If you have been in a car crash, you may be wondering if you need an attorney. The insurance representative is telling you it’s a good idea to settle your claim as soon as possible. But you are still healing from your injuries, and you wonder if you should hire a car accident lawyer.
Don’t be fooled– hiring an attorney is an investment. Not every fender-bender justifies hiring a lawyer. We don’t want to settle your claim and have you come out of the experience with nothing left – or worse, owing money.
Because of this, our office follows a few guidelines to figure out if you would benefit from hiring a car accident lawyer:
You’ve Been Treating Your Injuries for a While
Not all car accident injuries are worth hiring an attorney. If you experienced only bumps and bruises, or healed from your injuries relatively quickly, you may not need a car accident lawyer. However, if you have been treating your injuries consistently for 5 months or more, your medical bills are probably piling up. You may also have missed work on account of your doctors’ appointments, which could mean lost wages. An attorney may be able to help you recover some of this compensation.
Your Medical Bills Are Piling Up
Medical bills can quickly add up, especially if you have injuries that need to be treated for an extended period of time. If your medical bills are less than $5000, it’s unlikely we can recover enough money for you to pay us an attorney fee. We don’t want to waste your time with a lawsuit if you’re not going to come out better than when you started. Negotiating with the insurance company on your own is your best bet when your medical bills are less than $5000.
There Was Significant Damage to Your Vehicle
It’s hard to prove to a jury that you were seriously injured in a car wreck if your vehicle has only sustained minor damage. If your vehicle was totaled or needs thousands of dollars in repairs, it’s more likely you were injured.
It’s important to take pictures of the damage to your vehicle before you have it repaired. These photos may help show the seriousness of the crash to the jurors if your lawsuit goes to trial.
The Insurance Company is Causing You Grief
Insurance companies want to settle as soon as possible. They’re in the business to make money, and one of the ways they do this is by paying out as little as possible once you make a claim. If you attempt to negotiate your own car accident settlement, you should remember:
- If your initial demand is too high, it will show you don’t understand the system. The insurance rep will stop taking you seriously after that.
- If your initial demand is too low, you’ll set a “ceiling” on what you are going to get paid – even if you are entitled to more money.
Speaking with a car accident lawyer after your crash can answer if you have a “do-it-yourself” claim. Most reputable Iowa attorneys will offer a free initial consultation to an accident victim.
Keep in mind, you have the right to file a car accident lawsuit for up to 2 years after the date of the crash. If you have further questions, call us today at 1-319-774-1542 and speak with one of our personal injury attorneys.