Should I Settle a Car Accident Claim Without a Lawyer in Houston?
The rate at which car accidents occur in the United States is alarming. Based on a 2016 report by the Texas Department of Transportation, one person was killed and one person was injured on Texas roadways roughly every two hours, and a reportable crash occurred every 57 seconds. Auto accidents may include injuries as well as property damage, and more than one person may be at fault for the accident as well.
Another study conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), showed that 682,000 accidents have occurred annually since 2006. The AAA’s research also found that 65% of the people that died in the accidents were motorcyclists and pedestrians.
If you’ve suffered personal injuries in a car accident in Houston, contact our team of legal experts at 713-677-2253 before speaking with an insurance adjuster. We’ll file a lawsuit for you if fair compensation isn’t made to you and we will represent you in court as well if your case goes to trial.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Settle Car Accident Claims on Your Own
Handling your case without a lawyer comes with a number of risks. You might interpret the statute of limitations wrongly and file your case when time limits have elapsed. Also, insurance companies may try to minimize the amount you’re supposed to be compensated as the damages increase, meaning it will be that much harder to fight a case that is worth more or involves extensive damages or permanent injuries.
Here are some of the mistakes people commonly make when they choose to handle their accident claim on their own:
Demanding Too Much Or Too Little
Asking too little will prevent you from maximizing your settlement while demanding beyond the value of your case will portray you as someone that doesn’t know the value of his/her accident case, to begin with. This is a problem because you’ll be signaling to the insurance company that you’re willing to accept an offer different (likely less) than the value of your case.
Assuming The Legal System Is Easy To Understand
Over the years, much of Houston’s accident law has evolved. Accident victims may find the system difficult to understand and even harder to navigate. The law can be difficult to interpret since the rules that seem to be well-established may not be, and an adjuster may take advantage of you if he/she realizes that you don’t fully understand relevant issues.
Accepting Insurance Company Offers
Most of the time, insurance companies indirectly or directly present their settlement as a final offer. When you represent yourself, you may not think about pushing for a higher offer and you may end up accepting the first offer you are given, leaving a lot of money on the table.
Settling The Claim Without Knowing The Seriousness Of Your Injuries
If you’ve sustained serious injuries and want to be compensated quickly, the amount you’ll get may not accurately reflect the true value of your accident claim. You’ll need to give the insurance company all your medical expenses and a formal report of your injuries from a doctor to be compensated with the amount you deserve. Your chances of winning fair compensation will fall if you settle a case without having all the documents needed to support your claim.
Assuming The Insurer Will Stand By Their Admission of Liability
Insurance companies usually claim they know their insured client caused the accident and want to settle the case. However, this can change if a claim is formally filed. In order to be compensated, you need to find witnesses and gather important evidence concerning the accident with the assumption that the case will proceed all the way to trial. Crash details, such as what the defendant said after the accident, matter even if the insurance company stands by their claim.
Ignoring Valid Liens
Failing to pay liens can get you into trouble, and victims rarely understand how to handle health insurance and other healthcare liens. Having an attorney who knows how to resolve lien issues concerning your case is very important as he/she will help you recover the amount you deserve. Mistakes often occur when you pay the health insurer more than what you’re required to pay and you can jeopardize your health insurance due to not understanding your lien obligations.
Contact a Houston Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you’ve suffered from an accident, we are here to help. We will guide you with regard to what your legal rights are in accordance with the law after thoroughly analyzing your case. Call us today at 713-677-2253 to speak to Houston’s local legal experts. Call now and schedule an appointment today.
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