If you are in a car accident, you are not required to hire an attorney to handle your car accident claim. But hiring an attorney can help you get more compensation for which you may be eligible, and he may be able to help you avoid any liability for the accident. 

After an accident, you probably have to get your car fixed, visit a doctor for treatment of your injuries, and you could miss work time. A car accident attorney can safeguard your rights and help you get money for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

To get compensation for your injuries, you will need to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s auto insurance policy, your insurance policy, or both. While you can do this on your own, it is generally unwise to talk to auto insurance companies without consulting an attorney first. The goal of the insurance company is to reduce or eliminate payments to you. 

Insurance companies are notorious for twisting statements that you make and using them against you to justify giving you a smaller settlement, or completely denying the claim. 

Also, an attorney can help you determine what damages you are eligible to collect. Maybe on your own you got an estimate to fix your truck, or you got a bill for your hospital visit. Depending on what happened in the accident, you could ask for various damages in your claim: 

    • Future anticipated medical costs. These are medical bills that can be reasonably expected to be incurred in the coming weeks and months after the accident. 
    • Lost earnings: The time you missed from work as you were recovering from your injuries or getting medical treatments. 
    • Reduced capacity to earn a living: If your injuries affected your ability to make money at your job. 
    • Pain and suffering: Some injuries involve tremendous pain and suffering and can add thousands to your settlement. Your attorney will know roughly how much you should be entitled to for pain and suffering. Learn more about common car accident injuries.
    • Punitive damages: If your attorney can prove the other driver was acting recklessly. 

Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company to get a fair car accident settlement for you. Attorneys are highly experienced in negotiating with insurance companies. Most accident victims get more compensation by hiring an attorney to negotiate for them, even after they pay the attorney’s fees and expenses from the award. 

If a fair settlement is not possible, your attorney can file a lawsuit with the appropriate court. During the lawsuit process, he will continue to negotiate with the insurance company and try to settle the case for a fair sum. 

The bottom line is that a personal injury attorney has the skills and experience in settlements and going to trial to get you as much compensation as possible. Few laymen have the ability to negotiate fair compensation for themselves from insurance companies experienced in giving plaintiffs as little as possible. Unless your accident involves very minor injuries and is little more than a fender bender, getting an attorney is usually a good idea.