INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 8, 2019) Now and then, innocent victims of car crashes bypass the services of an attorney in favor of negotiating on their own behalf. As a car accident lawyer Indianapolis, IN turns to for increased settlements and jury awards, too often I receive telephone calls from people who are anxious for an advocate to restart the negotiations and fix errors that may have led to an undervalued settlement offer. Unfortunately, when 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 several 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:
I can’t afford to hire a car accident lawyer—or loser pay. Generally speaking, a car accident lawyer receives a percentage of the amount of compensation you recover in settlement or at trial. This is called the contingency fee. It is not customary to give a personal injury attorney an advancement of fees and costs. When a car accident lawyer agrees to handle your claim, it is because your attorney believes in your claim for damages. Your attorney pays any costs upfront and channels their time and the time of their legal staff into the successful pursuit of maximum compensation for you, their client. Loser pay means the losing party of the lawsuit, having failed at trial, pays the costs and attorneys’ fees of the prevailing litigant. At the time of this writing, Indiana courts do not apply the Loser Pay doctrine to motor vehicle accident tort claims. There are only a few states that apply the loser pay principal. 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.
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 only serves to weaken your claim. For example, insurance companies frequently assert that you shoulder some responsibility for the accident. And no matter how mistaken their declaration of fault may seem, comparative fault is a defense frequently used by carriers to reduce their financial exposure. Remember, insurance companies are for-profit entities and will diminish their payouts whenever possible—yes, even your own insurance carrier may attempt to limit their payout to you. 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.
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.