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5 Reasons Not to Negotiate Your Own Car Accident Settlement

After a car wreck, many people wrongly believe they can negotiate their own settlement. We’ve all watched television shows starring lawyers—Allie McBeal, Boston Legal, The Practice. How hard can it be?

Actually, handling your own claim might be one of the worst mistakes that an injured motorist can make. Insurance companies love nothing better than seeing an injured victim unrepresented by legal counsel. Like sharks moving in for the kill, many insurance adjusters will use a full range of tricks to get you to accept a settlement offer that is well below what you would otherwise qualify for.

We appreciate that many people want to handle their own personal injury cases. But, below, we provide the top 5 reasons why you should hire a Las Vegas car accident attorney instead.

Do You Know How Much Your Injuries Are Worth?

You can’t effectively negotiate a settlement if you have no idea how much you are entitled to. Many victims look at their medical bills and ask for that amount. If they spent $3,000 getting medical care, that’s all they believe they can get in a settlement. Actually, a car accident victim is often entitled to much more:

  • Medical care, including future medical care
  • Lost wages, including future lost wages or reduced earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering

This last—pain and suffering—is often the hardest for many non-lawyers to calculate. How much should you be paid for the sharp pain in a broken bone that keeps you up all night? How much money can adequately compensate you for not being able to lift your granddaughter?
What you need is a lawyer’s help. An attorney can use his or her experience to come up with a fair amount of compensation to make up for the physical pain and mental anguish that your injuries have caused.

Can You Negotiate Aggressively?

negotiating accident claim while injured
Negotiating aggressively means being properly prepared. You need to filter out a lot of noise from the insurance adjuster and focus on getting them to increase the amount they are willing to pay.

Many people do not like to negotiate on their own behalf. If you don’t like to negotiate a price of a new or used car, then you will not like negotiating with an insurance company. In fact, it will be a lot less pleasant.

Do You Have Time to Perform an Investigation?

Many car accident cases are not open and shut. Instead, the other motorist might claim that you are to blame for the accident. To effectively make a claim, you might need to:

  • Interview witnesses to the accident to get them on record about what they saw.
  • Collect all relevant medical records and medical bills.
  • Search for possible surveillance or dashcam video that might have captured the accident.
  • Investigate the vehicles involved in the crash for clues about who is liable for the collision.

If you are hurting from your injuries, then it is even that much harder to move about and collect the evidence you will need to win your claim. With a lawyer’s assistance, you can focus on getting better.

Do You Know What to Avoid Saying to an Insurer?

Aggressive insurance adjusters make early contact with injured victims and often try to get them to give a recorded statement. These interviews have many traps for the unwary:

  • The adjuster might make statements and try to get you to agree to them. Things like, “You weren’t immediately in pain, right?” It can be very easy to agree to these statements because you aren’t listening closely.
  • Adjusters also like to get victims to agree that they are partially to blame for the accident by saying things like, “You weren’t really paying attention, I imagine…”

When you hire a lawyer, he or she will communicate with the insurer for you.

Do You Want to Learn How to File a Lawsuit?

signing legal docuements
Negotiations are sometimes not successful. If not, then the last chance to receive compensation for an accident is to file a civil lawsuit in court. Needless to say, filing a lawsuit is easier said than done. You will need to complete the paperwork properly and serve papers using the correct process. Few people are truly prepared to learn the law in a short amount of time to effectively represent themselves in court.

Hire Ladah Law Today

When you need an experienced Las Vegas car accident lawyer, there is only one firm to call. Ladah Law Firm has helped countless injured victims maximize their compensation, and we are prepared to help you as well. Read our Las Vegas law blog for other helpful tips about what to do after a car or other accident.
To schedule a free consultation, please call 702-252-0055 or fill out our online contact form.