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Can I Negotiate with the Insurance Company for My Car Accident Settlement?

Car Accident Lawyer, Indianapolis, IN

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 8, 2019) If you are an injured victim of a car crash that occurred through no fault of your own, you might think you can obtain a quick insurance settlement by negotiating directly for your medical bills, loss of wages and damages for pain and suffering. But as a car accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN turns to for maximum-value settlements and increased jury awards, did you know you could be settling for much less than your claim is worth? And do you know that by signing a release for your immediate losses, i.e. medical bills, property damage, loss of wages, etcetera, you may be forfeiting compensation from additional sources? The negative consequences of injuries may arise years laterimpacting our health and well-being as we mature. Compensation for future medical bills and devices is often overlooked when the injured party negotiates with the insurance company. However, an experienced car accident lawyer would consider the past, present and future damages in their representation.

Periodically I hear from individuals who in negotiating in good faith suddenly realize the opposing party has been stalling for time until the Statute of Limitations has run or very nearly run. They desire a legal intervention to restart the negotiations. Unfortunately, you can never go back…you can never undo the mistakes that stop a claim dead in its tracks. Once a self-negotiated claim for injuries has breached certain benchmarks, there may be nothing an attorney can do to help you.

Why Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

Here are some reasons why well-meaning people attempt to negotiate their own claims and the reasons why you should at the very least, consider discussing your claim with an attorney before you speak with the insurance company:

  1. I can’t afford to hire a car accident lawyer—or loser pay. It is not customary to give a personal injury attorney an advancement of fees and costs. Generally speaking, a car accident lawyer receives a percentage of the amount of compensation you recover in a settlement, at mediation or in a trial. This is called the contingency fee. When a car accident lawyer agrees to handle your claim, it is because your attorney believes in your claim and pays any upfront costs, gives of their time and knowledge and the time and knowledge of their legal staff in the successful pursuit of maximum compensation for you, their client.
  2. Loser pay means the losing party of the lawsuit, having failed at trial, pays the costs and attorneys’ fees of the prevailing defense. At the time of this writing, Indiana courts do not apply the Loser Pay doctrine to motor vehicle accident tort claims. To determine if you live in one of these states, it would be advisable to contact an attorney who limits their practice to personal injury law and discuss the topic of attorney compensation.
  3. Why shouldn’t I negotiate for my injuries with the Insurance Claims Representative? Although you may be an experienced negotiator, engaging an insurance company in discussions about your accident, accompanying medical bills, loss of wages and pain and suffering may weaken your claim. For example, as part of their defense, insurance companies frequently assert that you must shoulder some responsibility for the accident. And no matter how mistaken their declaration of fault may seem, comparative fault is a defense frequently employed by carriers to reduce financial exposure. Remember, insurance companies are for-profit entities and will diminish their payouts whenever possible—yes, in situations involving uninsured/underinsured defendants, even your own insurance company may profit by limiting payouts. But an experienced car accident lawyer―someone who is knowledgeable in tort law, and respected by their peers and adversaries alike, will pursue every legal avenue to maximize your compensation.
  4. The services of an attorney will consume a significant portion of my settlement. An experienced car accident attorney will seek all available avenues of revenue on their client’s behalf and may negotiate liens, whenever possible, that can significantly reduce their client’s settlement. An experienced car accident lawyer works a case for injuries on a number of procedural fronts to increase the value of their client’s claim.

I have a friend…who has a friend, who is a Car Accident Lawyer

It is natural to want to hire an attorney who has a connection with a friend or family member. But before you hire a legal advocate to represent you in a claim for damages, find out if the attorney from your network of acquaintances limits his or her practice to personal injury law. Why? No two cases are alike. Each case has a unique set of facts and circumstances and an experienced personal injury lawyer will carve out the route best suited to your claim.

When you hire a car accident lawyer, someone who limits their practice to personal injury work, you are hiring a skilled advocate that will maximize the value of your claim. This is our job―to read, debate, discuss and remain current on legislation and legal opinions that govern our client’s compensation for their injuries and other damages.

If you have been injured in an accident, call an experienced car accident lawyer before you contact the insurance company. Call 317-639-9501 today and ask for Charlie.

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