While there is no legal requirement that you retain the services of an experienced attorney to handle your claim for injuries, there are a number of reasons why it is a good idea when dealing with insurance companies.
Below are six reasons why you should get help from an experienced accident lawyer instead of taking on the insurance company by yourself:
Proving fault – In order for you to recover compensation for your injuries, the other party must be found to have been negligent, or at fault, in the accident. Although you may feel that the other party was obviously to blame, the insurance company may not see it that way. If you represent yourself in negotiations, you could inadvertently say something that could be used against you by the insurance company to try to get out of accepting responsibility for the accident.
Unequal experience – Fortunately, car accidents are a relatively rare experience for most motorists. That means most people have little or no experience with handling an accident claim. However, the insurance adjuster does nothing but deal with car accident claims all day long, every day. He or she knows the process inside and out and knows how to steer you toward agreeing to something that is not in your best interest. Because you do not have the experience that an insurance adjuster has, you should hire an attorney who does have what it takes to deal with the insurance adjuster and the insurance company’s lawyers.
Conflicting interests – Remember that the insurance company’s interests are not the same as yours. Although they may sound friendly and might say things like, “I just want to get a quick statement from you,” or “I’m calling to see if we can settle your claim,” their job is to limit the insurance company’s exposure. In other words, they are trying to make you and your claim go away as quickly as possible and for as little money as possible. They are not on your side, which is why you need an experienced South Carolina car crash lawyer to advocate your interests.
Complex negotiations – When it comes time to negotiate a settlement for your injuries, you are at an automatic disadvantage because you have probably never done this before, while the insurance adjuster does this every day. Often, the result of negotiating without the help of an attorney is that a victim agrees to accept less than what he or she was actually entitled to for the injuries suffered in the accident.
Trial – Although the majority of South Carolina car accident cases are settled without the need for a trial, there is no way to know at the beginning of a case whether it will be settled outside the courtroom. If your case is not settled before it goes to court, then you can be certain that the insurance companies will have a team of attorneys representing them at trial. Although you may be able to hire an attorney at this stage of the case, he or she will be at a disadvantage for having not been there throughout the entire claim process.
Convenience – Dealing with an insurance company can take a significant amount of time — time that you could better spend healing and handling the practical issues that stem from being involved in a car accident. By retaining the services of an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney, you can free up your time and reduce the stress that comes along with trying to deal with the insurance company yourself.
Get Help from Our Attorneys
There is no substitute for proper legal help when making a car accident claim. The Louthian Law Firm has been helping South Carolinians since 1959 by providing experienced, aggressive representation in settlement negotiations and at trial. We will be happy to meet with you for a free, no-obligation case evaluation. In fact, you will not pay any fees until we win your case.
Call our Columbia auto accident lawyers today toll free at (803) 454-1200 or use our online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.