Yes! One question that an injured victim of an automobile accident should NOT ask is, Should I contact an attorney?
Automobile accident cases are not as simple as they may seem. Liability may be obvious in some cases. But there are many other issues and factors that can affect the value of your claim or even if you can obtain any compensation at all. If you think you can negotiate a satisfactory settlement for yourself, you may be sorely disappointed. The insurance adjuster’s job is to save his company money by paying you as little as possible.
In the days following an injury accident, you may be contacted by the other party’s insurance adjuster. They will want to know if you are injured and if you’re willing to give a recorded statement. They may also ask you to sign medical release forms. Their requests seem innocent enough. But you should be cautioned that insurers are not looking out for your best interests. Too often, unrepresented injury accident victims are victimized further by giving a statement that seriously undermines their case. The medical records they obtain may be related to private, pre-existing medical care that has nothing to do with your injuries in this accident.
In other cases, accident victims delay treatment or continue to work even though they are in pain because they are unsure about who will pay their medical expenses or lost wages. Consequently, their credibility is considerably suspect with the responsible party’s insurer and will likely lead to a minimal offer of settlement, if any. The adjuster will say: If you didn’t go to the doctor, you must not have been hurt very badly.
Knowledgeable personal injury attorneys will advise you about what steps to take to keep your good claim from turning into a bad claim; when is the best time to settle; and what is the real value of your claim. By hiring a good personal injury attorney, you are ensuring that a skilled legal professional, who knows how to present an injury case to an insurer, will get you the compensation you deserve.
This blog is written and published by Godbey & Associates.