Can You Settle a Car Accident Claim Without a Lawyer?

Car accidents often lead to lawsuits, especially when the defendant is uninsured. However, not all accidents lead to lawsuits, and many are settled out of court.

A settlement is a private and legally binding agreement between the defendant and plaintiff in a civil lawsuit. While you are not legally required to hire an attorney to help you negotiate a settlement, it would be unwise to handle your case alone. Your attorney can help you assess your odds of success in a trial and use that information to determine whether a settlement is a better option. They can also leverage the evidence in your case to get the greatest settlement offer possible. If the defendant has already made a settlement offer, you should not accept it before you have an attorney review it.

A settlement agreement might allow you to get compensation for a car accident quickly, but you should not attempt this on your own. Our NYC car accident lawyers are here to help you get the best settlement we can. For a free case review, call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Settle a Car Accident Claim?

No law requires you to have an attorney when you work out a settlement for a car accident. However, it would be unwise to proceed without the help of a skilled and experienced lawyer. Attorneys can help you in many ways outside the courtroom. If you know your case will end in a settlement, you can hire a lawyer to help you negotiate. Our Queens car accident attorneys can help you get started and advocate for your just compensation.

There are several risks you take when negotiating a settlement alone. Many plaintiffs are unaware of the full extent of their damages before they speak with an attorney. While there are more obvious damages like medical bills and the cost to repair your car, there might be other damages you do not realize you can claim. For example, you can claim lost income, lost future income, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Without a lawyer to help you assess your damages, you might end up with a lower settlement than you deserve.

Settlements do not happen overnight. They are often the results of many weeks or even months of negotiations between the parties. Without a lawyer to help you negotiate, you might get an unsatisfactory settlement and lose your right to file your lawsuit.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me with a Car Accident Settlement?

Our car accident lawyers can help you negotiate your settlement. Negotiations are more than going back and forth with possible settlement amounts, although that is certainly one aspect of negotiations. Settlement agreements require using negotiation skills and legal knowledge to advocate for damages.

Your lawyer can also assess your odds of a court victory. If you have a strong chance of winning at a trial, your attorney might advise you to hold out on settlement negotiations until the defendant agrees to pay more money. They might even tell you to reject a settlement if more damages are almost certainly available through a trial. Your chances of success at a trial are hard to predict without the legal experience of a lawyer.

Our Bronx car accident attorneys can help you leverage your evidence to get a better settlement offer. Any proof we have that the defendant is at fault for the car accident can be used by an attorney to get a greater settlement. Strong evidence may be very helpful in persuading the defendant to pay a greater settlement.

Can I Accept a Car Accident Settlement Without an Attorney?

Again, yes. Having an attorney is not required by law. You are free to accept or reject a settlement offer on your own. However, accepting or rejecting an offer without talking to an attorney first is very risky. You should speak to an attorney about settlement negotiations before making any final decisions. When you accept a settlement offer, there is no going back. You lose your right to file the lawsuit, and the settlement will be all you have to show for your efforts.

If you accept a bad settlement offer, there is not much else that can be done unless you were coerced. In some cases, a defendant is very quick to offer a settlement, sometimes before the plaintiff has time to hire a lawyer. If this sounds like your situation, you should inform the defendant you need time to think and consult with our car accident lawyers as soon as possible.

While it may be a good thing to get a settlement offer so quickly, a legal professional with the skills and experience to handle settlement negotiations should review the offer before you accept it.

When Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?

You should hire an attorney to help you with your car accident settlement as soon as possible. Ideally, you should hire a lawyer shortly after your car accident. Your attorney can deal with things like insurance and filing a lawsuit while you focus on recovering. Our Brooklyn car accident attorneys have the skills necessary to work out a settlement for you.

If the defendant makes a settlement offer, it should come through your attorney first. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the sooner they can get to work negotiating a settlement with the defendant. If you wait to hire an attorney, you risk losing evidence to leverage in settlement negotiations. You also risk making critical mistakes, like accidentally admitting liability or accepting a settlement offer without realizing how bad it is.

Call Our Car Accident Attorneys for Help

If you were in a car accident and want to take legal action, our Long Island car accident attorney can help you prepare for a trial or negotiate a settlement agreement to cover your damages. For a free case review and to begin your case, call The Carrion Law Firm at (718) 841-0083.