Benefits of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
The benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer after an accident are evident, considering that in 2020, four people sustained injuries in traffic accidents every minute across the U.S. If you suffer injuries in a car collision, trying to understand how to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and vehicle repairs on your own can be difficult.
A car accident lawyer can save you time filing an insurance claim by negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf and ensuring that you get a fair settlement. When you need help with Michigan’s no-fault claims process, a car accident attorney at Cochran Kroll & Associates, P.C. can provide the legal support to file your claim.
Different Types of Insurance Claims in Michigan
After a car accident, navigating insurance claims can be complex. Michigan is a no-fault state, meaning you must file a claim with your auto insurance company first, regardless of fault. However, if you’ve suffered severe injuries or extensive vehicle damage, you may need to pursue a claim against the responsible party.
Working with a car accident lawyer is beneficial in these situations. They can guide you through the process and explain the following types of claims available based on your accident’s circumstances.
Personal Injury Protection Claim
Your personal injury protection (PIP) policy includes benefits for various expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and household replacement services up to $20 per day. In the case of a severe injury, you might qualify for in-home attendant care benefits of up to 56 hours per week.
A car accident lawyer from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. will help you navigate the PIP claim process, ensuring proper processing and maximizing your entitlement to benefits. For instance, if you have a closed head injury, your lawyer will compile and analyze medical records to support your diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care needs. They also help secure household replacement services for your recovery, like housekeeping and meal preparation.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Claims
After a car accident, the police collect information about each driver’s insurance coverage. If the other driver is uninsured, this crucial detail is documented in the police report.
With this information, your car accident lawyer can help you file an uninsured motorist (UM) claim under your auto insurance policy. UM coverage is designed to cover medical expenses and losses resulting from injuries caused by an uninsured driver.
When the at-fault driver’s auto insurance falls short of covering your medical bills, a car accident attorney can help you leverage your underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. They guide you through the process, ensuring your UIM claim is filed successfully with your car insurance company.
To strengthen your claim, they gather evidence, such as surveillance footage of a driver texting while driving, to demonstrate the other driver’s liability and insufficient auto insurance coverage.
If your vehicle sustains damage of $3,000 or less, your lawyer may advise you to file a mini-tort lawsuit against the other driver’s insurance company. However, you can pursue this claim only if the driver is determined to be 50% or more at fault for the accident. The lawsuit typically begins in small claims or municipal court and may escalate to higher courts if needed.
When you hire a car accident lawyer, you will benefit from their knowledge and experience navigating the mini-tort process. Your attorney can calculate the damages you can seek based on the estimated repair costs and the car’s pre-accident value. If your vehicle requires additional repairs, your attorney may recommend getting an estimate from a mechanic or repair shop to strengthen your claim.
Non-Economic Damages Claim
Filing a claim for pain and suffering requires demonstrating the negligent driver was at fault for the accident and caused the injury. You must prove that your injury significantly impaired an essential body function and affected your daily activities.
Your lawyer will help you file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company and negotiate a settlement for your physical and emotional damages caused by the accident. Our attorneys will use your medical records that showcase the severity of your injuries, the treatments you have undergone, and the emotional impact your injuries have had on your daily life.
Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer for Car Insurance Claims
Having an auto accident lawyer with experience filing car insurance claims can help you deal with insurance companies and achieve a favorable outcome. They will protect your interests and help you receive compensation from the insurer.
Benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer to help you receive compensation and navigate the legal process smoothly include the following:
Provide Realistic Expectations for Your Car Accident Claim
Several factors can affect the timeframe for receiving a settlement in a car accident case. Having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side can help you determine factors that may delay or expedite your compensation process.
While Michigan law requires auto insurers to pay PIP claims within 30 days, filing a claim with the other party’s insurance company may prolong the process. The insurance company’s acknowledgment and investigation do not guarantee timely settlement payments. They may attempt to reduce your compensation by accusing you of contributing to the accident.
It can take weeks to estimate the total damages for your claim, including injury claims and damage to your car. A lawyer can help you file a claim with your own insurance provider. They explain what you should expect and address concerns about the settlement process.
Gather Evidence to Support Your Claim
Insurance companies must compensate you if your claim contains clear evidence demonstrating that your injuries resulted from the accident. However, an insurer may reject your claim if you submit insufficient evidence.
To build a compelling case, you must have strong evidence, such as witness statements and photographs. A car accident lawyer can gather the evidence needed to support your claim. They can use medical records and expert testimony to highlight the extent of your injuries.
Your attorney can also interview you and your loved one for firsthand accounts of how the injury has affected your daily life, resulting in emotional distress and physical pain.
Help You File Accurate, Timely Paperwork
Navigating the legal process of filing accurate and timely paperwork can be overwhelming, especially if you have no prior experience. However, an experienced lawyer can ensure that all the necessary paperwork is completed correctly and submitted within the required deadlines.
Your attorney can help you file your personal injury protection (PIP) claim with your auto insurance company within one year of the accident date to be eligible for no-fault benefits. With their knowledge of Michigan’s requirements and legal procedures, your attorney will guide you through the paperwork, ensuring that all relevant and accurate information is included.
Handle All Communication with Insurers
When the insurance company’s adjuster contacts you for a statement, your lawyer safeguards your right to compensation. Instead of preparing your own statement, your lawyer guides you through the process, preparing you for potential questions and helping you avoid saying something that could undermine your case.
Your lawyer will communicate with the insurance company, ensuring regular contact and providing any additional documentation as required. Your legal team will monitor the progress of your claim, ensuring the insurance company processes your claim promptly.
By ensuring the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, your lawyer protects your interests, avoids potential delays, and maximizes your chances of a favorable outcome. Trusting a car accident lawyer grants you peace of mind and professional guidance to navigate the claim process successfully.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Third-party insurance companies may not always prioritize your best interests, offering settlements that fall short of covering your injury-related costs. However, enlisting the services of a car accident attorney increases your chances of securing a fair settlement.
Your attorney calculates the value of your claim, considering crucial factors like medical expenses, vehicle damage, and lost income. Using their expertise, they ensure that your claim accurately reflects the full extent of your damages.
During negotiations with the insurance company’s adjuster, your attorney advocates for your rights. They emphasize the severity of your injuries and the ongoing physical and mental impact on your life. Your attorney can point to your medical records and photos of your injuries as proof of your damages, making it harder for insurance adjusters to undercut your compensation.
How to Choose the Right Car Accident Lawyer
Choosing the right car accident lawyer is crucial, especially when involved in a claim with a third-party insurer. Speak with multiple attorneys to determine who can best represent your interests and maximize the benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer.
As you meet potential lawyers, consider the following factors to guide your decision:
Look for Legal Experience with Car Accidents And Insurance Claims
Your car accident lawyer should have a solid track record of handling car accidents and filing insurance claims. Since they understand Michigan’s insurance laws and have the experience to negotiate with the insurance company, they can help you achieve a successful settlement of your claim.
Our Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. attorneys have extensive experience managing motor vehicle accident claims. Senior partner Eileen Kroll’s background in nursing offers her a unique insight and skill set for car accident claims involving severe injuries. She can examine your medical records and connect them to your accident so you can receive an accurate assessment of your healthcare expenses.
Determine if They Have a Good Local and Online Reputation
A lawyer’s reputation can speak volumes about their credibility and reliability. To assess an attorney’s local reputation, ask friends, family, and colleagues if they have worked with the lawyer. You can ask about their experience with a lawyer’s communication style, legal strategy, and transparency regarding the claims process. This firsthand information can provide valuable insights.
Searching online for a law firm’s reviews on Google Reviews and Yelp from past clients can be enlightening. These reviews offer valuable perspectives on the experiences of previous clients, the lawyer’s professionalism, and their track record of achieving positive results.
For a more formal evaluation, consider checking with Michigan’s Bar Association. The site maintains records of lawyers and can provide information on any disciplinary actions or complaints filed against a firm or specific attorney. Taking this step allows you to gain an overview of the lawyer’s professional conduct and check for any red flags before you schedule a consultation with them.
Determine if the Lawyer Has a Successful Track Record
An attorney who has successfully managed cases like yours in the past is likely to understand what needs to be done to win your case. You can ask potential lawyers about their track record and case outcomes similar to yours. At Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C., we have won our auto accident clients millions for their injuries. For example, we won $3.3 million for an injured motorist in Tuscola County and $400,000 for an injured woman from Monroe.
The answers should be detailed and clear, providing concrete examples of their work and demonstrating that the lawyers understand your situation well. A lawyer with experience should show confidence and be realistic when telling you about the timetable for settling your claim due to their past experiences.
Ask About How the Lawyer Will Communicate With You
When choosing a lawyer, they must be able to break down legal language into clear and understandable terms in a way that helps you know your options. You can gauge this during initial consultations by asking potential lawyers how they simplify complex concepts to ensure their clients understand the details of their cases.
A good attorney should also keep you updated on the progress of your case. You can ask potential lawyers about their communication style and frequency to ensure they’ll meet your needs.
For instance, you can find their preferred communication channels, such as email, phone, video, or in-person meetings, to ensure compatibility with your preferences. Ask your lawyer if they can accommodate special communication requirements, such as regular meetings or detailed written updates on your case.
Find Out Their Fee Structure
While some lawyers work on an hourly fee basis, other attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. In Michigan, contingency fees are limited to one-third of your settlement. Your lawyer can tell you about their fee structure and any additional costs, such as court and expert witness fees, that may arise during your case.
At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., we take car accident cases on a contingency basis, so clients don’t have to worry about upfront fees. This approach helps alleviate strain on your finances and prevents the accumulation of additional debt.
Maximize Your Compensation with an Experienced Michigan Car Accident Attorney
Hiring a car accident lawyer who understands the specific details of your damages and how to negotiate a fair settlement can greatly increase your chances of receiving the highest possible compensation. When you need a Michigan car accident attorney, choose Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. to handle your claim.
With our extensive experience with auto accident cases, we will work with you to build a strong claim and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, showcasing the benefits of hiring a car accident lawyer.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 1-866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.