In South Carolina, recovering financial compensation after a car accident usually means filing a fault-based claim with the other driver’s insurance company. While you have the option to try to handle your insurance claim on your own, there are several reasons why this is inadvisable. Filing a successful auto insurance claim requires a significant amount of time and effort, and it requires extensive knowledge of South Carolina’s personal injury laws. Additionally, while the insurance companies want you to believe otherwise, the reality is that they are not on your side.
Instead of trying to handle your auto insurance claim on your own, it is a far better option to hire an attorney to represent you. Here are 10 ways that an experienced personal injury lawyer can help with your insurance claim after a car accident in South Carolina:
1. Making Sure You Do Not Share Damaging Information
While you cannot intentionally misrepresent information to the insurance companies, you are well within your rights not to say anything that the insurance companies might be able to use against you. But, if you contact the insurance companies yourself, they will use various tactics to try to get you to say things – on record – that will make it more difficult for you to recover full compensation for your injuries.
2. Making Sure You Do Not Provide Inaccurate Information
One tactic the insurance companies commonly use is to ask claimants what they were doing when the accident occurred. They do not ask this out of curiosity; rather, they ask this because they want to you to admit to being at fault in the accident. Yet, at this stage, the reality is that you have no idea if you were at fault or not. The insurance companies know this, but they want to get you on record, at least acknowledging that you may have contributed to causing the collision. To avoid making costly assumptions, it is best to hire a lawyer to deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
3. Conducting an Independent Investigation
The insurance companies will investigate the accident, and they will want you to rely on their version of the events. However, their version of the events will be skewed in their favor; and, in order to protect your legal rights, you need to arrive at your own determination of liability. In order to do this, you will need to hire a law firm to conduct an independent investigation and gather the evidence required in order to fully assess your claim for damages.
4. Determining Liability with Your Best Interests in Mind
With proof of the cause of the accident in hand, your attorney can determine liability with your best interests in mind. This is important because the insurance companies will be basing their determination on their best interests—not yours.
5. Making Sure You Obtain Appropriate Medical Care
Your attorney can also help make sure you obtain appropriate medical care. If you rely on the insurance companies to refer you to a doctor, they will refer you to someone with whom they have a relationship—and this doctor will have a financial incentive to appease the insurance company by providing the minimum treatment required for your accident-related injuries. Your attorney can refer you to a doctor in your area who specializes in treating traumatic injuries, and whose only priority is to make sure you heal as fully and quickly as possible.
6. Calculating Your Financial Losses
When you have an insurance claim, establishing liability is only part of the equation. You also need to establish the amount that you are entitled to recover under South Carolina law. Your attorney can use your medical and employment records to calculate your losses—including not only the losses you have incurred to date but also the losses that you are reasonably expected to incur in the future.
7. Calculating Your Non-Financial Losses
As a car accident victim in South Carolina, you are also entitled to compensation for your non-financial losses. This includes losses such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. The insurance companies will not offer compensation for these losses voluntarily, and they will not calculate your non-financial losses for you. If you are going to recover these additional damages, you are going to need an experienced personal injury lawyer to fight for full compensation on your behalf.
8. Letting the Insurance Companies Know that You Will Go to Trial if Necessary
When deciding whether to settle car accident victims’ insurance claims (and how much to offer in settlement negotiations), the insurance companies consider a variety of different factors. This includes the likelihood of victims taking their cases to trial. If you do not have an attorney, the insurance companies will know that you are not prepared to go to trial, and this means that they will not offer the full compensation you deserve.
9. Negotiating for a Fair Insurance Settlement
Negotiating a fair insurance settlement requires full knowledge of the facts of your case and the amount you are entitled to recover under South Carolina law. It also requires the ability to overcome the arguments and tactics that the insurance companies commonly use to deny accident victims’ claims. Without an experienced attorney representing you, you are going to have very little chance of negotiating a settlement for just compensation.
10. Deciding How and When to Resolve Your Auto Insurance Claim
A personal injury attorney can also help you decide how and when to resolve your claim. When is the right time to settle? When should you make the decision to take your claim to trial? You only get one chance to recover just compensation, so it is extremely important that you rely on the advice of experienced legal counsel.
Injured in a Car Accident in South Carolina? Speak with a Rock Hill, SC Personal Injury Lawyer Today
At Lewis Law Firm LLC, our Rock Hill, SC personal injury lawyers represent car accident victims throughout South Carolina in insurance settlement negotiations and trials. If you have been injured and would like to speak with an auto accident attorney, we encourage you to call 803-327-1103 or contact us online now for a free consultation.