The straight and simple answer to this question, “Is it wise to handle your own case after an accident,” is No, and there are several reasons supporting this position. Insurance adjusters are professional negotiators. A novice victim of an automobile accident is rarely a match for an insurance company employee who has been trained in the art of reducing the value of a claim through valid reasonable and legal bargaining tactics. The claimant will spend more time defending their own actions than filing against a negligent driver, as the claimant must “qualify” for coverage by proving the negligence of the opposing driver. Bad Faith Bargaining
Do not expect the insurance company to play nice or respond in any manner of fairness. Bad faith negotiating is the primary contemporary operational method of minimizing an accident and injury claim. Avoiding litigation may seem like an easy settlement process, but this can result in no settlement at all without involving an attorney. Furthermore, any claims made to the insurance company before retaining an attorney is still part of the case record and often an attorney can do little to repair damage that occurs beforehand.Comparative Negligence
Comparative negligence is the legal term for inclusion of a reasonable assumption of risk on the part of the accident victim. Insurance companies always use comparative negligence as a method of settlement reduction. Assumption of risk can put fault on the victim in several particulars of any accident. If the victim was moving at the time of the accident, then the rule of vehicular control can be questionable. If the victim receives a citation from the police, the insurance company can also claim victim fault. Even failure to wear a seat belt can be a mitigating circumstance in a settlement negotiation for both the value of the vehicle and any personal injury claims.
Property Damage and Inconvenience
Insurance companies can always argue that the vehicle was in some state of disrepair and not as valuable as claimed, especially with an older vehicle. Additionally, they may not communicate that the victim is eligible for temporary vehicle replacement rental while the car is being repaired, along with not discussing the level of coverage of the negligent driver unless pinpointed on the issue. The insurance adjuster also rarely informs the victim of the fact that they can claim the difference in resale value after a repair. A repaired wrecked vehicle rarely carries the same value after involvement in an accident.
Personal Injury Claims
Medical bills are not sufficient to prove the injury was a result of a covered accident. The injured party must be legal in all aspects of driving and the police report must indicate that the victim was injured at the scene and transported to a medical facility by a qualified medical emergency technician. Additionally, any claims for pain and suffering or proper punitive damages for negligence cannot be negotiated by the victim very efficiently, including continuing medical coverage.
This is just a short list of reasons why it is never advisable to handle an accident claim personally, as the insurance adjuster knows he has a negotiating advantage. An experienced personal injury and automobile accident attorney know how to build a case for court presentation and how to calculate a maximized settlement, including continuing medical treatment for severe injuries. Considerations should always be made to hire an auto accident attorney who is experienced to represent you and your interests for the long haul.
Lisa Coleman writes to encourage anyone who has been involved in a car accident to contact an attorney to discuss all options, especially if injured. According to Steinger, Iscoe & Green, at http://www.injurylawyers.com/miami-auto-accident-attorney/, there are specific tasks you need to undertake after an accident, whether you decide to handle it yourself or opt for the help of an attorney. They vigorously represent their clients in all manner of auto accident claims.