Each year, thousands of car accidents occur nationwide. For serious car accidents that result in major injuries or fatalities, seeking the assistance of an experienced lawyer is often necessary. However, many people involved in smaller accidents attempt to handle their insurance claims by themselves—a practice which is not always advisable.
If you are in a car accident, you should be aware of the potential risks of handling your own Pasadena car accident claim. Without a qualified car accident lawyer to assist you, there are several pitfalls you may encounter that could affect your ability to represent your own best interests and receive compensation for your losses.
How Insurance Companies Get Out of Paying
Insurance companies generally do not want to pay for damages. Instead, it is often in their financial best interests to negotiate for a lower payment, or even to deny a claim altogether.
To do this, they typically use a variety of tactics to get out of paying. These strategies can include stalling in the hopes that the person bringing the claim will withdraw after a time, denying the fault of their policyholder, or offering payouts that are lower than a person otherwise might expect.
For someone trying to handle a car accident claim on their own, these tactics can be frustrating. However, a lawyer can bring a level of experience and knowledge that injured individuals often do not have.
Taking Lower Payments
It may not seem like a big problem, but taking a lower payment from an insurance company can have devastating effects. If the person bringing a car accident claim was injured in their crash, the lower payment may not be enough to cover medical costs, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other damages. Plus, once a settlement is made, it cannot be renegotiated, meaning someone with mounting medical bills may be left with no recourse.
Even if a car accident does not result in a serious injury, there can be serious consequences to agreeing to a low settlement. For instance, the amount agreed upon by the injured person and the insurance company may not be enough to cover repair costs. In the event that the car is deemed a total loss, the amount paid by the insurance company may not reflect the actual value of the car and may not be enough to aid in the purchase of a new car.
Role of a Car Accident Attorney
Lawyers can help people in many ways throughout the negotiation process. If they are brought in early on, an attorney can help someone avoid the risks of handling their own Pasadena car collision claim by arguing the individual’s side of the story to prove negligence by the other driver. Legal counsel can also work to drive up the amount paid by the insurance company, aggressively pursuing a payout that suits the person’s needs.
In the event of a denied claim, an experienced accident lawyer can also represent someone in an insurance bad faith case. In these kinds of cases, a plaintiff’s legal team argues that the insurance company misrepresented or misled the plaintiff in the negotiation process. A successful insurance bad faith case can lead to a higher payout or a claim denial being overturned.
Get Help Handling a Pasadena Car Accident Claim
If you are in a car accident, it is often important to seek out legal help as soon as possible, even if only for a consultation. Having more information about your case, about possible tactics used by insurance companies, and about ways to negotiate for a fairer payout can help you get the payment you are owed and manage the risks of handling your own Pasadena car accident claim.
In many cases, having a lawyer by your side is the best option for settling on an acceptable payout amount. Call today to schedule an initial appointment and start learning what options you may have available to you.