You were in a car accident, and now you’re dealing with serious legal claims. Whether you were seriously injured or faced significant property damage, you may find yourself wondering: “Should I try to handle my car accident claim on my own first?”
You may feel that working with a lawyer is an expensive proposition, or that it could prevent you from getting the full amount of your settlement. Attempting to handle your car accident claim on your own, however, can lead to significant problems. Working with an attorney is the most effective way to manage your car accident claim.
Insurance Companies: They Aren’t On Your Side
Insurance companies aren’t always on your side after an accident. Insurance companies exist to make money. That means that they may look for ways to help limit the amount of your claim as much as possible. This may include:
- Attempting to prove that someone other than their client was responsible for the accident. If another driver caused your car accident, for example, the insurance company may attempt to prove that you’re the one at fault. It may also attempt to prove that another driver was the one responsible for your accident, if multiple cars were involved. If you accept even ten percent of the responsibility for your accident, it can reduce the amount of your settlement—and if you were at least 50 percent responsible, you may lose all of the compensation for your injuries.
- Offering a lower settlement offer than you’re really owed for your injuries. After an accident, the insurance company will often make you a low settlement offer early in the claims processes. This settlement offer is designed to look large enough to satisfy your immediate needs, but it might not reflect the damages you may actually incur as a result of your injuries. Signing that settlement offer will prevent you from obtaining the full amount of the damages you’re really due.
Working with a lawyer has several advantages when you’re dealing with insurance claims. First and foremost, a lawyer helps show the insurance company that you’re serious about getting the damages you deserve for your accident. Insurance companies will often negotiate more effectively when they know they’re dealing with a lawyer than when they are dealing with a private representative alone. Your lawyer also has a better idea of what you should expect in terms of a settlement, and will help prevent you from signing a settlement offer that will provide less than what you require for your injuries.
Do You Know Who Owes You Damages for Your Claim?
In Florida, it’s not necessarily just the driver who injured you that is responsible for the damages associated with your injury. For example:
- The bar or restaurant that over-served a drunk driver may bear partial responsibility for your claim. This is primarily true if personnel at the bar or restaurant knew or should have known they over-served a guest, and that the guest planned to drive. Any person or business that provided alcohol to a minor may also bear liability for any injuries caused by a minor who subsequently drinks and drives.
- In the case of commercial accidents, the company responsible for the driver may also bear responsibility for your injuries. If the driver was on the clock or traveling to or from work in a company vehicle, the employer may face responsibility for the damages you incurred as a result of your accident. Commercial truck drivers’ companies may also assume liability for the damages you experience as a result of your car accident, especially if they allow drivers to continue operating on the road if they engaged in unsafe behaviors in the past, or if they use unsafe operating rules like requiring too many hours on the road or allowing drivers to falsify records.
- Uber and Lyft accidents may lead to special circumstances. Because special laws and regulations apply to Uber and Lyft, and because those businesses carry unique insurance policies, you will want an experienced lawyer to help you navigate any case that involves a ridesharing accident.
Reduce the Hassle
A lot of effort goes into managing a car accident claim—and chances are, you don’t have the time or experience to do it all on your own. Your attorney can provide significant help with that process, including:
- Filling out paperwork so that you don’t have to. This will also help reduce the possibility that you’ll improperly fill out paperwork, which can lead to delays in the claims process or make it more difficult for you to get the settlement you need.
- Cutting through red tape. Chances are, you don’t know how to effectively streamline your interactions with an insurance company. Having a lawyer on your side will help cut through the red tape so that you don’t spend months waiting on your settlement.
- Leaving the burden on someone else’s shoulders. Instead of having to deal with every detail yourself, you’ll have someone to help take care of that burden for you. This can significantly streamline the process, removing stress at a time when you have more than enough to deal with.
Get the Legal Help You Need
If you were in a ridesharing accident, hire the legal support you deserve to help you through the process. Don’t try to handle it on your own! The most effective way to take care of your claim and ensure that you aren’t missing out on the funds you need—and that you’ll receive them in a timely manner—is to hire an experienced attorney as early in the process as possible.
If you were injured in a ridesharing accident, contact Uber Car Accident Law online today, or call our office at (305) 964-8806 to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how we can help you!