It is unwise for an injured individual to attempt to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company by themselves. In addition to being unfamiliar with the particulars of the settlement process, the defendant’s insurance company will try to end the matter quickly, and pay out as little as possible. There are numerous benefits of having an attorney in a Memphis car accident settlement. David E. Gordon can be your advocate against the defense team’s attempts to lowball the offer.
Information to Bring to a Consultation
In an initial consultation with potential plaintiffs, David will want to know how the accident happened and the extent of the injuries. Lawyers can usually find the police report and the applicable insurance policy, but a claimant should bring that information if they happen to have it. Photographs from the accident scene, photographs of the wrecked vehicles, and photographs of the injuries are also valuable. They should bring as much information as they have available, including the contact information for the defendant and the defendant’s insurance company.
How Could an Attorney Benefit the Settlement Process?
If an injured person has already received an offer from an insurance company when they call a lawyer, then a lawyer at the firm can review that offer at no charge. They can help the injured person evaluate whether that offer is fair or not, and take into account how much they would walk away with if they hired an attorney to negotiate. If hiring a lawyer to negotiate will not change the ultimate take-home amount for a person, they are generally advised to accept the current offer. But in most cases, the lawyer can project an amount that covers their fees and allows the claimant to recover even more.
Insurance companies know that individuals without lawyers do not always understand the various elements of compensation to which they are entitled, and they will exploit that. Insurance companies may offer enough to cover medical expenses but offer little, if anything, for non-economic damages or lost wages. As a result, the injured party might not realize they could have obtained much more money. Some companies could also claim that they should not pay for medical expenses because the claimant’s health insurance covered it. One of the benefits of having an attorney during a car crash settlement in Memphis is that they have the skills to navigate around these false arguments and fight for a higher offer.
Possible Delays in Settlement
Many injured people do not understand the importance of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is a state law that allows an injured person in Tennessee exactly one year in which to file a lawsuit following an injury. The day that the statute expires, the individual’s rights to file suit evaporate. Some individuals mistakenly think that if they are talking to the insurance company about their settlement before the year expires that they have preserved their rights. Insurance companies often refrain from explaining a claimant’s right to them, meaning they are happy to allow discussions to linger in order to run out the clock. That might include holding off on responding to emails or phone calls.
Thus, it is wise to work with a lawyer like David who can keep track of the statute of limitations and press an insurance company to cooperate or risk being the target of a lawsuit.
How Long Does it Take to Receive the Settlement?
The length of time it takes to receive a settlement depends largely on the extent of the injury. A person who is only moderately injured will have an opportunity to settle their case within a few months of the accident itself. Someone who is severely injured will get medical treatment for a year or more following an accident. The settlement process will likely not begin until all or most of the treatment is completed.
The settlement process for a local car accident claim can move faster if the plaintiff’s law firm specifically focuses on personal injury cases. A law firm with experience in these cases has systems in place to quickly get medical records, medical bills, and proof of loss earnings which are what makes the settlement process smooth and efficient. The legal process can also be expedited if a person has all of their medical records and bills ready from the beginning.
Similarly, if someone wants to get paid for their lost earnings, they must get a statement in writing from the employer indicating the hourly rate, the dates missed from work, and the number of hours missed on those dates. They will also need a work excuse from their doctor matching the dates missed.
Seek Out the Benefits of a Lawyer in a Memphis Car Accident Case
Injured individuals will have a much higher probability of recovering substantial compensation with the aid of a lawyer than if they try to do it alone. Lawyers are aware of the usual traps that the insurance company sets and know how to avoid them. Place a call to the law office of David E. Gordon to learn the benefits of a Board-certified attorney in a Memphis car accident settlement.