Can I Settle My Own Car Accident Without a Lawyer?

Not all car accident claims require the help of a lawyer. Sometimes, you can represent yourself and process your own insurance claim.

However, if your case involves serious injuries, multiple parties, and a large amount of money, then you need the expertise of a car accident lawyer. But if your car accident is minor, you can try to settle a car accident claim without an attorney.

Can I Deal With The Insurance Company And Claims Adjusters On My Own?

Whether your car accident claim is big or small, dealing with an insurance company is always a pain. They will do their best to give victims the smallest amount of compensation possible.

If you are handling your insurance claim without a lawyer, here are five tips on dealing with insurance claims adjusters.

1. Remember that the insurance adjuster is working against your interest.

Keep in mind that the adjuster works for the insurance company, so they will look after the company’s interest – not yours.

2. Do not admit fault – ever.

The insurance adjuster may try to get you to admit fault for the crash so they can reduce the compensation money you are entitled to.

3. Do not go on record.

The adjuster may ask you about the details of the crash, looking for things they can use to deny your claim or reduce your settlement. You are not obligated to make a statement; if you want to, ensure you have an attorney present.

4. Do not accept a quick settlement offer.

One common tactic of insurance claims adjusters is to make a quick offer through a private settlement. They will attempt to make the victim accept it right away before they realize the true value of the damages they should be getting.

5. Do not release your medical records.

While the insurance company has the right to review your medical records related to the accident, some insurance adjusters would try to dig into your history to see if you have any preexisting conditions that could have contributed to the car crash.

Can I File a Car Accident Case Without a Lawyer?

Yes, you can. Follow these five steps to filing a car accident case.

Determine The Extent Of The Damages.

If you have been involved in a car accident, the driver at-fault should compensate you for the following:

Having a rough estimate of these claims would be best before you start negotiating a settlement with the insurance company.

Identify All The Parties At Fault

If you have been injured in a car accident, the other driver may not be the only party you want to pursue a claim.

If you were hit by a truck, you could make claims against the driver’s employer if the accident happened while the driver was on the clock.

If a drunk driver hits you, you could sue the bar that served them alcohol as well.

Gather Evidence

You should have solid evidence that the other driver was at fault to build a strong case. Get a witness statement or ask for a police report. Your medical records will show the extent of your losses, and photos could help bolster your claim of pain and suffering.

Carefully Review The Settlement Offer

If the other driver’s insurance company finally accepts fault and makes an offer, review it carefully to make sure the amount is enough to compensate all your present and future losses if you cannot return to work.

If you do not agree with the offer from the auto insurance company, you could negotiate a higher amount or go to court to obtain the compensation you deserve. If this is the case, you will need to hire a car accident lawyer.

Don’t Wait Too Long To Take Action

Filing for car accident claims must comply with the statute of limitations. Therefore, if you do not file a claim against the at-fault driver within the prescribed period, you lose your chance to make your case.

When To Represent Yourself Without a Personal Injury Lawyer

Unless someone was killed or got seriously injured, most car accident cases don’t end up in court. For simple fender benders that can be fixed at a repair shop, these cases are often settled with the insurance company.

When should you represent yourself in a car accident claim? Here are three instances that may not need a lawyer.

The at-fault driver is not contesting your claim

If the driver who hit you admits legal responsibility, then you can focus on gathering evidence of the damages and negotiating a fair settlement for your losses.

You know how to write a demand letter

If you know how to argue your points – that the other driver was negligent and caused your injuries and property damage – then you can write your own demand letter and get a satisfactory settlement after a car accident.

You have no choice

Maybe no lawyer wants to represent you in a minor fender bender because the damages you are claiming are so small. If this is the case, then you have no choice but to represent yourself.

When Is Hiring a Car Accident Attorney a Must?

There are six reasons why you should get the services of a lawyer after a car accident.

  • You got injured in the accident.
  • You are unable to go back to work due to your car accident injuries.
  • There are multiple parties involved in the car accident.
  • You failed to negotiate with the insurance company.
  • Your own insurance company won’t help you.
  • The car accident resulted in death.
  • You have a personal injury lawsuit and your case is going to trial.

What Can Go Wrong With My Car Accident Claim With No Lawyer?

As mentioned earlier, the goal of an insurance company is to pay as little as possible and look for every reason possible to deny or devalue your case.

Here are three things that could happen with you and the insurance company if you proceed with your car accident claim without a lawyer to protect you.

  • The at-fault driver’s insurance company will lowball you.
  • The other driver’s insurance company will take your statements out of context.
  • The other driver’s insurer will try to prove that you caused the car accident.

How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help With Your Personal Injury Case?

A personal injury lawyer can help secure compensation for your accident while you focus on recovering from your injuries. They will take care of the entire settlement process – from investigating the car accident and calculating fair compensation based on your medical expenses and lost wages, right up to writing a demand letter and securing a favorable verdict.

Since you know that the insurance company is always looking after its bottom line, a personal injury lawyer is someone who will always be on your side – fighting for your rights.

Among the tasks of a personal injury lawyer are:

  • Collecting evidence
  • Analyzing the car accident report
  • Talking to police officers
  • Interviewing witnesses
  • Consulting collision experts to support your claim
  • Compiling your medical bills
  • Identifying property damage that you might not know you can recover
  • Advocating for you with the insurance company
  • Drafting a letter to the insurance company
  • Navigating issues that may arise during the claims process
  • Fighting for a fair settlement agreement with the insurance company

How to Settle a Car Accident Claim Without a Lawyer

If you don’t want to hire a lawyer to settle a car accident claim, here are a few steps on how you can make your case yourself.

  • Evaluate the extent of the damages.
  • Talk to the insurance company.
  • Write a demand letter to the insurance company.
  • Try to settle out of court.
  • Do your due diligence if you need to go to court.

If you decide to go to court, find out how much settlement other drivers have received in previous lawsuits. This will help you come up with a ballpark figure and improve your chances of winning.

Remember, you might have to pay the other drivers’ attorney fees if you lose your case. Be sure you are well-prepared before you go to court.

Claiming for Damages And Injury Claims, Including Medical Bills and Lost Earnings

In a personal injury claim, damages are classified as either:

  • Damages capable of exact calculation (often called “special” damages), or
  • Damages that are not capable of exact calculation (“general” damages)

Damages capable of exact calculation include:

Meanwhile, damages incapable of exact calculation include mental anguish and the pain and suffering you experienced as a result of your injuries.

If Self-Representation Is Not An Option, Get a Free Consultation From An Experienced Car Accident Lawyer.

Like most people who have been in car accidents, the first thing on your mind is probably to sue the other parties at fault. And while we have outlined how you can settle a car accident claim without an attorney, there are better ways to go about it.

Instead of trying to represent yourself and settle a car accident on your own, let The Clark Law Office help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on your recovery. Contact us today to book a free consultation.

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