Do You Need to Hire a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Have any of These Already Happened?
In most instances, it takes a car accident injury lawyer to assure that accident victims recover the actual worth of their medical bills, pain, suffering, disability (if applicable), and damages to their vehicle and its contents. If the circumstances surrounding the accident and its coverage level are minor, or if everyone is behaving “above board.” a reasonably intelligent accident victim can likely handle his or her claim on their own, without the assistance of a lawyer. But here are a few scenarios that will generally tell you if you need the services of a vehicle accident liability attorney: More on this website
* You’re in Pain or Suffered Physical Injuries in the Car Wreck
If you suffered any bodily injuries that are more severe than bumps & bruises, you should have an experienced attorney handle your legal business. A good rule of thumb in determining this is whether or not you must make a return visit to your doctor after being initially treated for your injuries. Or, if the doctor you see is your family’s trusted primary healthcare provider, ask him or her. When you seek damages for bodily injuries, insurance companies don’t necessarily have to abide by any predetermined guidelines when deciding how much to pay you, especially regarding pain and suffering. Insurance companies are more about collecting premiums than paying claims and can choose to pay you nothing. Such blanket refusals are a massive benefit of having an attorney looking out for your interests. If you’ve suffered broken bones, head injuries, back injuries, or any other injury in your wreck, do the smart thing and call an attorney. Have your family do it if you are unable to, and do it quickly.
* The Other Driver is Hard to Deal With
Call a lawyer if the driver who caused your accident gives you a hard time either at the scene of the wreck or later or if that other driver doesn’t want to give out his contact or insurance information. Belligerent accident “victims” usually have something to hide, either from the law or their insurance company. You should see such belligerence as a serious clue that he’ll make it difficult for you to recover what you deserve. Consider it a warning that you must seriously consider hiring a lawyer, and don’t be slow about it.
* The Insurance Company Pressures you to Settle or Continually Harasses You
Insurance companies can be extremely difficult to negotiate. They waste a lot of your time if you haven’t got an attorney to stand between you and them. Insurance companies are out to protect their own interests. Those interests involve collecting premiums and paying out as little as necessary in claims. They’ll use adjusters to find ways to deny your claim. These adjusters may repeatedly contact you and ask what appear to be harmless questions about the accident or your injuries under the guise of “getting the facts straight.” They’re usually calculated to induce you to say something to be later used against you to deny your claims. All conversations will probably be recorded. They could come back to haunt you as evidence when it’s time to appear in court. Our Law Office’s accident injury clients know the best way to deal with insurance adjusters: just don’t deal with them. Adjusters don’t call our clients; they call us instead. When adjusters can’t talk to you, they can’t twist your words to use against you. Many times an insurance company will pressure you to settle for less than it’s worth: often a lot less. We have nothing against accepting a fair settlement if it will benefit you. But an unfair settlement can devastate your legal rights. When you accept a settlement, you waive your right to sue the defendant in the future. The settlement you accept is all you will ever be able to collect. So it’s important not to accept an offer unless it’s fair. The only way to determine a fair settlement offer from an insurance company that wants to victimize you is with the assistance of an attorney who knows how to assess the actual value of your damages and knows when you’re being lowballed. Insurance companies know that most accident victims are strapped for cash in the wake of the wreck. They have large medical and auto repair bills that must be timely paid. And perhaps injured victims cannot work due to their injuries. So their already reduced income is used for paying those monthly bills that never stop, which means there’s little if any, money left over to pay the additional burden of accident-related expenses. The insurance company’s strategy is to entice you with just enough fast cash that might get you back to even. But what if that’s not the end of your financial peril? Settlements you accept from an insurance company before you have a lawyer on your side rarely benefit you in the long run. But they’re always binding. Don’t let the defendant in your case get away with paying you less than you deserve. Call our Law Office’s car accident lawyers to learn what your case is worth so that you know whether or not the defendant’s offer is fair.
* What if you Can’t Afford to See a Doctor or Pay Your Emergency Room Bills?
Many people in Texas don’t have health insurance to help them pay for the medical treatment they need immediately after being involved in a wreck. Even if an accident victim has health insurance, the odds decrease daily that their medical treatment will be paid through their health benefits. Regardless of whether or not they have health insurance, many accident victims are reluctant to get recurring treatment after the car wreck for their injuries because they don’t think they can afford to take time off from work to see a doctor. Or they can’t afford to pay the high deductibles, which makes using their health insurance impractical. Seeing a doctor and getting treatment for your injuries after an accident is not only essential to your health, it’s absolutely necessary for your injury claim or lawsuit. If you can’t afford treatment or if you already have medical bills that you can’t pay, there’s probably something that our personal injury lawyers can do to help. We regularly work with doctors and healthcare professionals and can refer you to the right one who will consider your personal situation and give you the medical care you need. We have helped many of our clients receive the vital treatment they need after an auto accident at no out-of-pocket cost. Additionally, we can explain how the time you take off from work to get the medical care you need may become part of the damage compensation owed to you by the defendant in your case.
* You have a Bad “Vibe” About How your Claim is Being Handled
You’re probably right if you feel “funny” about how the insurance company handles your case. Insurance companies aren’t in business to help people: they are just to make money. They find ways to deny legitimate claims and make more money. This is especially true with most insurers who aggressively market themselves as “minimum coverage” auto insurance firms, even though we have dealt fairly with a few of them. But you should call a lawyer if you have a terrible feeling or if any of these circumstances apply:
The insurance company offers you a settlement before the full extent of the medical treatment you’ll need is known.
The insurance company offers you less money than what’s due on your car loan.
The insurance company doesn’t offer you a rental car, while a mechanic services your vehicle.
The insurance company tells you they’ll pay your claim when you submit your bills, but they refuse to do so or keep stalling you when you ask for
The insurance company takes too long to respond to your inquiries (this could mean that they’re investigating your claim behind your back or just
“shining you on” and haven’t yet told you they’re not going to pay your claim).
The insurance company tells you that a settlement offer is “all you’re entitled to” or “the best you’re going to get.”
If you’re lucky, and none of the above circumstances applies, the odds are pretty good that you can handle your case on your own without the assistance of a lawyer. Sometimes, car accident victims can successfully protect their rights when they’ve been involved in a wreck that damages their vehicle. If your car was damaged, but you’re not injured, insurance companies are bound by strict guidelines when compensating you for damages to your vehicle or its replacement. Since these guidelines give them little wiggle room, insurance companies have fewer opportunities to rip you off when they reimburse you for your repair bills or vehicle replacement. After a wreck in which your car alone has been damaged, take down the other driver’s contact and insurance information. Then, drive your car or have it towed to a mechanic. The mechanic will bill your insurance company directly, and your insurance company will pay the mechanic. Then, your insurance company will turn to submit the repair bill to the other driver’s insurance company for reimbursement.