Car accidents can often leave you involved with possible injuries, damage to your vehicle, and even a battle between insurance companies for accident claim settlement to get it all fixed.
After all those stressful and expensive issues, many of us wonder how to settle a car accident claim without a lawyer. Can it be done? Is it smart to try and settle a car accident claim yourself? Well, let’s see.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Settle a Car Accident Claim?
Technically, no, you don’t need a lawyer to settle a car accident claim. You are allowed to handle a car accident claim yourself and work it out with either your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company to settle the claim amount.
However, if you file an insurance claim by yourself, you may encounter some issues or struggles that you weren't prepared for. Some of the risks associated with handling a claims process on your own include answering objections or countering in settlement negotiations.
If you do settle a claim on your own, you will provide your information, an account of what occurred, and a description of the damages you suffered. To be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses, you will need to submit any receipts from a mechanic or body shop to the insurance company of the at-fault party.
Unfair Claim Settlements
Without experience, it's hard for you to know what typical car accident settlement amounts would be. Are you being offered a fair deal from the insurance company? Or are they taking advantage of the fact that you may not be legally represented? Without this information, it can be difficult to know how much your damages are worth.
A car accident lawyer will have the experience and knowledge to calculate the damages you should receive. With this knowledge, you would be able to make sure an insurance company is offering a fair amount and counter their offer if necessary.
Car accident lawyers can also help with additional claims you are entitled to, besides physical damages and medical bills. A bumped-up vehicle and hospital bills aren’t the only damages you may have suffered. There are a variety of other reasons you may be entitled to a settlement amount.
If you were forced to miss work due to an injury, you may be entitled to those wages you missed and even additional payment for missed work opportunities or passed-over promotions you lost due to the accident.
Emotional & Mental Harm
Individuals who have been in an accident can be left with mental and emotional struggles. Car accidents can be frightening and many require emotional and mental support after an accident. These damages are just as important to have covered as physical damages.
Rental Vehicle Cost
You'll likely need reliable transportation while your vehicle is being repaired or replaced. In this instance, you’ll need to make sure you understand your rights to a rental vehicle. If the other party was at fault for the accident, they are responsible for paying for a rental vehicle while yours is being repaired. If you were at fault, you will need to pay for your own vehicle or talk to your personal car insurance company about your rental vehicle coverage.
Even if you have a dispute with an insurance company, you are still able to handle the situation without a lawyer if you choose. However, a lawyer will be helpful if an issue escalates to a court case or if a major dispute is raised.
Sometimes, an insurance company and the opposing party may have different views on who was at fault. While a police report may sometimes firmly name which party is at fault, it isn’t always clear.
Fault for an accident might be questionable or unable to be assigned to one party completely. This makes a car accident claim open to dispute and often leaves people without the settlements they deserve.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Even Do?
As with any career, lawyers tend to specialize in one niche of their profession. Car accident lawyers work with people who have been in an accident and help them understand typical car accident settlement amounts. They also do their best to ensure their clients get the amount they need to cover damages, ensure a fair settlement, and handle any disputes that need to be made.
A car accident lawyer doesn’t always take claim issues to court. Often, they help calculate the total damages and settlements their clients are entitled to and ensure their clients get paid without going to court. Should a claim issue persist, they can help their clients take a dispute to court if needed.
Car accident lawyers can end up saving time and money for their clients. They take over the investigation, collection of evidence, and filing of claims so you don’t have to. They work to make sure claims stay on track and keep moving forward, ensuring that claim processes don’t stretch out without paying settlements. Once a settlement and compensation are secured, a car accident lawyer receives part of the settlement amount as payment for their work.
How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?
The duration of a car accident settlement process will vary based on a few factors. If a police report shows one party is at fault beyond a reasonable doubt, the process can be a bit smoother, as there are no disputes over who owes money for damages.
The severity of the accident will also determine how long the claims process can take. Medical payments, additional settlements, and more than one affected party can make the claim process longer and more complicated.
Typically, an accident settlement can take anywhere from 30-60 days if there are not any disputes or issues. If there are disputes, claims can take months to finally settle.
Save On Legal Fees - Ride With LOOP
Save the time and money you would spend on a car accident lawyer and opt instead for an auto insurance policy with LOOP. We will work with you for the compensation you deserve after a car accident.
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