The Value of A Good Car Accident Attorney
Insurance companies spare no expense in protecting their interests with teams of lawyers and insurance company adjusters. The process to protect their bottom line begins immediately upon an automobile accident. Dealing with an insurance company can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when you are dealing with recovering from an injury. More importantly, it can be incredibly difficult to get the optimal result regarding your injury without knowing the value of your case. This is where a specialized automobile accident attorney can help guide you through the process of recovery and ensure your rights are protected.
It is estimated that 1 and 8 drivers in Ohio are uninsured. Ohio also has very low minimum policy limits of $12,500 per injury (legislation will raise this minimum to $25,000 in December of 2013). Automobile accident injuries frequently result in damages much larger than these minimums. As a result, it is critical that you inquire into uninsured/underinsured coverage. This means that in the event of an injury caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you will still have the right of recovery against your own insurance company.
What to Do If You Are In an Automobile Accident
Gather the Facts
Take Photos (Cell Phone Cameras are your friend)
Do not make a statement admitting fault
Compile names and phone numbers of any witnesses
Make a police report
Collect all medical diagnosis paperwork and bills
Collect any information relating to wage loss, pay stubs, etc.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company
This is the area where an experienced and competent automobile accident attorney really provides value. As with anything, it is incredibly difficult to negotiate when you do not know the value of something. The laws of damages are rather complex, and often times, insurance company attorneys and adjusters simply do not respect the legal opinion of non-lawyers. Leverage is frequently gained by attorneys in the negotiation process by the threat of litigation and the professional legal opinion of a strong advocate for your rights. A skilled automobile accident attorney will present to the insurance company:
A legal opinion of who is responsible for the injuries and why in a coherent manner
The injuries and the probable effect they will have in the future
An accounting of current medical bills and estimates of future costs
An accounting of lost income
Other relevant damages
Getting to Settlement
After this demand package is transmitted to the insurance company, an often tense negotiation period is commenced. After some argument, a settlement offer will likely be extended. At this point, it is important to speak with your attorney openly and candidly about the value of your case, the potential legal problems and the full extent of future damages. While it can be hard to predict future damages with exact specificity, a good attorney can help you weigh the relative pros and cons of a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, an attorney can begin the process of bringing suit against the insurance company in a court of law.
Additional Auto Accident Practice Areas
Dennis E. Sawan is an Ohio based Personal Injury and Car Accident Attorney licensed to practice law in the States of Ohio and Florida. If you would like to speak further about your specific legal matter, call The Law Office of Dennis E. Sawan today at 1-866-INJURY-0 or 419-900-0955 to schedule a free consultation.