If you’ve been in an accident and you’ve been injured, then you might be eligible for a settlement to compensate for your medical bills and other damages. When you’ve been offered a settlement by another insurance company, your insurance company, or a legal representative of the person who is liable for injuries, you may be wondering whether or not you need a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio or Houston to help with your case.
Do I Need a Lawyer If I Was Offered a Settlement?
For many people, being offered a settlement is a welcome relief from the financial burdens of recovering from an injury, lost wages, or other damages related to an accident. But should you accept the first settlement offer that you were given? And do you need to have a lawyer approve a settlement offer?
By law, you are allowed to accept any offer that is made to you by a legitimate organization, such as an insurance company. There is no legal reason why you should need to contact a lawyer to accept a settlement offer. However, just because there’s not a legal reason doesn’t mean you don’t need a lawyer. There are certain circumstances where you may want the help of a lawyer if you’ve been offered a settlement.
Why You Might Need a Lawyer
The top reason you may want to hire a lawyer if you’ve been offered a settlement is that the settlement offer is too small to compensate for your injuries, damages, and other expenses related to your accident. For many people who are offered a settlement from an insurance company, the settlement offer will only provide enough compensation for property damage repairs or medical bills.
When a settlement does not compensate for other expenses related to your injuries, loss of wages, pain and suffering, or other distress you feel as a result of the accident, then the offer is not a good one. If you want to have a better settlement offer that will provide you with full compensation for your suffering, then you will need the help of a lawyer to negotiate.
What Happens When You Work With a Personal Injury Lawyer in Houston?
Hiring a personal injury lawyer in San Antonio or Houston can be a great help when you need to negotiate a settlement. If you are seeking a better settlement offer from an insurance company, then having a lawyer on your side will help you advocate for your rights as a victim of an accident.
A lawyer’s expertise will help you communicate more effectively with the insurance company. Although you may be able to do some of these steps by yourself, insurance companies usually only take lawyers seriously and may not treat you fairly if you do not have legal representation.
The first thing that will happen when you contact a lawyer to help you negotiate your settlement is discussing the contingency fee for your case. Your lawyer will need to be compensated for the time they spend on your case, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be paying for their services hourly. Most lawyers will charge a contingency fee, or a small percentage of the settlement offer you will be able to claim.
Discuss Case Details
The next thing that will happen is to discuss the details of your case. Your lawyer will need to know everything about your case, including the facts of the case and other details you may have from your recollection. Also relevant will be details about what happened after the accident, such as the actions you took, the medical attention he received, and any other details that might be relevant to your case.
Discussing the case details will help your lawyer understand the circumstances of your claim, which will help them be knowledgeable about your case when it’s time to negotiate for a settlement.
Identify Negligence and Liability
While you and your lawyer are discussing your case, two concepts will be explored to determine what caused the accident and who was at fault. Most personal injury accidents are caused by negligence, which means that someone else is responsible for your pain, suffering, and damages.
Investigation and Evidence
After negligence and liability have been identified, your lawyer will likely investigate your claim and seek further evidence that will prove the case. Investigating a claim means gathering witness testimonies, police reports, and other factual information about why the accident occurred.
The evidence related to your case can include medical bills, ongoing treatments you may have, loss of wages, photographic and video evidence, and even independent medical reports. The evidence gathered from the investigation will be used to negotiate with the insurance company. When you can present evidence that proves your case, the insurance company is more likely to listen to your side and offer a better settlement.
The next step will be writing a demand letter. In general, a demand letter is a simple action that starts the negotiation process between you and the insurance company. While you may be able to write your demand letter without the help of a lawyer, it’s generally best to trust a legal representative to write this letter so that the insurance company will take you seriously.
The demand letter will review the facts of your case, present some evidence of your claim, and outline the compensation you and your lawyer feel is appropriate for your damages. The demand letter will also include a deadline and will state that legal action will be taken if the negotiation is not answered.
Finally, the negotiation step will occur between your lawyer and the insurance company or legal representative of the insurance company. Negotiating your settlement can take several days or weeks, depending on your case. If your case cannot be negotiated outside of court, your lawyer may recommend that you file a lawsuit so that you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Can a Lawyer Really Get a Better Settlement Offer in San Antonio?
Yes, a lawyer can get you a better settlement for your personal injury than you would be able to get by yourself. Although insurance companies are supposed to provide compensation for claims, many companies are reluctant to offer fair settlements to victims of accidents. Many of these companies will not respond to demand letters or will deny claims instead of negotiating with victims.
When you are working with the lawyer, this tells the insurance company that you are serious about your desire for compensation. Working with a lawyer also lets the insurance company know that your claim is legitimate and that the laws of the land are likely on your side.
If you have been in an accident and you have been offered a settlement by an insurance company or a legal representative of a person who is liable for your injury, then you may want to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer to help you negotiate for a better settlement. Even if you think the offer seems fair, having a lawyer review your offer is still a good idea. For more information about negotiating a settlement, please call Gamez Law Firm in San Antonio, TX today.