Is It Legal to Resolve a Car Accident in Private?
It is legal to settle a car accident privately, but that may not be the best option. If you are considering resolving your case without involving either insurance company, ask yourself why. Some drivers involved in an accident may choose this option if the accident seems minor or the at-fault driver requests it.
You may have no choice if the at-fault driver does not have insurance. Either way, you should definitely do two things—filing a police report and consulting a fort lauderdale personal injury lawyer. These actions can protect your right to financial recovery and avoid the possibility that the at-fault driver will not meet their financial obligation.
How to Settle a Car Accident Privately
After a car accident, some drivers choose to settle out of court and outside the insurance companies. The steps involved in settling privately include:
- Exchanging key contact information
- Taking photos of the accident scene
- Taking photos of both vehicles
- Filing a police report
- Getting multiple repair or replacement quotes
- Making your settlement agreement in writing
How you settle a car accident privately is up to you and the other involved driver. If you choose this option, make a point of creating an easy-to-follow paper trail that can protect you if the process does not go smoothly.
The Risks of Settling Your Car Accident Case Privately
A Florida car accident lawyer can explain and protect your rights after an accident. When you settle your case privately without the benefit of legal or insurance representation, you risk having the other driver change their mind or refuse to live up to their agreed-upon responsibility.
If that happens after a significant amount of time has passed, you might miss the two-year statute of limitations under Florida Statutes § 95.11, as well as the reporting or notification deadline of one or both insurance companies. As a result, you might not have any options for financial recovery, so you’d have to cover the related accident costs on your own.
The Benefits of Working With a Car Accident Attorney
When you turn to a fort lauderdale car accident lawyer for legal service and support after an accident, their goal is to achieve the best possible settlement for you. They can:
- Investigate all aspects of your car accident
- Gather physical evidence and documents
- Draft and file your insurance claim or court case
- Handle all case-related communication
- Locate and interview lay and expert witnesses
- Clarify legal and insurance language
- Communicate with all involved in your case
- Negotiate a fair and appropriate settlement
- Represent you in court, if needed
Your fort myers car accident lawyer will also provide timely updates as your case progresses, so you are not left wondering about its status.
Do Not Let Fear of Costs Force You Into Settling Your Car Accident Privately
No one should settle a car accident case without legal support out of concern about what hiring a boynton beach car accident lawyer will cost. Most will accept your case on a contingency fee basis. This arrangement means that they can:
- Review your case at no upfront or out-of-pocket cost
- Absorb all the costs of building your case
- Begin building your case right away
Working with a personal injury law firm is risk-free. This way, your lawyer will not expect or accept compensation until they recover it for you.
Compensation a Car Accident Lawyer Can Fight to Recover
Whether you settle your car accident case privately or seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company, the damages you may be entitled to recover include:
- Economic or tangible damages, such as past and future medical bills, past and future lost wages, loss of the ability to earn in the future, property damage, or complete property loss
- Non-economic or intangible damages, like lingering disabilities or disfigurement, physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one was fatally injured, including funeral and burial expenses, loss of income, domestic support, consortium, companionship, guidance, and support
You might qualify to seek damages we haven’t listed here. When a personal injury attorney reviews your case, they can determine every loss you can recover.
Connect With Our Car Accident Team Before Attempting a Private Settlement
We know if you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, it can be tempting to settle your case privately rather than involve the insurance companies. While it is legal, it may not be in your best interests.
A member of our personal injury team can review your case at no charge. We will then explain the benefits of having us fight on your behalf and guide you toward the best decision. You can reach out to the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato to get started today.So contact us (954) 633-8270 to start a free case review.