After a car crash, you can choose to work with a lawyer or deal with the defendant’s insurance company on your own. Handling the claim alone seems like a great idea because there is no stress of choosing a lawyer, or paying one.
However, the at-fault insurance company loves working with unrepresented victims because they do not know the law or the value of their claims.
When given a chance to calculate the damages, the only economic damages that come to victims’ minds are medical bills and damage to their car. The insurance company will agree to your demands because it is a small percentage of your rightful compensation.
In this article we will discuss some damages you will miss out on if you handle a car accident claim without a lawyer.
What Are These Damages That You Can Miss Out On?
1. Ongoing Medical Care Expenses
Sometimes, the type of injuries sustained after a car crash requires long-term or lifetime medication. The victim may need multiple surgeries, pain medications, or physical therapy, to mention a few. If you calculate your settlement demands based on the current pressing medical expenses, you will have to handle future medical burdens related to the injury on your own.
Unfortunately, the defendant’s insurance company will not enlighten you on this. They are out to make money. They might seem eager to handle your claim, but it is because they are benefiting.
2. Aftercare Expenses and Costs
Unfortunately, some accidents leave victims disabled and in need of long-term care. Depending on the situation, some will remain at home while others are sadly sent to a nursing facility.
As if that is not enough, unrepresented victims underestimate this damage or guess potential costs. Nursing care is expensive, and soon the bills will overwhelm your family.
3. Loss of Future Earning Potential
While some people can return to previous work or start new employment, others will never get back to work. For the latter, it means loss of future wages, and sadly, an individual who was once independent and financially stable becomes dependent.
Without experience, you will not be able to calculate your potential future wages accurately. That said, you need the help of a lawyer, who will consult with vocational experts and come up with an exact amount of how much the accident has robbed you.
4. Lost Value of the Vehicle
After a car crash, your car will be damaged, and its value reduced. In the worst scenarios, some vehicles are totalled. To recover that loss, you must claim diminished value damages. And as with the above cases, most unrepresented car accident victims do not know that they can get compensated for lost value.
To get the right estimate of diminished damages, you need an expert to calculate the value of your car before and after the accident. The compensation can help you get another vehicle or repair the old one.
5. Punitive Damages
Last but not least, car accident victims should claim punitive damages depending on the facts surrounding the case. Unfortunately, they may not understand the law, and do not know to claim. The court awards punitive damages, not just to compensate the victim for damages or injuries, but also to punish the at-fault driver and warn others against such behavior.
You Deserve Fair Compensation
We cannot foresee accidents, and they can happen to anyone, but it hits differently if they result from negligence. With all the pain and trauma, it is only fair that you get rightful compensation. However, you might not get what you deserve if you decide to handle the case independently.
The insurance company will take advantage of your naivety and ignorance, and you will miss out on multiple damages discussed above.