Many people are reluctant to hire an attorney to help them with their car accident claim. For whatever reason, they see hiring an attorney as an option of last resort. I get that. I've heard it a thousand times: "I really didn't want to have to hire an attorney."
But guess what? Most of the reasons people give for not hiring an attorney are false. Here are a few common misconceptions:
Misconception No. 1: If I Hire An Attorney, I Have To File A Lawsuit.
Hiring an attorney does not mean that you have to file a lawsuit for your car accident. In fact, a majority of car accident claims can be settled out of court, before a lawsuit is filed. There are cases where filing a lawsuit is necessary, like when the time limit for filing a lawsuit is about to expire. It's best to consult with a personal injury attorney who can go over the facts of your case.
Misconception No. 2: If I Hire An Attorney, I Lose Control Over My Case.
Our clients always know what's going on in their case and always have the final word. Our job as lawyers is to give our clients the best possible advice so that they can make good decisions regarding their car accident claims. Hiring a car accident lawyer shouldn't mean that you lose control over your case.
Misconception No. 3: If I Hire An Attorney, I Will Get Less Money.
Lawyers cannot promise results. We are restricted from doing so by our ethics rules. However, the insurance companies take notice if a person has an attorney and most insurance companies actually have separate insurance adjusting departments for car accident victims who are represented by a lawyer and those who aren't. Why? Because while they think they can settle a case quickly and cheaply with an unrepresented person, that strategy doesn't work with an experienced car accident attorney.
There are other benefits of hiring an attorney. At our firm, we handle pretty much every aspect of our clients' claims, including property damage issues, medical bill collectors, health insurance reimbursement, Medicare/Medicaid issues, and settlement administration. Our clients let us do the heavy lifting while they focus on getting better.
Experienced car accident attorneys also know the law. Why is this helpful? We know what an insurance company is entitled to and what they are not. More importantly, understanding the law means that we can help our clients maximize their claims.
Misconception No. 4: If I Hire An Attorney, The Other Person Will Get In Trouble.
As discussed above, just because you hire an attorney doesn't mean that you will be suing the person who caused your wreck.
Also, by hiring an attorney, you are not getting the other person in more trouble than they already are. Chances are they have already received whatever tickets they will receive. If their insurance company is going to increase their rates or drop them, that has already happened, regardless of whether an attorney is involved.
If a lawsuit is filed, the other person's insurance company will pay for their own attorney so that they don't have to come out of pocket.