One of the biggest misconceptions about personal injury claims is that someone must sue in order to recover money for their losses. The truth is that the majority of car accident cases only involve an insurance claim, and do not require the filing of a lawsuit.
The difference is that, by hiring your own car accident lawyer, you can fully investigate the accident’s cause and fully account for your losses. Your attorney also helps you manage negotiations with the insurance company, including when they attempt to deny your claim or send a “lowball” offer that barely covers your damages. It’s only when insurers repeatedly refuse to honor claims or resolve the case for a fair value that a car accident case might advance to a lawsuit and, in some cases, a jury trial.
Any time you have suffered an injury as a result of a car accident, you have a strong financial, medical, and personal motivation to file an insurance claim. Most often, your claim will be filed with the liability policy of an at-fault driver, such as someone who hit you after running a stop sign.
Across the United States, millions of car accident claims are filed every year. 105,382 people were injured in car accidents in North Carolina last year, and most injury victims presumably filed a claim against the at-fault drivers and their insurance companies. While many of these people may have hired lawyers to help them, many may have tried to handle their cases on their own, which can be very difficult.
Many people think that filing a claim on their own is easy, so it is the best route to go. In fact, insurance companies rely on inexperienced accident victims (claimants) not familiar with the law. These companies are driven by profits, and they retrieve a higher portion of profits when they deny claims or refuse to pay on their full value. As a result, insurers will often make extremely low claims settlement offers in the hopes injury victims don’t know the full value of their case.
North Carolina car accident lawyers can assist with the claims filing process, helping you avoid common mistakes. They can also call out tactics insurers use to attempt to deny or reduce claims. For example, countless insurance claims are denied or reduced because the injury victim allegedly had a pre-existing condition. Further, many car accident injury victims are not aware that they can claim the income they lost from missing work while they recover from their injury.
When you hire an attorney to assist with your insurance claim, they will investigate the accident as well as the full extent of your damages. By speaking with experienced professionals in the medical and financial fields, they can also estimate the future losses you will experience until your injuries fully heal. This work ensures that your claim is valued with the full extent of your losses in view. Having legal representation reduces the chances that insurers will use tactics to avoid paying on the full value of the claim, overall.
For the most part, car accident injury claims are resolved through negotiation and the insurance process. When insurers refuse to pay a fair share and deny claims appeals, that is when a personal injury lawyer may advise that you advance your case to a lawsuit. Suing the at-fault driver (remember, their insurance will defend them) shows them that you are serious and that you and your lawyer believe that you have a case with legal merits and value. The insurance company may then work towards negotiating or resolving the case with more-pressing interest than before the lawsuit was filed. Remember, even after a lawsuit is filed, the parties can settle the case without ever stepping into Court or presenting the case to a jury.
In certain cases, you may even file a lawsuit before an insurance claim is completed. This scenario is especially common when a defendant or insurance company refuses to share information, which can instead be obtained during discovery. Some defendants may also use aggressive legal tactics, like preemptively suing a person before they can file a claim. In these situations, your attorney may advise you that filing a legal complaint (the formal term for a lawsuit) is one of the best strategies available. Remember, every case is different!
One more important factor to be aware of is that should your claim reach the point of a civil jury trial, then you have the opportunity to convince a jury of your peers of the value of your claim. At that point Insurers no longer have control over this number, which can sometimes mean a jury returns millions of dollars in damages to the plaintiff. (Damages are proportional to the losses suffered, so the damages awarded would be based on the specifics of the case and significant results in one case do not mean that anyone should expect a similar result in their own case).
The point in bringing this up is not to imply larger returns but to illustrate why it is considered desirable — and definitely “worth it” — to file a lawsuit when significant damages are involved. It is especially important for individuals who have become disabled, permanently disfigured, or have lost a loved one in an accident to pursue the full extent of their damages.
The final word in whether it is worth it to pursue a claim after an accident is that it can cost nothing upfront. Most personal injury lawyers, like the North Carolina attorneys at Auger & Auger, work on a contingency basis. That means we do not charge you up-front for our services. We also do not charge clients at all if we are not able to secure compensation for their losses.
In successful cases, your attorney will be paid a percentage of your case’s gross recovery. This amount is specified in your retainer agreement that you sign with your attorney when you first hire them. Because of this arrangement, injury victims stand to gain a lot but risk little when it comes to fighting for compensation.Find out why it is always worth your time to speak to an attorney after an injury related car or truck accident. Let an experienced North Carolina attorney handle your case! Speak to a lawyer near you when you call 800-559-5741 or contact us online. It never costs anything to speak to our office during a free case evaluation.