Filing a claim after a car accident is a pretty straightforward process: contact your insurance company, inform them of the accident, and wait for the other insurance company to contact you if it was the other driver’s fault. Seems simple enough, right? Think again. While the actual process of filing a claim is simple, the work required in order to get a fair outcome is far more complex than you may realize. Insurance companies like to make these steps as painless as possible so that victims don’t immediately think that they should hire an attorney, which would only work out in the victims, and not the insurance company’s benefit.
The reality of any car accident is that you should hire a personal injury lawyer the moment you are able to, and even before you have contacted your insurance company for the first time. As soon as you contact an insurance company about an upcoming claim, claim adjusters spring into actions they attempt to limit the amount of money that is ultimately paid out to any victims. Every statement that you make will be dissected and analyzed as a way to reduce the final award that you receive.
When you are represented by someone like car accident lawyer Brett J. Harrison from the start, every communication with the insurance company will be done with consideration to your best interests. Once there is an attorney representing your case, you can focus on recovering from your injuries with peace of mind, knowing that there is an experienced personal injury attorney who is fighting for your behalf.
There is no legal requirement for a victim of an injury to hire an attorney; in fact, you may represent yourself in any legal case in the United States. This does not mean that it is a good idea, though, which is why people charged with crimes who are unable to afford legal counsel are provided an attorney—the American legal system is far too complicated for an untrained citizen to take on themselves.
When you are working with an insurance company to settle a personal injury claim, you will be going against years of research and work that the insurance company, their agents, and their legal team have done in order to build a series of best practices of how to limit final awards. An insurance company that willingly gives away everything that claimants are entitled to would not be able to stay in business very long.
Waiting Until the Insurance Company Concludes Your Claims Investigation Before Hiring a Lawyer Is Not Advised
Many people go through the entire claims investigation before they realize that they need to hire an attorney. At this point, it isn’t too late (it’s never too late), but the insurance company has had ample time to use your words against you. Even the most innocuous of statements can turn out to be a problem, such as apologizing about an accident or speculating about what happened.
Unfortunately, even saying something like “I think that they were texting while driving” gives the insurance company leverage to claim that you are not certain about who actually caused the accident, and therefore they should not be responsible for paying out as if their client were to blame. However, when you are working with a lawyer from the first step, you can be confident that they are using years of experience to ensure that these innocent missteps do not come back to haunt you.