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Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault?

April 22, 2021 Car Accidents

There is no exact science as to when you should and when you should not hire a lawyer to represent you in your car accident case. While you’re not required to have legal counsel, it is always a smart idea to consult with a lawyer, even if you weren’t at fault. 

If you were injured in the accident, the resulting financial burdens can be crippling. You may face costly medical bills, lost income from missing work, and require expensive vehicle repairs. Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can ensure your rights are protected every step of the way and help you maximize the value of your claim.

Negotiations with the Insurance Company 

The insurance company is not on your side, and their goal is to pay as little as possible on your claim. Although their policyholder was at fault, they often accomplish this goal by making you a low settlement offer or attempting to get you to sign a release of liability that prevents you from recovering the compensation you rightfully deserve. These tactics are much more challenging to pull off when represented by an experienced car accident attorney. 

Knowing the Value of Your Claim

A lawyer can make sure your compensation reflects the total extent of your damages. Knowing how much your case is worth involves collecting medical records and bills, pay stubs, body shop invoices, as well as estimating the following: 

  • Future Medical Expenses: the cost of additional treatments you may need in the future due to your injuries.
  • Future Lost Wages – If you must miss work while recovering, you may be entitled to any associated reduction in your income. 
  • Diminished Earning Capacity – If your injuries prevent you from doing your job and you are forced to find employment that doesn’t provide a comparable salary, you may be entitled to recover compensation for this diminished earning capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering – In many cases, your compensation can significantly increase by accounting for damages associated with your pain and suffering and emotional distress.
  • Punitive Damages – While rare, it is sometimes possible to recover punitive damages when the other driver’s actions were particularly reckless and egregious.

Your Compensation Can Be Reduced

Even if the police report finds the other driver at fault, their insurance company may be able to make a case against the officer’s findings. California adheres to the doctrine of “pure comparative negligence” when determining damages in car accident cases. Based on these laws, the percentage of fault attributed to your actions will reduce your compensation. If the at-fault party’s insurer can successfully claim you were partially to blame, it can significantly limit your compensation. 

Speak to an Experienced San Diego Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, the San Diego Car Accident Lawyers at CaseyGerry can help. Our consultations are complimentary, and we work on a contingency fee basis. That means we will only get paid if you recover compensation. Contact us online or call (619) 238-1811 today.