Strictly speaking, you do not need a lawyer to recover a settlement after a car accident in Weatherford, TX. However, it’s important to carefully consider the decision to handle your own claim. 

Pursuing a settlement on your own may be a good decision if your accident involves only property damage. There are many cases in which handling a claim on your own can be detrimental, though. 

Without legal representation, there are several pitfalls to watch for when dealing with the insurance company. Insurance adjusters use many tactics to minimize claims and shift blame. You should also be prepared to gather and present the evidence necessary to prove fault, negligence, and your full damages

Here’s what you should know before negotiating with the insurance company yourself. 

Challenges of Pursuing Your Own Car Accident Settlement

When communicating with the insurance company, remember they are not on your side. This is true even when you are dealing with your own insurance company. Here are some challenges you may face. 

You May Receive a Lowball Settlement Offer

It’s usually very easy to reach a settlement after a car accident without a lawyer. In fact, you may even be able to settle within a week. That’s because insurance companies usually make a very low initial settlement offer. This offer may not even cover your immediate medical bills and property damage, let alone your full losses. 

Be very careful about accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company. The role of a personal injury lawyer is not only negotiating a fair offer but also making sure the agreement itself does not limit your legal rights. 

Beware of Insurance Company Tactics

While dealing with an insurance adjuster, remember that they are not your friend. They may seem like they want to help you, but their entire job is protecting the insurance company’s bottom line. They may look for anything they can use against you. Common insurance company tactics include: 

  • Delaying your claim
  • Claiming you are not as injured as you say
  • Minimizing the long-term effects of the accident
  • Requesting a formal, recorded statement that may be used against you
  • Watching your social media accounts for pictures or posts they can use against you
  • Shifting blame to you or another party involved
  • Blaming your injuries on a pre-existing condition

If you are going to talk to the insurance company without a lawyer, remember these tactics. Do not give a recorded statement. Be careful about social media posts. Do not admit any blame. Gather as much evidence as possible to strengthen your claim. 

Calculating Your Full Damages May Be Complex

One of the most overlooked challenges of settling a car accident claim is calculating how much the claim is worth. The insurance company will try to minimize your damages, and it will be easier for them to do so if you are not aware of the full extent of your losses. 

You are entitled to compensation for all the losses you suffered from the accident, including ongoing therapy, future medical expenses, reduced earning capacity, and reduced quality of life. Your non-economic damages, like pain and suffering and emotional distress, are hard to quantify and very subjective. 

An injury lawyer uses many techniques to determine how much a personal injury case is worth. This calculation may require experts like financial or vocational experts and medical professionals. 

Remember: once you sign a settlement agreement, it’s final. You will not be able to recover anything else, even if it turns out your injuries are more serious than you thought. If there is any doubt about your damages, it’s best to work with a car accident lawyer.

The insurance company may be quick to offer a settlement if liability is very clear. However, if there is any room for doubt, you will need to present a strong case backed by evidence

The more serious your injuries, the more complex the accident, and the less clear the liability, the more evidence you will need. 

Evidence that supports your claim may include police reports, medical records, witness statements, expert opinion, citations, video footage, photographs, and more. 

A car accident lawyer will know how to gather critical evidence and present a convincing argument. It’s worth it to work with a lawyer if your car accident claim is not straightforward.  

Is Your Claim Too Complex To Handle On Your Own?

While it’s possible to negotiate a settlement without a lawyer, having one can often lead to a better outcome. In some cases, it’s never recommended to try to handle your own claim without legal representation. You should consult with a lawyer if your car accident claim involves any of the following: 

  • Serious injury
  • Significant time off work
  • Unclear liability
  • Shared blame
  • A multiple-vehicle accident
  • An accident with a truck or commercial vehicle

If you have been seriously hurt in an accident, Stephens Law Firm, PLLC is here to help. Contact our law office to schedule a free case review with a Weatherford car accident lawyer to discuss how we can help with your claim. We work on a contingency fee basis which means you only pay attorney’s fees if and only if we recover compensation on your behalf.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Weatherford, TX

If you’ve been injured in an accident in Weatherford and need legal help, contact our Weatherford personal injury lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
109 York Ave Suite #201
Weatherford, TX 76086
(817) 409-7000

Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 300
Fort Worth, TX 76107
(817) 398-3790