When you’re seriously injured it is more complicated to determine how much your claim is worth.
San Diego, CA – California ranks second for the highest number of car accident fatalities in the country. Having such a large population is one explanation, but unfortunately most of the big cities in California, including San Diego, are infamous for the hectic traffic and terrible roads. Basically, it’s just a matter of time before you’re involved in an accident and, sadly, it may be much worse than your run-of-the-mill fender bender. Once you take stock of your situation, the first question that comes to mind is whether or not to get a lawyer. Is it worth getting a lawyer for a car accident?
Here are a few facts to consider.
You’ll need to prove the other driver was negligent
This is not as easy as it may seem. Proving negligence is a complex legal process during which you have to establish four elements – duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. If you’re not familiar with such terms, you’d better reach out to someone who is. A San Diego car accident lawyer can investigate your case and determine in what way the other driver failed in his or her duty of care.
You need someone to tell you how much your claim is worth
Let’s put it this way. If you’re in a fender-bender, you go to your mechanic, they give you an estimate of the repairs’ cost and you go to the insurance company to get the money. It’s fairly simple and you won’t need a lawyer for that.
However, when you’re seriously injured it is more complicated to determine how much your claim is worth. On the one hand, you have the obvious financial losses, like your medical expenses and your lost wages. On the other hand, there’s the question of all the pain and suffering your injuries caused you. If you are left with an impairment or disfigurement, you’ll be suffering for the rest of your life. How do you put a price on that? Don’t expect an insurance adjuster to tell you the truth. After all, they’re the ones paying you money so you cannot expect them to be generous.
If you know what’s good for you, never accept the first offer the insurance company makes, and don’t sign anything until you’ve spoken with a seasoned California accident lawyer.
Getting a lawyer doesn’t mean you’ll go to court
This is one of the main reasons people are afraid to involve a lawyer. Nobody wants to deal with the complexities of a trial. You may be surprised to hear that but lawyers don’t want to go to trial any more than you do. Trials take a lot of time and resources so a skilled accident lawyer in San Diego will prefer to settle out of court. The insurance company will also prefer that, for the same reasons. Most personal injury claims are settled through negotiations. These may take a few months and they’re not going to be pleasant, but at least you’ll have a lawyer to do the talking.
You don’t have to pay the lawyer upfront
Accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis which means that you don’t have to pay them anything unless and until they win the case for you. So they’ll work very hard to do that. It’s that simple.