Is it Worth Hiring a Car Accident Attorney?Posted on: October 17, 2020
Sometimes, we are asked in the initial consultation with a client if their case is worth hiring a car accident attorney to handle it. In almost every instance, the answer is “yes.” When you retain an attorney, most of the burden of the handling of the case should be off your shoulders and to the attorney. We always tell our clients that once you retain Beers & Gordon, you can focus on “you” and your recovery. That is the most important thing, which is getting better. We think that this is why we have clients who have a good recovery from their injuries because they go to doctors who provide them great medical care, and the clients are focused on getting better.
Hiring a Car Accident Attorney Should Cost You Nothing
Another reason it is worth hiring an attorney is that if you hire Beers & Gordon, it costs you nothing. All injury cases are handled by our firm on a contingency basis – which means that the fee is a percentage of the recovery. Additionally, any costs are paid by the firm, and the client does not have to come out of pocket for anything involved in pursuing the claim. So, Beers & Gordon takes the burden off you of dealing with the insurance companies, the medical billing, and any other aspect of the claim.
Additionally, many aspects of a claim are confusing and unfamiliar to most individuals because it is the first time that they are involved in a car crash. Terms like PIP, BI coverage, and other terms are being thrown at you that make no sense or cause you to not understand what the insurance company is saying to you. With the experience of both the attorneys and staff at Beers & Gordon, we know these claims inside and out. We will deal with everything and explain to you what is going in simpler terms because we have handled tens of thousands of claims and cases.
Handling Your Own Case vs. Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
When you handle your own case, you may miss preserving evidence or fail to timely conduct an investigation. For example, a vehicle may need to be preserved for inspection by an expert. However, if you do not properly put all the parties, insurance companies, tow companies, storage companies, etc. on notice, that vehicle may be destroyed before the inspection can be done. And sometimes without the inspection, valuable information that could have proved your case will be gone. Or, evidence at the crash scene may need to be documented by an expert shortly after a crash, and if you are handling the case on your own and do not know what expert to contact, the evidence may be gone.
When you are going to settle your case without an attorney, an important question is how are you going to know what is a fair settlement? The claims representative who is on the other side has likely settled thousands of claims. Even if the representative has not, that individual has access to data about thousands of case resolutions. So, they know what the range is for your type of case. Importantly, most insurance representatives receive incentives to pay the least amount possible on a claim. Thus, they are going to try and convince you that the offer that they are making is fair and is “always” accepted.
More importantly, the claims representative will believe that without an attorney that the individual is not serious about the case. This impacts the overall settlement of the matter. When the claims representative believes that there is no threat of litigation, they typically value the case at a lower amount.
How a Claims Representative Can Affect Your Case
An example of the way that claims representatives will take advantage of unrepresented people occurred several years ago. We had a potential client come into the office who was a college student who had a devastating crash a couple years prior to the consultation. The photos of her vehicle damages made you wonder how anyone walked out of the vehicle alive. She came to us because the insurance company had offered her about 20% of her medical balances, which were under $3,000. This insurer kept sending checks to her to try to get this teenage girl to take a minimal amount of money which did not even make her whole when the other driver, likely drunk, caused a devastating crash.
When this potential client came in, we took the case primarily because we were shocked at the treatment by the insurance company. We knew that it was not going to be a big case for her or the firm because her treatment after the first few months post-crash was limited and sporadic. However, we settled the case for many multiples of the medical expenses because the insurance company realized the danger if the case ever went to trial due to the devastating crash. Had the insurance company offered her the limited out of pocket medical expenses, she never would have sought counsel. But, instead, the insurance company tried to save a few hundred dollars by taking advantage of a young girl because she had not sought counsel. We wish this did not occur and we did not have many more examples such as this, but this happens more than it should.
This example occurs all the time because insurance representatives have superior knowledge to individuals without car accident attorneys or individuals who hired attorneys who have limited experience. Their job is to save money for the insurance company. This is one of the reasons why we discuss our collective nearly 70 years of experience with nearly 40 years combined of defense experience working with insurers. We know how insurers evaluate claims and know what a good settlement is.
Yes, You Should Hire a Car Accident Attorney
So, is it worth hiring a car accident attorney? Again, the answer is almost always “yes.” Importantly, when you have the opportunity for a free consultation with attorneys (and not an investigator like the big box firms), you can make that decision whether you think that an attorney will be able to help on your case. You really have nothing to lose and will only gain more knowledge about your case and how it will be handled when you can sit with experienced attorneys like you will at Beers & Gordon.