Ask a Car Accident Attorney: Why Can’t I Just Represent Myself?
Those who’ve been involved in car accidents may feel the injury claims process is simple enough to handle alone. However, making a claim isn’t as easy as it seems. A car accident attorney in San Antonio may be able to help you through the process, and you usually have a better chance of winning compensation when you have legal representation.
Ask a Car Accident Attorney in San Antonio: Why Can’t I Just Represent Myself?
1. You Need to Understand the Process
Filing a personal injury claim isn’t as simple as filling out some paperwork and sending it to the right address. However, those without legal knowledge may believe that this is all they have to do. In reality, you’ll most likely have to spend several months negotiating a fair settlement if you want to recover compensation for your damages. This can be very difficult to do without an attorney.
It’s best to speak to a car accident lawyer before beginning the process of filing a claim. For more information, click here to get in touch with a qualified lawyer.
2. You Need to Stick to the Deadline
In Texas, you only have two years to file a claim after your accident. This may sound like a long time, but it’s not always easy to make a claim within that time frame. Some injuries don’t make themselves known until months after the accident. Other times, you’ll spend so long recovering that it can take over a year before you’re physically and mentally able to start the claims process.
On top of all that, you need to spend time researching the law and understanding how it applies to your case before you can represent yourself.
3. You Need Knowledge Regarding Evidence
You usually need evidence to back up your claim if you want to win a settlement that covers all of your damages. You may not know what evidence will be most helpful in your case, and you might not have the authority to acquire all the evidence needed.
4. You Need to Understand the Damages
Economic (financial), non-economic, and punitive damages may all be involved in your case. You need an in-depth understanding of how non-economic and punitive damages are calculated so you can work out the full value of your claim.
The average person simply won’t be able to figure out how much they may be entitled to in non-economic damages, and it takes legal expertise to figure out whether or not punitive damages may be applicable in your case.
5. You Need to Negotiate
Many people are familiar with insurance companies and have dealt with them before. However, most people aren’t familiar with the negotiation tactics required for a successful outcome when trying to win a legal settlement. If you don’t play your cards right, then you may end up walking away with a settlement far lower than you would’ve won if you’d worked with an attorney.
5 Ways a Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
1. They Understand the Process
Attorneys understand the legal process regarding personal injury claims after a car accident. They also understand how to fill out the required paperwork without making any mistakes. Working with someone who understands the process and paperwork is essential if you want your case to go smoothly.
2. They Know What Evidence You Need
When you work with an attorney, they’ll evaluate your case to figure out what kind of evidence will most likely help you have a successful claim. If you need a medical assessment, then they may be able to arrange one for you. If they believe footage from security cameras around the accident scene may help, then they most likely have the authority to acquire it.
3. They Can Calculate Your Damages
Attorneys know the appropriate formula to use when calculating non-economic damages. They should also be able to determine whether or not you may be entitled to punitive damages, and they can calculate the value of your punitive damages for you. They’ll also most likely find it much easier to calculate your economic damages than you would.
4. They Can Deal With the Other Side
Attorneys should have the experience and expertise required to negotiate with the other side. They generally know what tactics may work to get the other side to raise their settlement offer. Lawyers also enough experience to be able to tell when the other side isn’t going to budge on their offer, so your lawyer should be able to advise you on what to do if your case most likely won’t settle outside of court.
5. They Can Help You Go to Trial
Cases that can’t settle may need to go to trial. Your attorney should be able to advise on whether or not it’s wise for you to take your case to court. Experienced attorneys should also be able to represent you in court if necessary.
The average person simply doesn’t have the expertise required to appropriately represent themselves in a car accident claim. Give yourself the best shot at winning by working with a car accident attorney who knows their stuff.