American roadways may be safer than ever before, but they’re still quite dangerous. According to data curated by DriverKnowledge.com, 6 million car accidents occur in the United States each year. More than 90 people die every single day in these accidents, while another 3 million are injured annually.
Most people will never be killed or seriously injured in a car accident, but the data shows us that it happens every single day. If you find yourself injured in the aftermath of a serious car wreck or collision, you can’t afford to sit back and handle your claim in a casual manner. You need a proactive plan.
5 Reasons Not to Represent Yourself
Some people think that they can take on their own car accident injury claim on their own; circumventing a car accident injury lawyer, if you will. And while this may technically be true, it rarely ends well. Self-representation is a major mistake. Here are a few reasons why:
1. You Don’t Know How to Track Down Evidence
A car accident is physically and emotionally jarring. It often leaves victims in a state of confusion and bewilderment, which isn’t a good mixture when you have important decisions to make.
“After your car accident, you were likely dazed and in pain, meaning you were unable to fully understand what had just happened,” Lane & Lane, LLC explains. “You might have missed key details about the events that led to your car accident—details that could determine the cause and, ultimately, who you should name in your claim for compensation.”
A good car accident attorney knows how to track down evidence and find the supportive details you need to win your case.
2. You Don’t Know How to Calculate Damages
It doesn’t matter how good your grade was in high 9th grade algebra, you don’t have the skills or knowledge to accurately calculate damages in a car accident claim. If you try to spitball it, you’ll end up either totally undercutting yourself or way overinflating your case and losing leverage.
3. You’re Unskilled at Negotiating With Insurance Companies
A lot of people are good negotiators, which gives them the false confidence to engage insurance companies in the wake of car accidents. Unfortunately, nothing can prepare you for the task of going back and forth with aggressive and greedy insurance adjusters who will do anything they possibly can to short-change you and avoid paying out the full amount you’re owed. You need a car accident attorney who has done this dozens of times before and understands all of the tactics that insurance companies use to get ahead.
4. You’re Unable to View the Case Objectively
When you’re the victim, it’s impossible to separate your emotions from the facts of the case. Naturally, you have a subjective view of what happens. But in the world of law and insurance, you need objectivity. The only way to get this is by hiring a car accident attorney.
5. You Could Easily Miss a Deadline
All personal injury claims are subject to statutes of limitations. If you don’t file your claim within the right period of time and/or before certain deadlines pass, you could end up in a situation where you’re unable to receive the compensation you deserve. Car accident lawyers understand these deadlines and will ensure you’re never victimized by procrastination.
Hire the Right Lawyer for Your Case
Hiring a lawyer is a must. But even more important than that is hiring the right lawyer for your case. You need someone who is experienced and respected in the industry. It’s also wise to choose a lawyer who specializes in car accident claims and dedicates a large percentage of their practice to helping accident victims.
While it’s pretty much the norm in the industry these days, be sure any lawyer you hire operates on a contingency-fee basis. This means they only get paid if and when you get paid. If you don’t get a payout, the lawyer doesn’t get paid. This motivates them to work aggressively for you, rather than just padding their billable hours at your expense.
There are a lot of lawyers working in the car accident space. Take your time and wait until you find the right fit for your personality and needs. Patience pays dividends!