Not all car accidents need a lawyer’s help to resolve. If you have been in a car accident but were not injured, you will not need a lawyer to resolve the insurance claim for collision damage. Insurance companies are set up to quickly respond to collision claims and to quickly get them resolved, with a rental car if possible while your car is being repaired.
But if you have been injured, or think your “minor” injuries are not resolving quickly enough, it may be a good idea to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about your options for legal representation as you process the insurance claim for your injuries. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation to help you understand the car accident claim process and what you can expect. Auto insurance companies each handle injury claims differently. Attorneys experienced in car accident claims are familiar with the various auto insurance companies and know how to prepare and present the claim in the best way for different companies. Often, after learning more about your injury claim, the attorney may suggest that you can work it out with the insurance company on your own, if you want to.
For many, though, struggling through the pain of an auto injury makes fighting with an insurance company just too much. In that situation, having a lawyer on your side will remove one stress from the car accident insurance claim process. The lawyer can answer your questions:
- Why won’t my regular family doctor see me for my auto injuries?
- Why do I have to keep going to physical therapy—it takes so much time?
- What insurance pays for my medical bills?
- Why should my insurance (auto or health or Medicare or Medicaid) pay for my medical treatment when the other guy was at fault?
- The co-pays and deductibles are killing me. The other guy’s insurance admitted fault for the accident, why aren’t they paying these as I get my medical care?
- My health insurer sent me a letter telling me to pay them back for the medical bills from the car accident? What is that about? I thought I paid for health insurance and don’t have to pay anyone back.
- I got a letter from Medicare wanting to know all kinds of information about my injury and the car accident. What do they want to know that for? Will I lose Medicare?
- The insurance company for the other guy wants me to sign a release for them to get all my medical records, not just ones for the car accident. Can they do that?
- The insurance company for the other guy wants all my employment records because I have missed time from work? Can they get those?
- I think I might have a permanent injury and will never get back to the way I was before the car accident. What is my claim worth?
Although you may have lots of questions about your accident claim, you probably don’t have the means to pay for an attorney by the hour to represent you. There is good news. If you choose to go forward with an attorney for your car accident claim, experienced auto injury attorneys, like those at Clawson & Clawson LLP, are permitted by law to represent you on a “contingency” fee basis. This means that you will not owe any attorney fee until the lawyer resolves your claim and you receive money in a final settlement.
When you receive your settlement, no matter how long that takes, only then will you pay the lawyer from your settlement the percentage of that recovery that you and the lawyer had agreed to when you hired the lawyer (usually one-third of your settlement amount). While your claim is pending, all the questions you have, as well all contact with insurance companies, medical billing issues and other related matters, will be handled by the attorney. Most persons seriously injured in a car accident conclude that concentrating on their recovery from their auto injury, and not having to deal with insurance companies or medical billing companies, is well worth the attorney’s fee!