If you have experience with car accidents, or if a recent accident ended in minor damage, you may wonder whether you have what it takes to represent yourself. After all, why should you pay an attorney to handle the task when you have everything you need to do it yourself? Before you jeopardize your case, your rights or your compensation, see what Jason Stone Injury Lawyers advises on the matter.
Key Considerations for Handling Your Car Accident
You must understand several essential factors involved with legal self-representation. When you know what to expect, you better recognize whether you have what it takes to take on the other driver, insurance companies and anyone else involved in your accident.
You Must Want To Learn How Car Accident Cases Work
While lawyers must educate themselves on every aspect of a specific legal area, you need only learn the ins and outs of motor vehicle accident claims. Ask yourself if you have the time and attention to devote to learning the rules of the legal road. If you have injuries to tend to, obligations to take care of or a demanding job, you simply may not have the bandwidth to learn how to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company, mediate with the other party or calculate all the damages you suffered.
You Must Have the Time
It may take you about six to eight hours to learn how to navigate settlement negotiations, longer if you plan to take your case to small claims court or mediation. Should your case go to regular court, plan to invest even more time on a crash course. Once you calculate how much time you need to prepare for court, add more time to put your education into action.
When It May Make Sense To Handle Your Car Accident
Once you understand the most vital aspects of self-representation, ask yourself if you have a case that qualifies for self-representation. If not, you could risk more than you realize.
The Other Party’s Insurance Provider Admits Fault
You may not have much to worry about if the other party or its insurance provider admits fault. If so, you must still gather valid evidence that shows you deserve the compensation you desire for medical bills and damage to your car. Alternatively, if neither the other driver nor the coverage provider admits fault, consider turning the matter over to an experienced car accident lawyer.
You Want To File in Small Claims Court, Mediate or Negotiate Out of Court
You need not worry about formal rules in small claims court, mediation or out-of-court settlement negotiations, but it makes sense to at least understand what to expect and which processes to learn.
You Do Not Have Permanent or Severe Harm To Address
After an auto collision, from minor fender benders to totaled cars, let a medical professional look you over. While you may emerge from the wreckage feeling fine, chemicals coursing through your body in response to the harrowing event may mask injuries and their symptoms. It always makes sense to let a doctor tell you how fine you are.
If you know you only have minor injuries or injuries your medical team expects to heal quickly, you could have better luck handling your car crash. Herniated discs, broken bones and anything more pressing than strains, sprains and other soft tissue trauma are examples of injuries that could take substantial time and expense to heal. With so much on the line, an attorney experienced in motor vehicle collisions may stand the most favorable chance of collecting every dollar you need to recover.
You Have No Other Option
After approaching several legal representatives, they may all feel you have too small a case to take on, or they could think you have a shaky liability argument. Either way, tackling the matter yourself may seem like the most favorable option for you.
How Legal Representatives Help With Car Accidents
As you learn more about self-representation, balance your understanding of the matter by learning how motor vehicle accident lawyers help clients. That way, you have a better idea of what you may forgo and risk by not having a legal team by your side.
Provide Legal Advice in Plain English
While diving into the world of car accident law, you may stumble across legal words and phrases you do not understand. Even if you research them, you may not fully grasp the concept, which could cost you in court. Count on your lawyer to break terms down into language you easily understand. Part of a legal representative’s job is to ease their clients; making sure they understand everything about their legal case goes a long way in providing peace of mind. Beyond explaining foreign words, your attorney also explains every step of the insurance claim, lawsuit and court process.
Break Down Your Obligations and Legal Rights
States have their own tort regulations and deadlines for legal matters. Expect your legal team to explain your rights and responsibilities, how they affect you and your options. For instance, if the defendant says you bear a percentage of fault for the car accident, you may need to understand your rights under comparative negligence or contributory negligence laws.
Calculate Your Case’s Value
Even if you have all the medical bills from your accident, a quote for your car repairs and know how much money you lost from missing work while healing, you may still not understand the full value of your car accident claim. For instance, some car crash victims suffer emotional and mental anguish connected to the collision. If you did, you could qualify to receive more damages than you realize. Experienced legal advocates know which professionals to rely on to provide an accurate diagnosis of a client’s psychological condition post-accident. Once you know how much you deserve in damages, you know how much to seek from the insurance company or the at-fault driver.
Uncover Sources of Compensation
You deserve to know how much insurance the other driver has, and you deserve to know all sources of compensation you could use to recover full damages. For instance, the at-fault motorist could have coverage from multiple policies, or she or he may have an umbrella policy.
If the other driver does not have insurance or does not have sufficient coverage for all the harm you suffered, you may have little choice but to sue to recover compensation. Count on your lawyer to do some digging to determine if the at-fault motorist has personal assets.
Pinpoint All Liable Parties
Do you know all the parties responsible for the physical and mental trauma you endured because of the car accident? Even though the other driver ran a red light and slammed into you, a car manufacturer may have installed defective brakes on your vehicle, making it harder for you to stop. Without an attorney’s experience and insight, you may not know how to uncover all individuals or entities responsible and seek fair damages from them.
Contact Us Today
Rather than take unnecessary risks representing yourself, leave all the hard work to Jason Stone Injury Lawyers. For over a decade, we’ve made our clients’ goals our goals. Even better, our clients never pay upfront fees, because we do not get paid until we settle your claim. To learn more about our Stone Cold Guarantee, call 800-577-5188. There’s No Obligation, Just Information (R).