After a car accident, many injured people believe that the other driver was so obviously at fault that they don’t need a Cleveland car accident lawyer. However, you should never be over-confident when it comes to dealing with insurance adjusters.
They are highly trained to find fault in your actions, twist your words, and interpret the law in their client’s favor. Here are just a few reasons why you should have your own trained professional protecting your interests,
1. As a Claimant, You Have the Burden of Proof
If you file a car accident claim and demand damages, you must bring preponderant evidence that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care.
- They breached their duty through negligence.
- The negligent actions caused your accident.
- You suffered injuries and economic damages as a result of the accident.
Without solid knowledge of the law and experience in dealing with insurance adjusters, you will probably not manage to persuade them that you have a valid claim. You must remember that adjusters are not interested in who is right – they just want to reduce liability and maximize their company’s profits.
2. You May Not Be Able to Access Useful Evidence
Let us suppose that you saw the other driver talking on their mobile phone when they crashed their car into yours. Of course, the driver will quickly put their phone away as you start documenting the accident scene. Later, they will deny that they were using the phone – which makes them liable for distracted driving.
A Cleveland car accident attorney has the right to issue an official request to the driver’s mobile carrier and obtain a log of their phone usage. The log will clearly show that the driver was engaged in a conversation at the time of the crash.
As an individual, you do not have the right to seek this type of evidence. And this is just one example of items that only an attorney can lawfully obtain to prove your case.
3. You May Not Evaluate Your Damages Correctly
In Ohio, claimants in car accident cases are allowed to recover both economic damages and non-economic damages for pain and suffering. But how much does that mean in your case?
You may think that you can err on the safe side and ask for a large amount of money. This is when the insurance adjuster will come up with the accusation that you are trying to defraud the auto insurance system with a frivolous claim.
What if you ask for a moderate amount or even accept the adjuster’s offer? In this case, you may be left with actual damages not covered by the settlement, such as:
- Lost wages
- Future medical care costs
- Loss of earning capacity.
A lawyer will evaluate your damages with your doctor, by asking for a clear estimate of your chances to make a full recovery. If you are expected to be left with a form of impairment, the attorney will add to your amount of damages the future costs with medical care, physical therapy, or assistive devices, as applicable.
4. You May Not Be Able to Prove the Other Driver’s Liability
Negotiating with an insurance adjuster is no easy feat. They will put up a fierce defense on behalf of their client – going as far as claiming that you were more at fault than them.
Ohio uses a comparative negligence principle in determining who has the right to recover damages. You won’t recover any compensation if a jury finds you were more than 50% at fault. If you are 10% at fault, you can only recover 90% of your damages.
Insurance companies will use this rule to try to minimize your payout. However, a lawyer has the experience to prove the other driver was at fault.
5. The Adjuster May Delay the Decision Until It Is Too Late to Act
Let us imagine that, while recovering from your accident injuries, you take the time to read the laws and build your defense. In this case, the adjuster has one final trick up their sleeve. They will stop communicating with you and delay making a decision related to your claim
Finally, they will come up with a lowball offer. The timing will be chosen as closely as possible to the expiration of the statute of limitations in Ohio – which is 2 years after the date of your accident. At this point, you do not have any further legal options to recover your damages.
Let a Skilled Cleveland Car Accident Lawyer Win Your Fair Settlement!
Hiring a lawyer is your best decision if you want to receive fair compensation for your damages and close the case without having to go to court. An experienced Cleveland car accident lawyer at our firm will represent you on a contingency fee basis – no fees until we win your case.
We also offer each new client a free case evaluation, so call us today to schedule your initial appointment: 844-853-7373!