Being in a car accident is frightening. In addition to having your vehicle severely damaged or totaled, there is the issue of dealing with injuries. Insurance companies are notorious for offering low-ball compensation in order to settle quickly. Unfortunately, many people take the offer without realizing they could settle for more with the assistance of a personal injury attorney.
Another problem is that even in minor accidents, injuries may not show up immediately. While it might appear as if you only suffered minor bumps and bruises, down the road you could easily face lifetime health-related problems as a result of the accident. To protect yourself both short and long term, you need to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer.
Steps Following an Accident
Of course, the first step following a car accident is to report it to the police and seek appropriate medical attention. Even if pain, dizziness, and/or numbness are minor, go to the hospital right away. Waiting days not only puts you at risk physically but also could create more challenges when filing a claim against the at-fault driver.
By working with an attorney, detailed information about the accident is collected, including medical records, police reports, accident scene reconstruction reports, witness statements, photographs, surveillance video, and so on. However, you can help by keeping copies of all records provided, including receipts for medication, as well as mileage to and from doctor’s appointments.
Without the assistance of a personal injury attorney, dealing with the other driver’s insurance company will probably be difficult. In addition to settling quick and for less money than deserved, some insurance companies will not even return phone calls. If you will not accept a fast settlement, the insurance company may drag things out in anticipation of you giving up.
Some insurance companies take full advantage of how hard it is to settle a claim while healing from injuries. By allowing a personal injury attorney to take over, you have the opportunity to fully recover without the burden of stress.
If you sustained injuries in a car accident, whether minor or major, it is always best to hire an attorney. As a result, costly mistakes can be avoided, such as:
Settling Quickly — Remember, the full extent of your injuries may not be known for days, months, and even years.
Releasing Obligation — At no time should you sign a form that releases the insurance company and at-fault driver from legal and/or financial responsibility.
Talking Freely — While you may innocently say something about the accident and/or the injuries sustained, if you were to talk to the wrong person, information could be held against you when trying to secure monetary compensation.