If you are in a car accident that was not your fault, there is no reason to spend any time negotiating with the other driver's insurance company. You are likely to be seriously shortchanged. Insurance companies are looking to settle for the least amount possible, so the last thing they want to see is that you are hiring an attorney. The following are three areas of compensation that you will be entitled to, as well as a quick explanation of how a lawyer can help you.
1. Hospital and medical bills
This is not as simple as you might think, and it is easy to not be compensated properly. Your initial medical bills are often simple enough to calculate, but there are bills that you are likely to have after you are released from the hospital or emergency room. Follow-up visits to your doctor and physical therapy are both important if needed. An attorney will have the experience to know exactly what the total medical expenses will be over time. In addition, you shouldn't make the mistake that your medical insurance will pay most of your bills because they may not pay much of it. This can be a complex area of the law that you shouldn't navigate yourself, or you could get stuck with a large bill.
2. Compensation other than medical
There are many areas of compensation besides your medical tab that a lawyer can get for you. Missed work is important because most people don't have insurance for this, and anyway, the other driver's insurance company should be paying for this. Perhaps the most important compensation is for pain and suffering. Although most jurisdictions allow for this, you are not likely to receive anything without an attorney.
3. Reimbursement for car damage
There are many reasons that you may not get adequate compensation for car repairs. One reason is that an insurance company may pressure you to use the repair shop that they recommend. This is their way of controlling costs, but this shop may not use original equipment manufacturer parts, and the mechanics may not be certified for your particular car model. But you are not required to use their auto shop for repairs. They will not be able to pressure your attorney to do this. If your car is damaged beyond repair, you will need a new car, and an attorney will be able to get you a suitable replacement of comparable value. And while you have no car, you are entitled to a rental car.
Always remember that personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. You don't pay them a dime unless they get a settlement or win in court. And the amount they receive will be more than you would have gotten yourself. For more information, contact your local car accident attorney.