Should I Get a Pittsburgh Traffic Accident Attorney for an Auto Accident that Wasn’t My Fault?
When it comes to auto-related incidents, it’s common to think that you don’t need an attorney, especially if the accident wasn’t your fault. It can be tempting to rely on the opinion of the insurance company and take a settlement offer at face value.
However, complications can arise that may require the help of an attorney. For example:
– What if the other driver’s insurance company offers a settlement that you think is less than you deserve?
– What if you’re not sure how much you’re entitled to?
– What if the insurance company tries to say that you’re partially or wholly at fault?
– What if you have a serious injury, but the insurance company won’t tell you how much insurance coverage there is?
Dealing with insurance companies is challenging during the best of times. If you were injured in an accident and it was the other driver’s fault, it can be prudent to speak with an attorney to understand your options.
In this article, we’ll address three common scenarios where you should consult with a Pittsburgh traffic accident attorney.
You Receive a Lowball Settlement Offer
It probably comes as no surprise to find out that an insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries and property damage. After all, the smaller your settlement check, the more money the insurance company is able to keep in their pockets. They even employ a team of attorneys to back them up, which can make it feel like you’re David going against Goliath.
It’s not unusual for an insurance company to take advantage of your situation, knowing that you’re unable to work and accumulating a growing stack of medical bills. They could easily offer you less than you deserve to make you go away.
Another red flag is if the insurance company makes a settlement offer very soon after the accident. This expedience may seem like a good thing because it means you get cash in hand without delay or any arguments. However, an early offer should make you cautious.
A speedy settlement offer could signal that your claim is worth significantly more, and the insurance companies are hoping that by making the claims process “easy” won’t put too much thought into it.
But if you accept a settlement offer before you have healed or undergone all necessary treatment, you may be selling yourself short. Before accepting a settlement offer, it’s a good idea to discuss it with an attorney to determine whether what the insurance company is offering you is fair.
You’re Uncertain How Much Your Claim is Worth
Do you know how much money you should receive as compensation for your claim? For most people, the answer is no. They might add up their medical bills, property damage, and the wages they lost while out of work, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Depending on the circumstances of the traffic accident, you could be eligible to receive compensation for the following:
– Medical bills (including appointments, prescriptions, therapy, surgery, and equipment)
– Future medical expenses (these could extend months or years)
– Lost wages
– Diminished earning capacity resulting from your injury
– Disability, disfigurement
– Pain and suffering
– Loss in quality of life
– Loss of consortium
– Wrongful death
– Punitive damages
As you can see, the list of potential compensation areas is vast, and many of these are negotiable. While an insurance company will have its own model for determining these figures, their lens tends to favor their insured, not you.
An attorney will evaluate each of these areas and assign a fair value. Once an attorney determines how much your claim is worth, they will fight tooth and nail to secure as much compensation as possible for you.
The Insurance Company Tries to Assign Fault to You
Depending on the facts of your case, an insurance company might try to place some portion of responsibility on you. If you are partially at fault for the collision, your recovery can be reduced.
For example, let’s say you were in an accident, and your damages were $100,000. If you are considered 20% at fault, this could reduce your award from $100,000 to $80,000.
In most cases, our clients are not responsible at all for their accidents, but sometimes insurance companies will try to shift blame. If they do this to you, it can be tough to argue your case on your own. Traffic accident attorneys are experienced at evaluating all of the evidence and advocating for their clients. The goal here is to make sure that you are not held responsible for an accident that someone else caused.
Discuss Your Case with a Pittsburgh Auto Accident Attorney
The team at Hal Waldman and Associates has a combined experience of more than 50 years. Throughout this time, we’ve successfully litigated extremely tough cases, and we’ve built a network of trusted experts to support your claim.
Our mission is to secure maximum compensation for each of our clients. We offer a free consultation, so we encourage you to get in touch with us today at (412) 850-3172.