According to TXDOT’s 2019 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts sheet in 2019:
This led to 15,855 people sustaining a serious injury in a car accident with 3,623 reported fatalities. Someone who has been injured in a car crash will have to find the money to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. For the family members of those killed in a vehicle accident they are left with not only losing a family member but the potential loss of income from a provider. These costs can add up to the tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and sometimes into the millions of dollars. If you have been in a car wreck the smart thing to do is to speak with an experienced personal injury trial lawyer and hear their opinion about your case. If you were not injured, and the biggest cost you are facing is the property damage done to your vehicle, then you might be told your claim doesn’t need a lawyer. If you are facing medical bills in the tens of thousands of dollars you should hire and injury lawyer to handle your car accident claim. If you still want to know how to settle your car accident claim without a lawyer the following information is for you.
When a lawyer gets paid it is either for their time at an hourly rate or on a contingency basis. Lawyers charge hundreds of dollars per hour when they work on a case. For a major car accident claim, a lawyer’s hourly fee could amount to many tens of thousands of dollars. This is how the insurance company on the other side of your case will pay the lawyers working against you even if you don’t have a lawyer. They will spend thousands on legal fees to prevent you from getting a dime of what you are owed. Going up against that requires your own legal team with the budget to put the time in to work your case against the insurance company’s team of lawyers. Unless you have tens of thousands of dollars in you bank account you won’t be able to afford a legal team to compete against the insurance companies. That is why the law allows for lawyers to be paid on a contingency basis. When a lawyer takes your case on a contingency fee, they only get paid when you win. You pay nothing before you win and nothing ever if you don’t win. This allows an ordinary working person who doesn’t have money saved up to pay a lawyer’s hourly rate a chance to compete against the insurance company’s high priced legal team.
This is an essential part of the adversarial trial system we have in America. Without the availability of contingency fees insurance companies could simply out spend a victim of a car accident and prevent them from getting the money they are owed. In return for working the case with no money up front lawyers usually charge a contingency fee of 33-40 percent (depending on what stage of litigation the case makes it to). If this number sounds high to you remember, if the lawyer works the case, and gets a low dollar result, that lawyer isn’t going to get paid. Trust me, lawyers like getting paid. So, if a lawyer tells you they’ll take you case on contingency that means they probably believe they can get a result that will make both their client and the lawyer happy.
If a victim of an accident is thinking of not hiring a lawyer and negotiating with the insurance company by themselves then they should consider a few things.
If you can’t answer these questions on your own then you need to have a free consultation with an injury lawyer who can walk you through understanding these issues. When you have the information that you need, then you can make an informed choice about whether hiring a lawyer to represent you in your injury claim is right for you.
The number one thing I would say to a person who is thinking about negotiating with an insurance company is to not do it. Reconsider. The insurance company knows more about the claims process than an average person who has never dealt with an adjuster before. They are more knowledgeable about the rules and tricks that will prevent you from getting the money you are owed. Having said that, here are some other suggestions to consider when dealing with a car accident insurance adjuster.
Do not admit to any fault for the accident. Even if you think you are being polite the insurance company will hold that against you when determining how much, or even if, they will pay for you injuries.
Do not accept any money from them unless you want it to be the only money you ever see from them. Insurance companies love to say “Let us get you some money real quick to cover your (rental car, medical bills, lost wages…).” That money comes on the condition that you release them from further liability. Most car accident victims don’t realize this and they unknowingly sign away any future payouts from the insurance company. It is a dirty trick that unfortunately works.
Call the Furey Law Firm to have a 100 percent free consultation and speak with an experienced personal injury trial lawyer about your case today.