In the U.S., there are two kinds of states when it comes to auto accidents. Those are tort or fault states and no-fault states.
No-fault states have personal injury protection insurance that pays out in the event an accident occurred. It doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was.
In tort states, drivers are required to carry liability insurance. If one driver causes an accident with another driver, the injured party (who was not at fault) makes a claim on the other driver’s auto insurance.
Despite the fact that these auto insurance companies have catchy jingles comparing themselves to good neighbors and assure you that you’re in good hands, this doesn’t tell the entire story. Indeed, insurance companies have more in common with the neighbor who desecrates the unblemished beauty of your lawn with their dog and then claims he must have gotten out of the yard.
To answer your question, yes, you should have a personal injury lawyer litigate your claim under certain circumstances.
The Rule of Thumb When Hiring a Lawyer for Car Accident that Wasn’t My Fault
We’re not here to take your money or to waste your time. Indeed, there is an endless supply of car accidents to litigate. The question you want to know is: Should I hire an attorney to litigate my claim against an at-fault driver.
The rule of thumb is this: You can submit a claim if you want and get some money back but if you have serious injuries, you should hire an attorney. By “serious” we mean any injury that will require you to miss any time from work. If you get out of the accident with a couple of scratches and body damage to your car, the insurance companies are usually pretty good about paying for the repairs.
What they’re not so good about is paying for repairs to you personally. The reason is that there are a number of people that attempt to scam insurance companies by claiming significant irreparable damage to their bodies when none really exist. For that reason, the insurance companies will stress test your case against their policyholder as much as they can. That means poring through your medical records and interpreting ambiguities in the police reports against you. This is, essentially, their job. Their interests are aligned with their policyholder’s and if they do not advocate on behalf of their policyholder, they can be sued for breaching their fiduciary duty and Geico recently found out to the tune of $8.5 million.
In addition to having a fiduciary duty to their policyholder, they also run a business. That business operates for profit and they make money by settling claims for less than they’re worth.
Your Attorney’s Job
Your attorney’s job is to assess the total value of your lawsuit and fight for your right to be compensated that amount. In the same way that the insurance company owes a fiduciary duty to their policyholder, we have a fiduciary duty to you. That means getting you compensation for your lost time from work, pain and suffering, medical expenses and more.
Contact Harris Law Firm
The Harris Law Firm has a history of success securing top settlements and verdicts for our clients; to be sure, we have secured success in car accident litigation and even 18-wheeler crash settlements. We will ensure you are compensated for all your injuries. Give us a call or contact us online. We can help.