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After a car accident, you have the option of hiring a lawyer or dealing directly with the defendant’s insurance company. Taking care of the claim on your own appears to be a good choice at first because you won’t have to worry about finding a lawyer, or paying for one.
This is probably the worst decision you can make because the at-fault insurance company actually prefers to work with unrepresented victims like yourself, due to your limited knowledge on the law and the value of your claim.
Things Unrepresented Car Accident Victims Risk Forfeiting
When unrepresented car accident victims are given a chance to calculate the damages after a car accident, all they can think about is medical bills. Often, the insurance company will agree to these demands because it is a fraction of what they would have compensated you with, had you had an attorney present.
In this article we will discuss some damages you might definitely miss out on if you handle a car accident claim without a car accident attorney.
1. Aftercare Expenses and Costs
Unfortunately, some accidents leave victims disabled and in need of long-term care. Depending on the situation, some will remain at home while others are sent to a nursing facility. And as if that is not enough, unrepresented victims underestimate this damage or simply guess potential costs. Things such as nursing care are expensive, and soon the bills will overwhelm your family.
2. Future Earning Potential
While some people can return to previous employment or start afresh, others will never get back to work. For the latter, it means loss of future wages, and sadly, an individual who was once financially stable becomes a beggar.
Without experience, you will not be able to calculate your potential future wages accurately. That said, you need the help of a lawyer, who will consult with vocational experts and come up with an exact amount of how much the accident has robbed you.
3. Future Medical Care Expenses
Sometimes, the type of injuries sustained after a car crash requires long-term or lifetime medication. The victim may need multiple surgeries, pain medications, or physical therapy, to mention a few. If you calculate your settlement demands based on the current pressing medical expenses, you will have to handle future medical burdens alone.
Unfortunately, the defendant’s insurance company will not enlighten you on this. As they are out to make money. They might seem eager to handle your claim, but it is because they are trying to keep as much profit as possible.
4. Compensation for Lost Value
After a car crash, your car will most likely be damaged, and its value will be reduced. In the worst case scenario, totaled. To recover that loss, you must claim diminished value damages. And as with the above cases, most unrepresented car accident victims do not know that they can get compensated for lost value.
To get the right estimate of diminished damages, you need an expert to calculate the value of your car before and after the accident. The compensation can help you get another vehicle or repair the old one.
5. Punitive Damages
Last but not least, car accident victims should claim punitive damages, where applicable. The court awards punitive damages not primarily to compensate the victim for damages or injuries, but to punish the driver at fault and warn others against such behavior.
Seek Legal Counsel
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of litigation. Not only does it shed light on matters the ordinary citizen may not be aware of, but it also ensures you get fairly compensated. Avoid dealing with insurance companies on your own; they almost always never have your best interests at heart.