Going Solo After An Auto Accident Can Be A Costly Mistake
By Andrew R. Bronsnick
Anyone involved in a car crash has emotional and psychological effects to consider, as well as legal and financial issues. Here’s why a caring and experienced lawyer is a necessity.
There are an estimated 6 million auto accidents every year in the United States. These result in 3 million annual injuries, two-thirds of which leave accident victims with permanent physical challenges. Here in New Jersey, the most recent statistics from the Department of Transportation show 270,231 crashes in 2017, with 61,753 resulting in injuries.
We stressed the importance of having auto insurance in place in our previous blog, but insurers can also be notoriously reluctant to payout. Here are the top five reasons for hiring a lawyer should be any accident victim’s No. 1 choice.
This may not top the list when someone thinks of a lawyer, but that’s a common mistake.
An auto accident can cause many negative effects, including some so strong they can have a lasting impact on a sufferer’s personal and professional life. Thinking clearly in that kind of compromised state is rare, while over-reliance on insurance policies to handle everything is all too common.
Hiring a lawyer tackles both of those problems simultaneously. Having a clear-headed and experienced legal ally is the best way to have your interests put first. You’ll gain a sense of comfort that your lawyer is fighting in your corner and providing you with support and advice while you focus on getting better.
Gathering Evidence Is Much Easier
A car accident must be presented efficiently and meticulously to the insurer. Insurance companies will need to be fully convinced of the facts before they agree to a payout. Our firm provides a comprehensive service in this regard by traveling to the accident site, speaking with witnesses and gathering all possible evidence to prove the victim’s version of what happened.
We also work with physicians by reviewing medical records – an important part of the evidence process. It can help prove to the victim’s employer that the accident was serious enough to warrant time off, and it also provides an informed opinion on the financial strength of the accident claim (for things such as pain and suffering and loss of income), especially if the case goes to court.
Most accidents don’t go that far, but the victim will still need a lawyer’s help in getting the best possible out-of-court settlement.
Lawyers Know How To Get The Biggest Payout
It can be a strong incentive when the victim of an accident is offered a lump sum to settle. If the victim needs a new car fast, has medical bills to pay or just wants the whole ordeal over with, it can be very tempting just to “take the money and run.”
A good lawyer knows never to settle until the full extent of the accident/injuries can be seen. (We refer to this as reaching the MMI, or Maximum Medical Improvement). This may take a while and involve numerous visits to medical professionals, but in the end, it could mean the victim gets a higher payout than was first offered.
Lawyers Are Experts At Presenting In Court
If the auto accident can’t be settled between parties and their insurers, a lawyer is an absolute must. Court is a very precise, document-heavy process. Working with us means we prepare and file all necessary documents for the case, acting as the victim’s voice through all court proceedings, including any appeals.
A lawsuit can be a long, sometimes demoralizing process. Around 7 million new cases are filed in New Jersey courts every year, which means it may take some time for the victim’s case to even be heard. Our firm will be there every step of the way.
Protection In Case The Other Party Hires A Lawyer
One difficult scenario is when you’re the victim of an accident who then starts receiving letters from the other party’s lawyer – but you don’t have one. These letters will likely be very distressing, full of jargon and demands, and showing little to no empathy for what you’re experiencing.
Going it alone means you’ve got nobody to turn to but your insurer. As we stated earlier, they’re only going to pay out if they absolutely can’t avoid it – and you can forget any hopes of the opposing lawyer seeing things your way.
Get Mandelbaum Salsburg’s Years Of Experience On Your Side
Our firm is here to make your auto accident as painless as possible. When you work with us, you’ll always have access to experienced trial attorneys – you’ll never have your claim handled by an inexperienced associate.
We treat every case personally. If you can’t visit our office during standard work hours, we can create an appointment that suits you. Evenings, weekends or traveling to meet you at your home or hospital – your convenience comes first.
We care for clients in Caldwell, Livingston, Montclair, Montville, Roseland, Wayne, West Orange and other surrounding towns in Essex County.
Remember – you’re not alone during this upsetting time. Reach out to us for more information, and don’t forget to mark October 10 on your driving calendar, when New Jersey reminds us to Put the Brakes on Fatalities.