Will I Get a Higher Settlement With an Auto Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, securing a settlement from the insurance companies will be a critical step on your road to recovery. You need to make sure you receive fair compensation – if you don’t, your medical bills, lost earnings, and other losses won’t be fully covered.
With this in mind, it is extremely important to avoid settling for too little. You only get one chance. If you accept a low settlement, you won’t be able to go back and ask the insurance companies for more.
While there are no guarantees, you are far more likely to obtain a higher settlement with an experienced auto accident lawyer on your side. Here are five reasons why:
5 Reasons an Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get a Higher Settlement
1. You Need to Prove Two Things to Seek Compensation Outside of PIP
Florida is a “no-fault” auto insurance state (efforts to repeal Florida’s no-fault auto insurance law failed earlier this year). As a result, your first source of financial recovery after a car accident is your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
In fact, PIP will be your only source of financial recovery unless you can prove two things:
- That you suffered a “significant” or “permanent” injury as defined by Florida law; and,
- That the other driver (or a third party) is legally responsible for causing the accident.
Meeting both of these requirements requires compelling evidence. If the insurance companies aren’t convinced that you have a claim (or if they aren’t convinced that you would win if you took your claim to trial), then they aren’t going to pay you the compensation you deserve.
2. You Also Need to Prove How Much You Are Entitled to Recover
Speaking of “the compensation you deserve,” how much do you deserve to recover for your accident-related injuries? How much will your injuries cost you in the future? How much are you entitled to for your pain and suffering? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you won’t be able to negotiate a settlement that is truly fair to you.
An experienced auto accident lawyer will be able to accurately calculate your losses. This includes both your economic losses (i.e., medical bills and loss of earnings) and your non-economic damages (i.e., emotional trauma and loss of enjoyment of life). Without proof of how much you are entitled to recover, you aren’t going to get the insurance companies to pay.
3. The Insurance Companies Don’t Have to (and Won’t) Help You
Even when you are dealing directly with your own insurance company, you cannot expect the insurance companies to help you. The insurance companies put their interests first, and they are not going to calculate fair compensation on your behalf. When they ask you for access to your medical and employment records, this is because they want to use these records against you.
To stand any chance of recovering a favorable settlement, you need an advocate on your side. An experienced auto accident lawyer can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf, use the available evidence to your advantage, and pursue a settlement with your best interests in mind.
4. The Insurance Companies Know Which Lawyers Take Cases to Court
The insurance companies make decisions based on data. This includes data regarding auto accident lawyers’ settlement and trial records. If the insurance companies know that a lawyer is prepared to go to court (and capable of winning in court, if necessary), they are much more likely to negotiate a settlement in good faith.
5. It Takes Time, Knowledge, and Resources to Recover Fair Compensation
Finally, negotiating a favorable auto insurance settlement is not easy. It takes time, an in-depth knowledge of Florida law, and resources to conduct a comprehensive investigation. When you don’t have the time, knowledge, and resources required, you are at a significant disadvantage and you stand little chance of securing a fair settlement for your accident-related losses.
Again, there are no guarantees when it comes to dealing with the insurance companies after an auto accident. If the insurance companies don’t want to make a reasonable settlement offer, they don’t have to. However, working with an experienced lawyer will significantly improve your chances of obtaining a higher settlement.
How much are you entitled to recover for your auto accident? This question is impossible to answer without knowing the full details of your particular case.
At Colling Gilbert Wright, our attorneys and staff take the time to understand your situation after an auto accident. We provide aggressive and effective representation with the goal of obtaining the settlement you deserve.
Please call (407) 712-7300 today for a free consultation with Colling Gilbert Wright. Our auto accident lawyers serve clients throughout Florida, including Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and other areas.