·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Can I Get a Settlement for a Car Accident Without a Lawyer?

— January 13, 2022

A study by the Insurance Research Institute found that self-represented individuals often achieve smaller settlements for their cases than settlements handled by an experienced car accident lawyer.

Some car accident victims may wonder if they can obtain a settlement for a car accident without a lawyer. According to San Francisco Car Accident Lawyer Dawn Hassell, unless you are absolutely sure that you have sustained no injuries from the car accident, it is not recommended to proceed without legal representation. The adage says, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” This often proves true when attempting to represent yourself in complex legal matters such as a personal injury claim. Read on to find out why it is in your best interests to have a car accident lawyer handle your claim.

Serious injuries always require skilled legal representation, while seemingly minor injuries can turn into chronic injuries.

During a car accident, your body is exposed to extremely violent forces and trauma. It is hard to know the true extent of your injuries until you have healed completely. Many months of ongoing treatment are often needed to determine the full extent of your injuries and your prognosis for a full recovery. Attempting to negotiate a settlement before knowing the full extent of your injuries is unwise. Once you sign a settlement agreement, you give the responsible party a full and final release from all claims related to the accident. You waive your right to pursue any further damages. A car accident lawyer will prepare your claim to include compensation for all of your injuries, pain, suffering, and emotional distress. A car accident lawyer will not settle your claim until your medical prognosis has become clear.

Image of a Doctor Looking at an X-Ray
Doctor Looking at an X-Ray; image courtesy of via Unsplash,

Parties responsible for causing the accident often try to deflect blame.

Stories can change after the accident has occurred. After an accident, the person who caused the accident may deny liability and allege that you or even another party caused the accident. In cases where liability is disputed, your car accident lawyer has deep knowledge and skill on exactly how to prove liability. Additionally, your car accident lawyer has access to expert car accident investigators and car accident reconstruction experts if needed to help prove liability in your case.

An insurance company’s financial interests are directly at odds with those seeking compensation for injuries caused by their insured.

Large insurance companies are seeking to protect their bottom line while delivering maximum profits to their shareholders. So they employ a team of attorneys and claims adjusters whose focus is finding ways to deny your claim or minimize the amount they pay for your damages. 

How a car accident lawyer can assist you:

A skilled car accident lawyer will:

  • Review your case and determine your legal options
  • Investigate the accident and collect evidence to support your case
  • File the necessary paperwork for your case promptly
  • Determine the amount of recoverable damages
  • Position your case for the best possible outcome
  • Negotiate with the insurance company from a position of knowledge and strength
  • File a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf if it becomes necessary

Car accident lawyers often work on contingency fee arrangements, eliminating your financial risk.

Car accident lawyers will often work on a contingency fee arrangement which means they are paid a portion of any recovery. If there is no recovery, there is no fee. Hence, in most cases, there is no financial risk when hiring a car accident lawyer.

Car accident lawyers often obtain far larger settlements.

A study by the Insurance Research Institute found that self-represented individuals often achieve smaller settlements for their cases than settlements handled by an experienced car accident lawyer. Conversely, persons with legal representation received on average settlements 3.5 times greater than those without legal representation.

Join the conversation!