There are critical factors that influence the outcome of your settlement claim that you may not know about. Studies have shown that claimants who file a lawsuit with an attorney have received more generous settlements than people filing suit alone. If you go it alone, you may not be awarded the fair settlement you deserve.
1. Seek Medical Attention
The single most important action you can take to protect yourself if you have been in an auto accident is to get medical attention. Go to the emergency room on the same day as your accident. You may not feel badly injured, but the adrenaline your body releases during stressful situations like accidents can mask serious injuries and prevent symptoms from appearing until later. Some injuries can persist for a long time without immediate treatment.
Additionally, seeking medical attention immediately is very important to any auto bodily injury claim you may need to make because it shows that your injury is genuine. Follow any and all doctor’s orders: if your doctor prescribes medicine, fill the prescription and take the medicine at the appointed time(s). If your doctor refers you to a specialist such as an orthopedist, physical therapist or chiropractor, make and go to those appointments. Following up with your healthcare is critical to the value of your insurance claim because this again demonstrates the veracity of your injury. If you do not seek medical attention or follow your doctor’s orders, insurance companies may assert that your claim is fraudulent.
2. Consult an Auto Accident Attorney
Because each case is different and because the laws about insurance liability are so complex, it is worth your time to have your case reviewed and evaluated by a lawyer who specializes in personal injury. If you are dealing with legally thorny issues such as wrongful death, disability, negligence or catastrophic injury, getting professional legal help is vital.
These attorneys deal with insurance companies every day and are deeply knowledgeable about complex issues of negligence and insurance law. They know about everything from deadlines for filing a lawsuit to the nuances of settlement negotiations. They can analyze fact patterns to establish liability, and know how to prove your claims if you should need to file a lawsuit against the insurance company.
3. Contacted by the Insurance Company? Be Wary!
Don’t forget that insurance companies don’t make money by giving it away in settlements. It is in their best interest to minimize insurance claims so they can give you the smallest settlement amount possible. Protect yourself and ensure you receive a fair settlement by being alert to callers or mail and email offers of compensation.
- If the insurance company sends you an unsolicited check, don’t deposit or cash it. Accepting these payments indicate that you have accepted this check as your sole compensation. If you do deposit or cash the check, you may then be ineligible to receive additional compensation for your claim, even from your own insurance company.
- If requested to give a recorded statement or medical information release to an insurance adjuster, do not comply. Refer them to your attorney instead.
When you resolve your claim too quickly, or consent to the demands of the attorney or insurance company of the other person in the auto accident, it is likely that you will not realize the extent of your injuries or might overlook important evidence that will help maximize the amount of your settlement. We have learned from experience that it is wisest to collect all pertinent information such as medical records and statements together in one packet and have your attorney share that information at the right time.
Let Michael Flinn Review Your Case – No Charge
If your car accident wasn’t your fault and you’ve been injured, we can help. Take advantage of the free case assessment with experienced personal injury attorney Michael Flinn. He has won cases and gotten fair and generous settlements for his clients. He can help you understand the process of filing claims, advise you on how to safely and successfully move forward if you need to sue, and can help you set your expectations for settlement.
Remember that each case is different, and the safest course of action is to hire an experienced attorney to fight for you. Michael Flinn has extensive experience winning these kinds of cases and will work to make sure your rights are protected at every step.