You are minding your own business on the road, trying to be a conscious driver who stays safe, when out of nowhere, some other driver causes a collision. You are injured, you are without a vehicle, and you may have to miss work, seek ongoing medical care, and face a daunting road of getting everything back on track.
Thankfully, auto insurance is pretty much a requirement these days no matter where you live, so once you have filed a claim, you will probably get an offer from the other driver's insurance company for your damages. You could accept this offer, or you could work with an auto accident injury lawyer to file a claim to get what you truly deserve. Take a look at the pros and cons of accepting that initial offer.
Pro: You will get a small lump-sum payment almost right away.
This is the biggest reason why some people don't bother reaching out to an attorney after a car wreck; they are in a hurry to get the money they need. It's understandable why. You may be trying to deal with having no ride and having to miss time from work, but a little money now is no true match for more money later on.
Con: Once you accept a settlement, you can't ask for more money.
Once you have accepted a settlement offer from the insurance company, there is no way to go back and say, "Hey, that wasn't enough money—I still have more bills to pay!" You will have to sign papers stating that you accept what is being offered and the deal will be done.
Pro: You won't have to go to court.
For some people, the whole idea of going to court is intimidating. Therefore, one of the perks of accepting an initial settlement is you won't have to do that. However, there is no guarantee of having to go to court even if you do file an auto accident claim with an attorney. Most cases do settle out of court.
Con: The settlement will likely not involve payment for certain types of damages.
There are certain things most insurance companies won't offer with their settlement without persuasion from a good auto accident injury attorney. For instance, you likely won't get any money if you are dealing with a lot of pain and suffering because you have PTSD due to the accident. When you work with an attorney, all forms of damages will be considered and included in your claim.