Do I Need a Lawyer If I Have Car Insurance?March 13, 2023
Car insurance can offer certain protections on the road and after crashes. Those aren’t the same protections and support you can get from a car accident lawyer, however.
In fact, no matter what type of wreck you’re in:
- It can be easy to assume that your insurance company is on your side after an accident.
- Counting on the insurance company to explain and honor your rights can be a mistake.
Here’s why — and why it’s usually a smart idea to consult an attorney after a traffic accident even if you have car insurance.
What to Expect from Car Insurance Companies After an Auto Crash
When you’re in a traffic collision, your insurance company will typically want to know about it right away. And that’s not because the company wants to help you out.
Instead, insurance companies are going to be focused on limiting their exposure and payouts even if that means:
- Conducting limited investigations of accidents: This can include overlooking evidence, failing to interview witnesses, and otherwise cutting corners during crash investigations.
- Getting fault determinations wrong: Victims could find themselves wrongly blamed for causing crashes. Similarly, insurers may get fault determinations wrong or even overlook other potential at-fault parties, so long as it means they pay nothing or as little as possible.
- Tricking you into accepting less than you may deserve after a wreck: While some insurance companies may fail to explain exactly what you may be entitled to, others may mail you checks, hoping you’ll think they’re partial payment on a claim and cash them. If you do, however, you could be “accepting” that as your settlement offer, effectively closing the claim, regardless of whether you’re aware of doing so.
- Downplaying the damage and your injuries: Insurance companies may second guess the diagnoses or prognoses. Additionally, they may attribute some trauma to other events to limit compensation for injuries.
That’s why it’s not uncommon to run into the following when you’re dealing with insurance companies after an auto accident:
- A drawn-out claims processes
- Official or recorded statements
- Evidence interpretations that benefit the company
- Tricky negotiation tactics
- Low settlement offers
Navigating the ins and outs of all this can be challenging even when you’re at your best. If you’ve been hurt in a crash, it can be that much more difficult to get through it successfully to secure a full, fair recovery.
What Expect from a Car Accident Lawyer After a Wreck
While the insurance company will typically have its own interests and agenda after an accident, that’s not the case with an auto accident attorney. In fact, a lawyer will generally be there to support, protect, and advance your rights and interests throughout the claims process.
That can involve taking the lead on important aspects of a claim, like (but not limited to):
- Investigating the accident and gathering evidence to help you determine who is really at fault
- Helping you avoid common traps that could interfere with a claim or subvert it
- Evaluating the type and amount of compensation you may be entitled to and helping you pursue it
- Working with the insurance companies to make sure your claim is processed and resolved properly
- Preparing, whenever necessary, to take the next steps when insurance companies are wrongfully reducing or denying claims
Additionally, with the most trusted auto accident attorneys, you can generally also expect:
- Free consultations, giving you the chance to learn more about your rights and get advice about a potential claim at no cost or obligation to you
- Contingency fee representation, so you don’t have to pay any legal fees until or unless there is a recovery for your claim
- A knowledgeable guide throughout the claims process
When to Talk to an Attorney
It’s never too soon to consult a lawyer if you or someone you love has been hurt in a crash. Whether or not you know who’s at fault — and regardless of what the insurance companies may have told you — you can get valuable help, advice, and counsel from an experienced car accident lawyer. And the right legal counsel can set your claim up for success.