some small manner to your injury. In a slip and fall case, maybe it is that you were wearing shoes that were not appropriate for the activity. In a pedestrian case, perhaps you were not walking inside the crosswalk or were wearing dark clothing at night. In auto accidents, if you weren’t rear-ended, the insurance company will likely raise one of many defenses and use that as their reason for denying or lowering the value of your claim.
Why Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Make A Difference?
When you represent yourself, the insurance company knows that generally, you are not going to file a lawsuit. With that in mind, the negotiation or claims process is where things begin and end. Because of this, despite their apparent willingness to communicate and negotiate with you, while you negotiate with an insurance company on your own, their number will remain low relative to the value of the claim or case. When you involve a personal injury lawyer, the insurance company knows that if the matter isn’t resolved at the claims level, the lawyer will file a lawsuit.
Insurance companies are businesses and they are run like businesses. When a lawyer threatens a lawsuit, the insurance company starts examining the claim differently. They turn to their in-house counsel or outside counsel and ask how much it will cost to litigate this particular claim. If the answer is $10,000 in legal fees alone, all of a sudden the negotiation numbers change for the insurance company, which changes the settlement negotiations.
Personal injury lawyers also work routinely with the same insurance companies. As a result, your personal injury attorney will have an opinion about that particular insurance company. His or her experience in the past with that company will also allow for the development of a strategy designed to maximize the settlement offer received by that particular insurance company.
The Main Reason To Call A Personal Injury Lawyer – It’s Free
The call is free. Take advantage of the free consultation and have your case evaluated. Call 704.749.7747 today or click HERE and we’ll call you at a time you specify. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.