An auto collision can have a far-reaching impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones. You may find that deciding what legal action to take, fixing your vehicle or searching for a replacement, making provisions to take the time you need off work, and arranging for your family’s transportation needs leaves you little time to devote to your own healing and recovery.
Dealing with an insurance company is not only an added responsibility to handle, but a key interaction that can determine the outcome of your case. When your priority should be health for you and your loved ones, you need the expertise of an attorney who can manage the legal elements of your situation. You should never be denied the compensation you need because you did not have the time, energy, health, or experience to navigate the often-tricky business of communicating with an insurance company.
Let’s take a look at how a Columbia car accident lawyer can give you the backing you need when working with an insurance company.
How a Lawyer Can Help You
The following are some of benefits of having your car accident lawyer handle your insurance company:
- Protect Your Rights. It is unfortunately common to see insurance companies take advantage of a victim’s vulnerability immediately following a car crash. Even within 24 hours of the accident, a representative may contact you to ask questions. During the period after the event, it is natural to be shaken, in addition to the physical pain you may be experiencing. Most people are not up to the task of defending their words against misappropriation at the hands of insurance companies who want to save money. Even an answer of “I’m fine” can be used to prove that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Your lawyer will know the questions and the appropriate responses, and can protect you from saying anything that may inadvertently damage your claim.
- Obtain Appropriate Compensation. You should never accept an initial settlement offer from an insurance company without speaking to your lawyer, even if the amount of compensation seems substantial. After you have been injured due to another driver’s negligence, you need to be able to recover your losses. The monetary amount you should receive is specific to the conditions of your case, and your lawyer can conduct exhaustive research to determine that number. You may not know how to find and use information such as your medical records, the amount of property damage, or the loss of your current or future income, but your lawyer will. There may also be damages you don’t know how to calculate, such as pain and suffering or emotional stress and anxiety. A lawyer will work to make sure your losses are not trivialized, and that you are fairly compensated.
- Give You Time to Recover. After an auto crash, you immediately seek and obtain professional medical care. Your attention should be on recovering and giving yourself the time, emotional calm, and physical space to heal. Having a lawyer represent you to an insurance company can allow that. In addition, there may be repercussions that even the most skilled physician cannot predict. It is not unusual for conditions to worsen, complications to arise, or even new symptoms to appear in the days, weeks, and months of healing following the crash. Your lawyer will allow you to dedicate time to your physical health, and also be aware of any potential impediments to your recovery.
- Manage Timelines. A statute of limitations dictates the amount of time you have to file a personal injury claim after the injury, and each state has its own system to govern these timelines. In South Carolina, the statute of limitations is three years after the date of the incident, under the majority of circumstances. Your lawyer will be able to make sure that you are meeting all legally-mandated deadlines, so you are not denied fair compensation due to a technicality. Your attorney will also manage timelines related to your injuries, making sure that no settlement is reached until your injuries are fully accounted for and there is no risk of future complications.
- Understand State Laws. One of your lawyer’s duties is to be well-versed in the state legal system for the state in which your case is being handled. In addition to statutes of limitations, your South Carolina personal injury lawyer will need to be knowledgeable about the specifics of areas such as shared fault rules (South Carolina follows a modified comparative negligence law with a 51% rule), caps on type and amount of compensation (for example, the maximum limit that can be awarded for punitive damages), and other rules (including specific court regulations, dog bite laws, workers’ compensation guidelines, and driving requirements).
- Demonstrate Professionalism. Handling an insurance company can be an intimidating task, especially in consideration of how much may be at stake physically, emotionally, and financially in the outcome of your case. When your lawyer speaks with an insurance company on your behalf, you make the company aware of how seriously you take the matter at hand, meeting the challenge with professionalism and confidence. Insurance companies often tend to see a car accident victim without legal representation as incompetent and inexperienced. The presence of an attorney, however, can make the process go more quickly and smoothly, as it provides some accountability and encourages the company toward forthright, ethical, and expeditious conduct.
- Give You Support. An insurance company is not on your side, but your lawyer is. While the job of an insurance company is to minimize the payout, the job of your lawyer is to protect and support you. At times, the greatest benefit a lawyer can provide a client is an intangible one. Many car accident victims find that the peace of mind they achieve by partnering with a qualified legal advocate is more valuable than any other aspect of the case. Throughout a personal injury case, important questions can arise at any point. Having a trusted confidant with experience in answering these questions makes a big difference in not only the outcome of the case, but the experience of the process as well.
The Solomon Law Group Is Here for You
To learn more about how a South Carolina personal injury lawyer can help you handle an insurance company after a car accident, schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers today. A member of our team can sit down with you to discuss the details of your situation and explore your legal rights. We want to help you receive the compensation you need to recover from your accident-related injuries.