It is possible to settle a car accident without a lawyer. There is no requirement to have a lawyer argue your case in civil court. However, this means that you take on the responsibilities of a lawyer both in and out of court. There are many things that lawyers do to manage your case. Many of those things require legal knowledge, especially when navigating the complex legal system. They also consume a lot of your valuable time. While you do not require having a lawyer to settle your car accident, they can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Settling a Car Accident
Settling a car accident requires several things to happen and in a specific order. It is important to know how the legal process works to navigate the court system and give yourself the best chance of recovering expenses. Settling a car accident could include:
- Exchanging information with the other driver
- Seeking medical attention
- Investigating the accident
- Building a case
- Submitting an insurance claim
- Negotiating a settlement
- Filing a lawsuit
- Arguing your case before a judge or jury
There might be other steps to settling a car accident without a lawyer not included on this list. Car accidents can be complicated to deal with on your own. Having a lawyer gives you an additional resource to help you get through the process with the best possible outcome. Our personal injury attorneys in NY emphasize that you might be eligible for other types of compensations not covered by car insurance or health insurance policies. For this reason, you should discuss a personal injury claim or lawsuit with a lawyer. They might obtain you economic and non-economic damages that go beyond what you could settle on your own.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer gives you access to legal support and resources, as well as experience with car accident cases. One benefit that lawyers can provide is the expert witnesses with whom they work. There are many cases where an expert studies the car accident to shed light on what happened. The expert can testify to the findings of their investigation and make a significant difference in how the case proceeds.
Recovering from a car accident can take an extended amount of time. Everyone heals at a different pace, making it difficult to determine how long the process will take. Aside from the physical injuries, non-medical issues such as submitting an insurance claim or filing a personal injury lawsuit also need to be addressed simultaneously.
Regardless of who is at fault for the accident, your insurance rates could rise. This increase can create financial problems. You also must deal with car repair shops and rental car companies if you require one after the accident. If your accident happened while driving a rental car, they might have special stipulations that make it more challenging to determine how to handle your claim.
The recovery process is another reason why you may want to hire a lawyer. Instead of handling all these details yourself while trying to recover from injuries, a lawyer can help you. Lawyers can negotiate with insurance companies and rental car companies. They can also document everything so that you can later develop a case to seek compensation from the at-fault driver.
Settlement vs. Trial
Being the victim in a case can prove stressful, especially since most people have never been a party in a lawsuit. Going to trial can take a long time since the court system consistently backs up with cases. However, waiting to go to trial does not have to stress you out as much as you might think.
Cornell University found that many civil cases never make it to trial because most cases end in out-of-court settlements. Both sides grow tired of waiting and decide to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement. They also know that trials rarely end unexpectedly. It is generally in the at-fault driver’s best interest to settle out of court.
If you were not at fault and decide to settle your car accident case without a lawyer, you should review the settlement agreement and ensure that it meets your needs. Most first settlement offers inadequately consider the full costs of your treatment, especially if you need ongoing or long-term treatment. The other side hopes your financial situation forces you to accept their first offer to cash in quickly. A car accident lawyer has experience determining the value of claims similar to yours and can negotiate with insurance adjusters or defense attorneys to help you get the settlement you deserve.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Call to Discuss the Details of Your Potential Case
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, you could file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation from the at-fault driver. You can settle a car accident without a lawyer, but there are many ways that an attorney can be a vital asset to your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 to discuss your case with our team.