When it comes to legal situations we tend to acquire a more scrupulous approach to the process so that we could reduce the complications and increase our chances of winning our case. It is true that for such results one need to have a thorough know-how of the system and its various twists and turns, especially when one is considering filing for a motor vehicle accident claim that also without an attorney. You need to be very proactive and resourceful if you really want you venture into this sphere all alone as it can be very demanding and at times the whole experience can be really straining and stressful, especially when you have suffered injuries in the accident.
The general notion that is prevalent among the people is that if they carry on the process of accidental claim on their own, they are indeed able to save a lot of their money. After all, no one wants to pay from the share they will get as compensation (this share can be up to one third of the total amount of compensation). But this attitude can cost you quite a lot on various levels if you are new to the legal field and know nothing about filing for claims and various formalities that need to be fulfilled before you could get hold of financial support which is due.
Yes, we are referring to the hassle and the drudgery that you have to go through in order to seek a rightful claim. You can very well face a lot of undesirable situations like less compensation amount, lack of proper assessment, negating long term effects of the accident, not taking into consideration all the losses and so on. Moreover, there are series of inconvenient requirements that you are asked to fulfill which might leave you drained and exhausted. You can now clearly see that without an attorney you might be at greater loss particularly in the situations where huge amounts involved; as inappropriate approach can lead to failures.
There is no denying that in case of minor issues or injuries one can seek an accidental claim without any help from an attorney. But for that also you need to do the proper documentation, filing for a claim, bringing evidences in light etc. So it becomes a dilemma for people to decide whether they should go all alone in the legal mayhem or seek support. We are here to bring some light to this issue and help you see various aspects, so that you could make much more conscientious decision whether you should opt for filing an accidental claim with or without an attorney.
Self-Representation Vs Attorney Services
You can represent yourself in personal injury and / or accident cases and win against a big company but for that you have to be thoroughly aware of various aspects pertaining to filing of accident claims. You need to consider various things on your own. You have to make assessment of your injuries as that is the base on which you will be getting your compensation. You can maintain proper file of all medical examinations that you went through. You should also keep expenses of medicines, treatment and various tests.
In addition to this, it is also now your responsibility to make it clear that the other party is at fault. You should collect as much evidence as possible so that you can make your case strong. Be in touch with the apt legal advisors so that you can know that you are taking action in the right direction. It should be kept in mind that the whole process can be really cumbersome if you are not active and vigilant about the actions you are supposed to take. You have to prove all points to win and if you fail, you will have to face consequences in terms of less compensation or no compensation at all.
If you dread such scenarios you can take services of attorney to make things easy and less stressful for you. Moreover, insurance companies use many tricks and there are many hidden loop holes (aka terms and conditions) that can lead towards minimum or not fair compensation. In such situations you can only seek optimum compensation amount by hiring an attorney as they have thorough and in-depth knowledge of the legal as well as insurance field. Practical experience of professionals leave no space for any trouble or disappointment for a plaintiff. Their role becomes all the more crucial when one has suffered severe injuries and he / she is not in a condition to carry on with the legal process. In such situations, availing support and services of a personal injury attorney is highly recommended.
Steps that can help you in claiming process (whether you are seeking self representation or legal services)
There are many steps that you should immediately take after any accident in order to make your case strong, even when you are still indecisive about hiring legal services or not. It is pertinent that you should take care of these aspects as they will help you in negating a lot of hassle as you proceed with your case (with or without an attorney). The various points to keep in mind are as follows:
- You should take pictures of the accident scene that cover property damage and your injuries. Pictures and videos are considered valuable proof that helps your case a lot.
- You should report to the closest police station and get a copy of the police report. In case your injuries are serious you can take help of your friends and family members to file the report. One should not be careless on this front as this can cost you when you seek claim for the accident.
- Secure all medical bills as they can be paid with personal injury insurance and health insurance.
- You should avoid giving recorded statements.
- You should file your claim within the deadlines set by your insurance company. These limitations can vary for different types of insurance or insurance companies. But it is your responsibility to have filed the claim well on time. Once the time limit is up, you won’t be able to get any benefit from your insurance.
- Don’t use social media or update profile regarding your accidents as this might be used against you in the future. So be very careful regarding your messages on social networking sites.
How an attorney can help you?
Assessment of Total Damage
When someone met with an accident, they are not aware of the damage and loss they have faced. There can be a lot of short-term and long-term effects of the accident and it can be medical, psychological, emotional as well as financial. Damages can be of many types and it is impossible for people to calculate compensation that would be enough to cover all the damages till there is some prior experience. There are many aspects that need to be considered when you file for a Motor Vehicle Accident claim; it includes medical bills, lost earnings due to the accident, property damage and many other financial losses that happened due to the accident. It is complicated to count lost earnings as it depends on so many factors. So all in all, an experienced and well-qualified attorney will make the procedure easy for you. Their insight will give you a clear idea of the total damage and thus – compensation you should expect.
Considering physical and mental pain
There are no guidelines provided by the law about physical pain and mental agony that you have faced since the accident. You can calculate and include the amount that you think is fair but there is no flow chart or diagram that the jury can see and validate your claim for you psychological, emotional and physical anguish. Although there is no formula that can calculate a claim amount for your sufferings yet when you hire a wise attorney then you can make sure that you will be compensated fairly on every level.
Evaluating lost earnings
No one can ignore financial loss on the ground of lost earnings due to accidents. Hence, a personal injury lawyer will help you in evaluating financial losses related to your job. It means, one need to calculate the money lost due to the injuries, treatment and recovery. It is subjected to the law. Some provinces only count lost earning in future or lost earning capacity. For example, if you are earning $30,000 per year with $10,000 part time earning and you can’t work because of severe injuries, claim amount remain undecided; or you might make a mistake of seeking claim too high or too low. Here, it is advisable that you look out for a proficient attorney that will provide you apt guidelines. An attorney will not only demand a highest possible claim amount that covers all your losses but also ensure that you finally receive that amount in time!
There are three main problems that can arise in demanding lost earning claims and we are mentioning it so that you can know about your chances of getting a claim on this basis.
- You were jobless at the time of the accident In case when you had no job at the time of the accident, you can file a claim based on your previous earnings. In case you were jobless for a long time – a defense attorney (an insurance company lawyer) can argue that you don’t have any earning capacity so your claim should be removed. For this, hiring an attorney can help you in demanding your right as your lawyer will help you in making your case stronger and in your favor. You need to make sure that you are co-operating fully with your attorney as that will help in formulating the best approach to tackle any obstruction imposed by the insurance company. Most importantly, if you have retired from your job then you can’t apply for lost earning claims.
- Job change with higher salary In case you were involved in an accident, a week or two before your new job with higher salary – you can claim according to that pay scale. You have to provide solid evidence that you were chosen for the better-paying job before the mishap. If you have apt documents and witness – you surely can lay foundation for a desirable claim.
- You are self employed This situation can be really tricky as a defense attorney will demand all documents that can support your claim such as your income tax details, business records and other ones. It is imperative that your documentation should be impeccable in every manner. You must be precise and accurate with facts and figures, any carelessness on this front may lead to serious repercussions. Without any doubt, an insurance company lawyer will examine even tiniest details and will try to make your claim invalid. So make sure that you have hired an expert lawyer which knows perfect tactics to make your case firm, your documents flawless and help you in getting an expected amount of compensation.
What you should do ultimately?
No doubt it is totally a subjective matter to seek help of an attorney to represent your case or not. If you feel confident that you can handle the situation on your own and will be able to get fair compensation – then you should go ahead; but in case you are in doubt then you can start from consulting various legal experts. To your relief there are many renowned attorneys that are providing free consultations and free transportation services. Hence, you don’t have to take stress of any kind. Moreover, with not paying the fee till your personal injury lawyer wins your case for you, makes the whole idea all the more acceptable. There are undoubtedly many benefits of hiring professionals to file an accident claim as then the chances of success and getting maximum claim money increases by manifolds.
So it is all in your hands and mind!