Why Settling Your Car Accident without an Attorney Could be a Mistake

The majority of car accident claims in the United States are settled one of two ways. The first and most common is for both parties to let their insurance companies handle the process. The second is an informal settlement between both drivers.

While both of these are viable options, you could be making a major mistake by not including a legal expert in the process. Many believe this is simply another potential cost, but the real cost comes when you receive less than what you deserve as a settlement. Consider the following.

The Insurance Game

You’ve diligently paid your premiums and now it’s time for your insurance to work for you. Ideally, they examine the accident while speaking with representatives from the other driver’s insurance and determine fault. When you’re the driver on victim end of the crash, your insurance is going to pay out to help with everything from repairs to medical bills.

This, unfortunately, is an idealized version of how insurance companies work. Their goal is to close your case as fast as possible while paying out as little as possible in order to make their company the most money. Getting a fair settlement through insurance is a rare occasion.

Victims of car accidents routinely receive lowball settlement offers, which are made to sound like larger payouts than they truly are. This leaves all too many finding their bank accounts short when it comes to medical care, car repairs, and lost wages. 

Lack of Legal Options

Once you take that settlement, your legal options run dry if you later find that the money wasn’t even close to enough. You cannot reopen your claim and you are now under a signed agreement with your insurance company. Most courts will never side in your favor after you sign on the dotted line. 

The Adjuster Lie

A top trick insurance companies use is the adjuster. These individuals create a version of the accident that’s partially true, one they can use to help create a lower settlement offer. They may imply you were driving incorrectly, that the damage isn’t as extensive, or that your injuries aren’t as severe as you say.

While most believe they would never fall for these dirty tricks, adjusters know how to twist your arm and force a quick agreement to their version of the events in order to move the process along. In most cases, they simply get you to make statements that can be used against you later when you seek more compensation. 

Why an Attorney Matters

Insurance companies work for themselves first and foremost. It’s a tough lesson to learn, but one that all too many drivers find out the hard way. With a skilled attorney on board during the process, however, you have a legal professional that works in your best interest and entirely on your behalf. 
Legal experts know the game insurers play and can stop their efforts to profit off of your accident in its tracks. Simply do a Google search for the attorney you need in your area, like this: car accident attorney bay area. Check their reviews and look for free consultations to get the process of receiving the compensation you deserve started.