Should You Settle Your Riverside Car Accident Case on Your Own?
After a car accident, you have legal rights which can be immediately placed in danger. Insurance companies have an array of tactics that are designed to reduce the amount of money you get. This can start as soon as the accident occurs – even statements you make on the scene of the accident can be used against you later. Don’t fight these big, powerful insurance companies on your own. Let an experienced, aggressive personal injury attorney protect your legal rights so that you can focus on your recovery. Call (844) 335-3271 to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Riverside car accident lawyer at Deldar Legal.
Insurance Company Tactics
In order to understand why it is so important to have an attorney, you must first understand how insurance companies go about settling personal injury cases. First, the company will determine who was at fault for causing the accident. This creates an opportunity to claim that third parties – or even you yourself – were at fault for causing your own injuries. California law follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that each defendant only pays for the portion of damages that he or she caused. So if the insurance company claims that you were 50 percent at fault and their driver was only 50 percent at fault, you would only be paid for half of your damages. The sums involved can be significant. A single night’s stay in the hospital can quickly accrue thousands of dollars in medical bills. If you require surgery or long-term care, this can quickly become hundreds of thousands of dollars. By simply claiming that you were half at fault, the insurance company has denied you half that amount.
Even if the insurance company agrees that its driver was at fault for causing your injuries, it will inevitably try to reduce the value of your claim. This starts by assigning a claims adjuster to your case. The claims adjuster inputs basic information into computer software. The software then calculates a number for your pain and suffering award. This is an impersonal system that has no consideration for an individual’s particular circumstances. What if the victim was pregnant, and couldn’t take certain pain medications in order to protect her baby? What if the victim had to wait for an ambulance and was left in pain for an extended amount of time? What if the injuries triggered a painful nerve condition? These – and many other – circumstances can drastically affect the amount of pain and suffering an injury victim endures. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to present these facts to the insurance company in order to overcome its computer algorithms. Sometimes, this requires an escalation from the claims adjuster to his or her supervisor. Other times a lawsuit is the only way to get a fair settlement offer from an insurance company. In the most drastic situations, an insurance company never makes a fair settlement offer, and it is left to a jury to determine fair compensation after hearing the facts at trial. It is important to have the advice of a skilled San Jose auto accident lawyer who can advise you on the best method of securing fair compensation.
Some other things that insurance companies do in an attempt to reduce settlements include:
- Waiting until expenses are piling up before making a settlement offer
- Misrepresenting victims’ legal rights
- Making lowball settlement offers before victims have had a chance to meet with an attorney
- Requesting overbroad medical authorizations in an effort to classify injuries as “pre-existing”
Injury Victims with Attorneys Get Higher Settlements
In the legal community, it is common knowledge that the vast majority of personal injury cases settle before going to trial. A Cornell Law Faculty Publication notes one study of 2,216 auto accident cases, in which 2,123 settled before going to trial. But there was an important corollary to this finding: though 95.8 percent of the cases settled, 34 percent of the claims resulted in no payment at all. This shows the common risk of settling for less than your case is worth – or settling for no compensation at all.
So how can you protect yourself from this risk? By hiring an attorney with a deep understanding of both negligence law and Southern California juries. Insurance companies consider the risk of losing at trial before increasing a settlement offer. An attorney who understands juries in your area will be better able to persuade a claims adjuster of the risk of going to trial. Perhaps most importantly, the insurance company will not think they can prey on you just because you don’t have an attorney. Insurance companies are backed by millions of dollars and an army of lawyers. They will bully anyone they can. By hiring your own attorney, you can fight back against this imbalance of power, and protect your legal right to be fully and fairly compensated for all your losses.
But What About the Cost of Hiring an Attorney?
Many car accident victims are worried about the expense of hiring an attorney. Like most personal injury lawyers, the attorneys at Deldar Legal work on a contingency fee. This means that you do not owe anything unless you receive a settlement. At that time, the attorney is paid an agreed-upon percentage of that settlement. This percentage can vary depending on whether or not a lawsuit must be filed. Court fees, expert witness fees, and other expenses will be deducted from the total settlement. But the important thing to know is that you do not have to pay an attorney upfront to represent you in a personal injury case. We don’t get paid unless you get paid.
Experienced, Aggressive Riverside Car Accident Lawyers
A car accident is an overwhelming experience for anyone. You shouldn’t have to worry about protecting your legal rights from insurance company tactics while you are recovering from injuries inflicted by a negligent driver. Get an experienced, aggressive attorney fighting for you to protect your rights and increase your chances of recovery. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call Deldar Legal at (844) 335-3271 or contact us online. Our experienced Riverside car accident lawyers know how to protect your legal rights. They handle all types of car accident cases in San Jose, Los Angeles, and Riverside.