Yes, you can absolutely settle a car accident without a lawyer. However, the question may not be “Can you settle a car accident without a lawyer?” but rather “What will it cost me to settle a car accident on my own?” or “Do I have the time to settle a car accident on my own?”
Car accident claims can often be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you do not have any experience handling insurance claims. A personal injury lawyer can help with all aspects of your claim and take the lead, so you can concentrate on recovering.
When You Might Not Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
There is no law in Louisiana that says you must hire a personal injury lawyer if you suffered injuries in a car accident. You may very well be able to settle your car accident without a lawyer if your claim is pretty straightforward and damages are limited. For example, if you were not injured and only need to file a claim regarding your property damage, you may be able to handle this on your own.
However, be aware that you only have one year to file a lawsuit under Louisiana Civil Code § 3492. This deadline is not a lot of time to investigate the claim, determine all potentially liable parties, make an insurance claim, and negotiate a fair settlement. Some insurance representatives may try to take advantage of the fact that you do not have counsel. They may delay the claim until the statute of limitations has passed, and you are unable to take legal action.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
When You Might Want a Personal Injury Lawyer
While you are always free to consult with a personal injury lawyer after being injured in a motor vehicle accident, there are certain times when the services of a lawyer are a greater asset, such as:
You Were Injured in the Accident
Even if you think that your injury is “minor,” this can still result in thousands of dollars in medical bills and potential complications that you may not be aware exist. It is important that you seek medical treatment after your accident and follow your doctor’s orders for ongoing care. The medical expense portion of your claim may impact other aspects of your claim, too, such as pain and suffering, so if you suffered injuries in the accident, it is time to call a law firm who may negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
You Cannot Work Because of the Injury
Some car accidents cause debilitating injuries, such as a spinal cord injury, internal organ damage, or a traumatic brain injury, which can be caused by a bump to the head, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other accidents cause severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other mental injuries that make it difficult to return to life as normal. If the accident has made it so that you were unable to return to your same work, it is important to get help from a lawyer who can better evaluate your potential damages and the economic impact of the accident on your life.
Multiple Parties Were Involved in the Accident
In some collisions, more than one other driver may be involved. There may have been a chain reaction that involved several other drivers, and it may be difficult to determine who was at fault. A car accident lawyer can investigate the case and determine all potentially liable parties in order to maximize your potential recovery.
Your Claim Was Denied
If you have submitted an insurance claim and you believe the insurer wrongfully denied it, you may need an advocate who can protect your interests. We can also explore whether you have a claim for bad faith.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Your Claim
People may hire a personal injury lawyer if they do not have the time to resolve their claim on their own. Car accident claims may involve many time-consuming tasks, including:
- Investigating the accident scene.
- Collecting medical records, repair estimates, and other proof of damages.
- Contacting the insurance company and providing them with updated information.
- Interviewing eyewitnesses.
- Preparing a demand letter
- Filing legal pleadings
Additionally, many people may feel that they do not have a level playing field with insurance representatives who devalue claims daily. A personal injury lawyer may be familiar with the potential damages involved in claims and can negotiate with the insurance companies.
Contact Us To Learn More
If you would like to know if you can settle a car accident without a lawyer or how Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help, call us at (337) 777-7777. We have several offices throughout Lafayette, Alexandria, and the surrounding areas. It costs nothing for your initial consultation, and you pay no attorney’s fees unless we help you recover compensation for your claim.