Over $100 Million Recovered For Our Clients “Roger K. Gelb is one of the area’s most respected and sought-after legal minds” – Washingtonian Magazine
Do I Need a Lawyer?
The answer is you do not need a Maryland car accident lawyer if you are in an accident. In fact, if you suffer no injuries, there is very little point in hiring legal counsel. By simply speaking with your insurance provider, they will gladly take care of the matter for you whether you are at-fault or not. However, if you are hurt as a result of a car accident, you may consider hiring an injury attorney.
On average, by hiring an attorney to handle your accident case, your recovery should be roughly fives times higher than without representation. By understanding the way the insurance companies operate, you will understand why this makes sense. Unsurprisingly, the insurance companies are looking to pay you as little as possible and maximize their profits. Even if their insured is at-fault and they admit this, they still do not want to pay you what they owe you. In general, when they see an accident victim without an attorney, they like to offer the minimum amount they believe you will accept. They will likely not ever recognize the extent of your injuries or the full value of your claim.
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Do I Need an Accident Lawyer or can I File Pro Se
In full candor, it is possible to file suit for your accident claim without the assistance of an attorney. A judge may even go easier on you when examining your formal documents than he would a lawyer. However, these are still not a mere formality that can be foregone because you are a layperson in the law. Additionally, you still must prove each element of a negligence claim. This includes proving your damages in order for you to recover compensation for your injuries. While a court may cut you some slack, a court room is still all business and requires the appropriate decorum. The court will not assume elements of your claim are proven because something seems obvious to you. However, it is still possible for you to go through the process of filing suit and having your day in court. When you are on the beltway, US-40, I-95, or some other major highway and a driver cuts you off or rear-ends you, liability seems obvious. But, you still have to prove the elements of negligence in court as well as the actions by the other driver.
Can I Get Money Without a Lawyer?
In addition to going to filing suit and winning in court, you may also obtain compensation by settlement from the defendant’s insurance provider. However, we have been practicing personal injury law in D.C. and Maryland for nearly 70 years. In our experience, an insurance company will almost never offer a plaintiff what they owe. This is perhaps the biggest things to consider when asking yourself if you need a Maryland car accident lawyer. The exception is if your damages are exorbitant and the insurance coverage goes nowhere near covering your injuries. In such a case, an ethical attorney will not even take your case because it would likely be unethical to take a fee given your injuries will not be covered. Of course, this is a case-by-case basis and we would still examine your case during our free consultation.
But in general, insurance companies have the ability to calculate the precise amount to get the typical accident victim off their hands while still sending them away happy. Unfortunately for these victims, they do not realize their case is worth substantially more than the offer they are receiving. The insurance company knows this. And, they know that you likely do not know this. As a result, while you will be able to recover money, you are leaving the bulk of it on the negotiating table. And if you decide you do not need a Maryland car accident lawyer because you can negotiate with the insurance company, the difference between a layperson and an attorney is an attorney can and will file suit on the claim. Meanwhile, a layperson negotiating has no leverage. They can demand more money because the claim is worth more. However, the insurance company has no reason to offer more until the accident victim hires legal counsel.
What About Cost?
When deciding whether you need a Maryland car accident lawyer, cost is an important consideration. Our fee is typically one-third of the recovery. However, if we do not prevail on your claim, we charge the client nothing. Accordingly, we do not charge anything for an initial consultation. Moreover, if you have any questions during the course of your case, we do not charge by the hour which encourages questions and communication. Our attorneys are available to speak anytime, and our phones are available 24/7. When you call us, we will explain our retainer agreement in detail so you feel comfortable and understand it fully. Unlike many firms, we do not charge a retainer fee. If you have any questions or believe you have a viable claim, call us at (202) 331-7227.
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