After you have been injured in a New Orleans car accident, there are two things that you need to worry about; your health and your legal rights. The law allows you to receive financial compensation if someone else was responsible for your accident injuries. However, the actual system in place aims to make it as hard as possible for you to get the money that you deserve. Hiring a car accident lawyer could help you push through some of the barriers placed in your way.
The Key Steps of the Car Accident Claims Process
In every car accident case, there are two primary issues for an injured accident victim, and an attorney would help you in both of these tasks.
- Proving that someone else was to blame for the accident, entitling you to receive money for your damages
- Negotiating your compensation to receive the right amount of money to pay for your damages
Before you even try to seek compensation, you must know your legal options. An attorney would explain the possibilities for obtaining compensation:
- You could work through the other driver’s insurance company as part of the claims process
- You could file a lawsuit in court and have the jury decide the matter
An Attorney Can Help Prove Fault in Your Accident
What happened in a car accident may not be immediately apparent. The other driver’s insurance company has every financial incentive to doubt and dispute your side of the story. They may not accept that their driver was at fault. Even if their driver bears the blame, they may argue that you also share some of the responsibility in an attempt to reduce the amount of money that you can receive.
After your car accident, you start with your own word about what caused the crash. Before you file a claim or a lawsuit, you must build on that with evidence about what happened. For every lawyer who tells you to begin working on your claim at the scene of the accident, we understand that it is often impossible when you are dealing with injuries of your own. However, you still must have proof to be in a position to receive financial compensation.
An attorney can do the work that you are unable to do on your own in gathering the evidence necessary to prove your claim. This way, you have evidence as part of your claim to make a persuasive case that someone else was to blame. If not, you may end up in a situation where it is your word against the other driver’s and you may not be able to receive damages.
Obtaining Enough Compensation Almost Always Means a Fight
Even if you are able to show liability, that is only part of the legal battle that you have ahead of you. In some cases, the insurance company is more than happy to make a settlement offer, knowing that it is for far less than you really deserve. When liability is more clear-cut, the insurance company’s mission then shifts to saving money that they are legally obligated to pay you.
Before you even file your claim, your lawyer will add value by telling you how much your case is worth. This knowledge is crucial. Without it, you run a far higher risk of accepting a settlement offer that benefits the insurance company and leaves you underpaid.
Then, an attorney could help by properly explaining your damages to the insurance company. They will look for any excuse possible to pay you less than you deserve. If your story is not very clear on paper, they will draw every inference possible against you. Every accident victim needs someone who can very clearly tell their story.
Once you receive a settlement offer, it is not usually a cause for celebration. The offer is usually far less than you are entitled to, forcing you to begin negotiations. You would likely need to go back to the insurance company several times with your own demands before you end up in the right ballpark and can sign a settlement agreement. You may not reach that point, forcing you to take your case to court.
The Insurance Company Loves Unrepresented Claimants
There are other reasons why you should have a car accident attorney on your side. An insurance company sees a target of opportunity when they notice that someone is trying to handle their own claim. The insurance company is not above using sneaky methods to trick or coerce you into making some kind of statement that cuts against your own case. Oftentimes, accident victims do not see it coming until it is too late. By that time, they have cost themselves money.
When you hire an attorney, you do not have to worry about the details and legwork of your compensation process. There is always work to be done, and you may not have the knowledge or ability to get it done given your injuries and the disparity in knowledge between you and the insurance company. Enlisting the help of an experienced professional will at least take something off your plate at a time when you already have plenty on it. Then, you can make the right decisions about your legal case with the help of your attorney.
Contact a New Orleans Car Accident Attorney Today
The attorneys at Egenberg Trial Lawyers have a long track record of helping car accident victims get the money that they deserve. Standing up for injured clients is what we do, and we are motivated by the prospect of taking on big and powerful companies on behalf of the people whom we represent. The first thing to do is reach out to us to talk about your case at an initial consultation. You can contact us online or call us at (504) 229-5700 to schedule a time to talk about your case.