Many auto accident victims think they can handle a claim with a respondent insurance company without legal representation. In cases of minor injury with no lasting repercussions, this may be acceptable because there are little to no general damages involved. However, there are many who will need legal representation. Those who suffer serious injuries are first among this group, as insurance companies are diligent at limiting general damages for pain and suffering in auto accident injury claims. Many times they will even offer a quick settlement to end the issue if they think it can be accomplished without dealing with experienced car accident lawyers who will be focused on obtaining whole damages for their injured client. And beyond maximizing a claim value, a legal representative can take other steps that a novice injured claimant cannot.
1. Investigate the Accident
The typical injured party in an auto accident will have access to the official accident report, but that is about the extent of their power. They have limited power to question law enforcement officers, and especially the accident reconstruction specialist. Car accident attorneys are court officers just like police. They can not only conduct a separate independent investigation into the accident, but they can question police regarding the actual scene report and identify all liable parties when multiple drivers are involved and liable to some degree. Accidents can be complicated, and they are professionals at unraveling what actually occurred.
2. Serve as a Professional Negotiator
No injured car accident victim is a claim negotiation match for a trained insurance claims adjuster. Insurance companies spend significant amounts of money in training claims adjusters to reduce claim values. This is especially true when bargaining for general damages stemming from ongoing life issues due to the injuries. Initial settlement offers for victims with no legal counsel will never include equitable general damages even when injuries are serious with long-term implications. They are professional negotiators, and they can be ruthless in case denials and claim valuation reductions.
3. File a Lawsuit
While an injured claimant can handle filing their own legal case in court, this is never a good decision. This applies both for injured passengers and for any driver who has had their injury claim denied in North Carolina due to personal negligence. North Carolina has the strictest contributory negligence law
in the nation, and even the slightest fault can result in a case being dismissed. Not only can car accident attorneys prove the case in court, they can defend drivers regarding any insurance company claim denial defense of personal negligence.
4. File Subpoenas
Another power that attorneys have is requesting certain documentation to use in crafting a case for maximum damages. Not only can they call witnesses to testify in court, including expert medical professionals, but they can also demand certain information regarding insurance policy maximums and send spoliation letters demanding certain information not be altered before a case goes to court.
5. Cover Legal Expenses
Car accident attorneys work primarily on a contingency basis regarding fees, but there is another financial advantage when having legal representation. Any expenses incurred in processing the claim can be covered with reimbursement to be made following any case settlement. Many auto accident victims are unable to pay these costs up front, and attorneys who think they can secure some amount of compensation will commonly provide this service as part of legal representation.
Contact Our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers
The attorney who is chosen to represent an accident claim can make a major difference in the outcome of the case. They can assess a case for equitable damages based on their experience in handling other similar claims, and they can more importantly keep insurance providers honest when a claim is being settled. Many accident cases find the way to a court room in North Carolina due to the contributory negligence law for drivers, and having an aggressive legal representative is vital for an acceptable outcome. Call us today and let us evaluate your case.