Having a car wreck in Louisiana is not pleasant. At best, you face the hassle of dealing with your insurance company to get your car repaired. At worst, you or one of your passengers could suffer a catastrophic injury or even lose your life. Or one of the other drivers could sue you for allegedly causing the accident.
Whatever the results of your wreck, this is no time to go it alone. An attorney can make your post-accident life much easier, and these are the top five reasons why you should hire one.
1. Insurance company hassles
Even though you always pay your insurance premiums when due, your insurance company becomes your adversary when you file a claim. While your goal is to get what you paid for in terms of medical and property damage coverage, your insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible. If you must deal with someone else’s insurance company as well, their goal is to settle with you as quickly as possible for an amount most favorable for their own insured, not you. Your attorney deals with insurance companies on a daily basis and knows how to negotiate with claims adjusters and managers far better than you do. In addition, (s)he can protect you from incessant phone calls demanding that you make recorded statements or accept initial lowball settlement offers.
2. Injury values
You likely have never thought about how much a particular injury such as your whiplash or broken leg is “worth.” Your attorney has years of experience determining the value of injuries from the most minor to the most severe. In addition, (s)he knows how to value your pain and suffering. (S)he also knows how to determine the medical costs and lost wages you may face in the future.
3. Personal injury lawsuit
A personal injury lawsuit can be a long and complicated process whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant. Since the other side has an experienced attorney fighting for them, it only stands to reason that you need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney fighting for you.
4. Fault and liability
It is not always easy to determine who caused your accident and consequently must pay for the injuries and property damage it caused. Your attorney knows how to investigate your accident, comb through police and medical records, talk with witnesses and, if necessary, find and engage expert witnesses to best present your claim in all its many facets and details.
5. Fair settlement or verdict
It may surprise you to learn that personal injury lawsuits seldom go all the way to trial. Instead, your skilled attorney often can negotiate with the attorney(s) who represent the other lawsuit party or parties and arrive at a fair settlement that gives you the economic relief to which you are entitled. Sometimes (s)he does this through alternative dispute resolution processes such as mediation or arbitration, and (s)he knows the rules and procedures inherent with each. If settlement negotiations break down, however, your attorney also knows what it takes to go to trial and convince a judge and jury that you should prevail.
Given that your accident was only the first step in what could be a long and stressful journey, it is in your best interests to have an experienced attorney guiding you through every step of that journey. This allows you to concentrate on the most important things: recuperating from your injuries and reclaiming your normal life.