In the driver was speeding, drunk, texting behind the wheel, violating a traffic law, or otherwise behaving negligently, he or she will be legally at fault for the accident.
If you’re the other driver — the one who isn’t at fault — you might think the at-fault driver is the one who needs a car accident lawyer. After all, they’re the one who did something wrong.
Actually, though, it is you who needs a lawyer’s help the most. If you were injured in an accident that someone else caused, you are entitled to financial compensation for your injuries.
Indeed, you may very well need compensation, because the medical bills add up fast after an accident, and it’s often more than one person can reasonably be expected to pay on their own. More to the point, you shouldn’t have to pay it on your own; you didn’t cause the crash.
So if you find yourself asking, “Should I get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t my fault?” the answer is clear: “Yes… if there were injuries or significant damages.”
In today’s article, we explain why.
The Insurance Company Doesn’t Work for You, Can’t Be Trusted, and Is Not on Your Side
If you have ever dealt with an insurance company involving a substantial financial claim in the past, you already know how challenging the process can be.
However, if your only experience with insurance companies so far has been talking with friendly agents or submitting relatively minor claims, you might be left with the impression that insurance companies are here to help and protect you. Perhaps you even consider them a good neighbor, eager to lend a helping hand or stand by your side. Certainly, their TV advertising campaigns suggest as much.
But car accident claims involving injuries are different, especially if the injuries involve more than just a few thousand dollars of damages.
Insurance companies are for-profit corporations. They make profits in three primary ways:
- Charging premiums to policyholders
- Investing those premiums in stocks and other investments to get even more money from them
- Paying out as little money to claimants / accident victims as possible
Insurance companies, therefore, have a clear financial goal: to save themselves money by paying you as little as possible (preferably nothing, if they can get away with it), so they can hold onto that money and invest it for themselves, maximizing their shareholders’ profits.
The insurer’s best interests are directly in conflict with your best interests.
And unlike an attorney, the insurance company is not required to represent your interests, look out for you, or fight for your best outcome. On the contrary, the insurance companies have a clear incentive to actively work against you — and that is exactly what they do in many auto accident cases.
They may try to dispute or deny your claim, mislead you, misguide you, coax you into making accidentally self-defeating statements, and so on.
Most notably, they may try to talk you into accepting a settlement agreement that would require you to sign away important rights in exchange for far less money than you deserve. And they are very good at getting people to do just that.
One of the most important reasons to get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t your fault is to have an experienced professional who understands insurance tactics and can protect you from them. An experienced Bakersfield auto accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Mickey Fine can do that for you.
Getting a Lawyer for a Car Accident That Was Not Your Fault Could Increase Your Compensation
Studies show that personal injury victims who hire a lawyer tend to recover more money than those who do not.
Certainly, that has been our experience as Bakersfield auto accident lawyers. In the majority of our cases, we have been able to negotiate favorable settlements for our clients, often for more money than the insurance company was originally willing to offer.
Even if You Weren’t at Fault, the Insurance Company Might Say You Were
Another important reason you should get a lawyer for a car accident that was not your fault is this: the defendant might argue the accident was your fault (or at least partly your fault).
“How can this be?” you might ask. “The police officer said I wasn’t at fault.”
While police reports can serve as valuable evidence in a personal injury case, they aren’t necessarily the final determination of legal fault in a car accident.
You should also understand that, in California, there is a rule called pure comparative fault. It means that if the defendant can show that you were even partially at fault for your own accident, the defendant can reduce its financial liability accordingly. So while you might still be entitled to some recovery, the insurance company will use any argument it can come up with to say you were partly at fault and therefore entitled to less money.
An experienced Bakersfield auto accident lawyer can fight back against flimsy allegations of fault. In the event that you were partly at fault, your attorney can fight for a fair and reasonable apportionment of fault, with an eye toward getting you the most amount of money possible.
The Law Offices of Mickey Fine Will Fight to Get You the Money You Deserve
Don’t face the insurance companies on your own. A Bakersfield auto accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Mickey Fine can protect you throughout the claims process and will fight to maximize your financial compensation.
To learn more about your rights and options (and why you should get a lawyer for a car accident that wasn’t your fault), please contact our office and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Call 661-333-3333 in Bakersfield or simply contact us online.
We will never charge a fee for our services unless we get you money first. The initial consultation is absolutely free.