You were just involved in an auto accident. Your mind is bouncing all over the place—injuries, your job, your family, property damage, insurance. In all the chaos, the last thing you want to worry about is fighting with an insurance company or how you will take care of the imminent medical bills.
What do you do now?
The first thing to recognize is time is of the essence in personal injury or auto accident cases. Next, ask yourself these questions to know if you need to call an attorney today.
How serious are your injuries?
People frequently wait or neglect to contact an auto accident attorney because they don’t think their injuries are severe enough. However, some symptoms can take a few days to show so listen to your body and take note of any swelling, pain or discomfort. Auto accidents can cause new injuries or exacerbate old ones.
If pain lasts more than a few days or required medical attention, call an attorney. “If your injury necessitated hospitalization, surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, chiropractic work, cosmetic surgery or orthopedics, you likely need to have your case evaluated by an injury lawyer,” says the National Law Review. And cases that involve high medical bills are especially best handled by a professional.
Is an insurance representative contacting you?
It’s time for the truth about insurance companies: at the end of the day, they are a business. Their slogan may be something about taking care of you but their goal is to stay in the black.
“If you are contacted by an insurance company representative who asks you for recorded statements, medical records, your story, releases and other information, you should tell them that you are contacting an attorney,” advises the National Law Review.
“Insurance adjusters will often try to get you to make statements that are ultimately harmful to your claim, and you should never sign releases without an attorney’s review. The releases insurance companies frequently ask for are blanket authorizations that allow them to dig through your entire medical history.”
Looking through your medical history could help them blame your injuries on a preexisting condition, therefore reducing your claim and leaving you with mountains of medical bills and no help.
Is the insurance company offering an unreasonably low amount or denying liability?
You may have suffered a life-altering injury for which you will be seeing a doctor for years. The insurance company might not see it this way and if you don’t have someone to advocate for you, they will try to pay as little as possible toward your injuries. They may even try to deny the claim altogether.
Do you know the law and the settlement procedures?
Working through a claim requires understanding complicated medical and legal terms. Getting a fair settlement demands sharp negotiation skills and a knowledge of statutory laws. If you’re not trained in these areas, turning to a professional is crucial.
Additionally, there is so much more that goes into settling a case than just medical bills. “Insurance companies often do not volunteer offers that include money for non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium and others on their own,” says the National Law Review.
Are you prepared to handle the amount of time a claim could take?
The average auto accident claim takes a minimum of 4-9 months to settle. Some cases take years. That means months of calling insurance adjusters, shuffling through paperwork, deciphering statements and more. Are you willing to put that time in to get what you need from an insurance company?
An auto accident attorney not only has years of experience handling the nuances of insurance companies, but he or she also has a team of highly-trained professionals to work on your case. Take the extra burden of this work off your shoulders and leave your case in the capable hands of the experts.
Do you need an auto accident attorney?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, call an attorney as soon as you leave the hospital or scene of the accident.
DCC Law offers free case evaluations so if you’re on the fence about working with an auto accident attorney, contact us today. At our office, you will always be heard. Remember, time is of the essence so don’t hesitate to reach us if you were involved in an accident.
We relish in taking care of people and can’t wait to hear from you!
February 22, 2019