Accidents are unfortunate yet common occurrences. Many people are seriously injured or lose their lives as a result of an automobile accident every year. One moment of carelessness can lead to a lifetime of difficulty for victims of accidents. 

Unfortunately, very few people are prepared when an accident occurs. When you are experiencing an emergency and the police have been called, it is best to have a lawyer on hand to navigate the legal system. Often, people involved in an accident do not know how to proceed. In that case, they may want to seek the services of an San Antonio car accident lawyer.

Some people, however, feel that they understand the process. Those folks may want to pursue compensation from the other party without legal representation. They may feel prepared to advocate for themselves in court or while negotiating with insurance companies. The Texas Department of Transportation retains historic crash statistics showing how many thousands of people are involved in motor vehicle accidents every year. Many of these people will attempt the legal process on their own to varying degrees of success. 

Why Would You Fight Your Own Case?

Often, it is easy to determine accident liability because of strict traffic rules. The person who violates a traffic law and causes an accident will be liable for any damages. In these cases, a person may only have to report the accident to the appropriate authorities, to include their insurance company, and the insurance company will pay the value of the property damage and any minor medical treatment that you may have required.

When responsibility for the accident is clear due to the other driver’s violation of traffic laws and injuries or damages are minor, you probably have a good chance of winning the case and receiving a fair compensation settlement. Most people, however, do not know what a “fair compensation settlement” is and could run the risk of settling for less than they deserve or may require when future costs are factored in.

Fighting for Compensation?

Many people give up before even trying to obtain compensation for their injuries because they do not feel they have adequate knowledge or experience to fight the case, or because they are being pressured by opposing attorneys or insurance companies to settle. An experienced attorney will have already been in such situations, and will know how to substantiate your claim for compensation with convincing evidence of your injuries and other damages. 

You can learn more about the case by obtaining a copy of the police report. A police report may help determine the other party’s liability. If it is a clear-cut case and the police report supports your arguments, you may be successful in representing the case. If the police report does not accurately describe your version of the events, you may require additional research to develop better evidence.

How to Decide Whether to Fight the Case on Your Own

If damages are not grievous or severe, you may be able to come to a settlement agreement swiftly. This is typically the case when vehicle damage is minimal and you have experienced only a few minor bumps and bruises that will not require extensive treatment. 

It is important to point out, however, that even in minor cases, you must first determine which party is liable for the accident before even a modest amount of compensation will be paid. Disputes over liability can drag out over several months.

Settle An Accident Claim

Sometimes, if the injuries are severe or life-threatening or lead to a disability, obtaining fair compensation can be more difficult. You may need to seek a doctor’s help to obtain a detailed medical report of treatment and expenses related to injuries caused by the accident. Medical records are crucial to the settlement process. 

The analysis of damages should be done by a qualified legal professional who can come up with the correct figure for demanding fair compensation. Accepting a smaller settlement could leave you financially strapped in the long run. If you find the legal process difficult to navigate, hiring an attorney would be the right thing to do.

When It is Easy to Decide

It is rare for the person who caused the accident to accept responsibility. More often, parties dispute who was responsible. The police will sometimes intervene to resolve the issue based on its investigation at the crime scene. Those conclusions will be included in the official report.  

In other situations, a victim may be too injured to represent himself or herself, so they have to seek the help of an attorney who will seek justice on their behalf by fighting for fair compensation.

What Not To Do

Do not easily succumb to adversarial insurance lawyers who prey on injured victims before they have had an opportunity to discuss their case with a qualified lawyer. Insurance companies want to settle for an amount that is less than the full value of your losses and damages. 

The amount offered by unscrupulous insurance agents may be much lower than what you deserve for compensation. They may lure you into accepting the settlement by telling you how complex the court process would be or threatening to take some form of legal action against you. 

What Are You Fighting For?

When you are fighting for compensation, you have to be realistic, yet you have to know the right amount to help you cope with life after the accident. If it is a minor accident, you may not have to worry as much. 

In the event of severe injuries, you have to analyze your damages appropriately, including current and future lost wages, cost of long term disability, current and ongoing medical expenses, property damage, and more. If you hire a lawyer, he or she will determine an appropriate amount of compensation that attempts to make you financially whole again.

Representing yourself is difficult.  If you are inexperienced or intimidated, you could harm yourself further by failing to get just compensation for your damages related to the accident. The complexities of the law have to be well understood before you take it upon yourself to fight the case.