If your insurance company tells you that you don’t need a lawyer, it can mean that they will try to convince you to settle for less than you deserve. No matter how much you trust your insurance company, it is usually beneficial to consult with a lawyer’s team before agreeing to any settlement offer.
Insurance companies charge monthly premiums to maintain your policy—but when they have to pay out on a claim, it affects their bottom line. It is in their best interest to settle for as little as possible, but it is not always in your best interest.
Why does the Insurance Company Want to Settle Quickly?
Insurance companies will often want to quickly settle out of court. They understand you have bills to pay and want to return to normalcy. Unfortunately, they also understand that after an accident, you may be in a more vulnerable position. If you can’t work, your bills will pile up quickly, along with your medical costs. By offering you a lump settlement, it may seem like they are being helpful, but they may be lowballing you.
It may seem like a lot of money to you at the moment. However, if complications from your injuries arise later, you may have to cover your costs out of pocket. Discussing your case with an attorney’s team will ensure that the insurance company won’t unfairly coax you into taking a lower settlement than you deserve.
Some injuries don’t manifest immediately and can cause problems days, weeks, and even months later. A quick insurance settlement means they won’t have to pay for continuing medical problems that show up after the accident.
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Should You Consider Representing Yourself?
You can represent yourself in pursuing compensation after an accident, but it can be beneficial to seek legal counsel. It would help if you considered some factors before deciding to skip legal representation.
The first consideration is the degree of your injuries. If you have only minor bruising and an unlikely potential for future problems, you may bear less financial risk in accepting a settlement without counsel. However, suppose you have more severe injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In that case, problems may manifest after days, weeks, or even months. This late onset of symptoms can be troublesome if you accept a low settlement without a lawyer’s help in the negotiations.
The second thing to consider is the strength of your case. If the other party challenges or denies your claim, you might need to fight for compensation. Your attorney can search for the evidence to support your claim, including witness statements, physical evidence, and even hiring expert witnesses to speak on your behalf.
Things You’ll Need to Know to Represent Yourself
If you do plan to represent yourself, there are a few steps you can take to make the process easier to navigate:
- Collect pictures of the scene, including vehicle damage, your injuries, and the actual physical appearance of the location.
- Obtain a copy of the police report.
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. Follow up on all treatment plans, appointments, specialist visits, surgeries, and all required medical treatment.
- Find out and understand the time limits for filing your claim, including the statute of limitations outlined in Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10.
- Understand Ohio’s modified comparative negligence law, per Ohio Revised Code Section 2315.33.
- Avoid posting about your accident, injury, recovery, or daily activities on social media.
It is essential to understand that insurance companies are set up to make a profit. They cannot do that if they pay more than they take in premiums. They may try to pay you the least amount they can talk you into accepting.
How Our Car Accident Team Helps With an Injury Case
Having an attorney represent you when fighting for compensation against an insurance company can help. Among the many legal tasks a lawyer can work on while you heal include:
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Speaking with witnesses
- Speaking with experts to rebuild the accident to understand how it happened
- Calculating medical costs (past, current, and future)
- Determining the amount of property damage compensation you deserve
- Calculating lost wages, earning potential, and future losses due to an inability to work at your previous capacity
- Calculating a sufficient financial sum for your pain and suffering
- Determining future disability and ongoing medical problems you may suffer due to the accident
After doing the legwork to document your case, your lawyer can draft and send a demand letter detailing your needs. Negotiations can commence at that time. A lawyer can then handle all communication with the insurance company. They understand their policies—and how they attempt to get injured parties to settle for less compensation than they deserve.
Contact an Injur Lawyer’s Team for a Free Case Review
At Bressman Law, our attorneys will fight for you. We know how to get the best possible results for our clients, and will work with the insurance companies so that you don’t have to.
Your recovery begins with a free case evaluation. Contact Bressman Law today.