Anyone involved in a motor vehicle crash that resulted in serious injuries needs an attorney.
However, after a serious accident, you may wonder how quickly you should contact one, or if you could settle the case yourself by negotiating with the insurance company.
If you are thinking of waiting or you think that you can get the compensation you need from an insurance company without professional assistance, you may want to reconsider. Realize that an insurance company has a team of attorneys (if not an entire law firm) at their disposal. They started evaluating your case before you even thought of a settlement – and probably while you were still recovering from injuries.
Because attorneys and claims’ adjusters are already well ahead of you, you need an attorney. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to even the playing field and ensure that you are collecting the same quality of evidence that they already have to refute your claim.
Trying to take on a team of attorneys that deal with millions of dollars daily is not something you should do alone. Doing so means you are at their mercy and most likely you will not receive the settlement you need to cover even basic expenses.
When Is the Right Time to Contact an Attorney after an Everett Accident?
If you were in a motor vehicle accident, you might wonder when to contact an attorney. Should you do it while you are still recovering in the hospital? Do you wait until you have fully recovered?
Ideally, you should contact an attorney quickly. While the first call you make should be to your physician or emergency room for medical care, the next call should be to a law office that handles car accident claims.
The sooner an attorney is involved, the easier the process becomes. Likewise, an insurance company will not try to take advantage of the fact you are recovering, out of work, and running out of money.
Insurance Companies Will Try to Make Contact Almost Immediately
Realize that, even while you are in the hospital, you may be contacted by the insurance company to settle. Sometimes, they will wait until they know you are discharged and have been home a few days. Often, it starts with contact from a claims’ adjuster asking for a statement about the accident.
At this point, you need to be cautious. When the insurance company calls to get information, you are not required to give a statement right away. Instead, you can tell them kindly that you would like to reschedule for a time when your attorney is present. You also are not required to give a written or recorded statement until you have consulted an attorney.
Why Can’t I Just Represent Myself? I Was Not at Fault
Even if you know that you were not at fault for the accident, do not assume that the other party’s insurance company will say “you’re right” and hand over the settlement amount you deserve.
Insurance companies are still businesses. Like all businesses, they do not want to spend money. Therefore, to keep their profits secure, they will do their best to avoid giving you a settlement or giving you the amount you need.
Likewise, the other party’s insurance company doesn’t work for you. You do not pay their premiums; the at-fault driver does. Therefore, they are not on your side, even if they act as though they are. Instead, they are looking for evidence they can use to discount your claims and possibly deny it outright.
Furthermore, it is hard to separate yourself emotionally from your case. You are suffering a serious injury. You might be out of work for months or permanently. You could be devastated, desperate, and when asked to put a dollar value on your pain, suffering, and emotional turmoil, could you objectively calculate it?
If you answer “no,” you are not alone. It is almost impossible for anyone to calculate their settlement. Furthermore, you need a professional who looks at not only the costs in front of you, but potential expenses in the future.
Just some of the calculations an attorney considers when telling insurance companies how much they owe you include:
- Medical Costs Now and in the Future: Yes, you have medical costs right now. But if you are not considering future medical treatments (physical therapy, follow-up surgeries, appointments with your physician, etc.), then you are not considering the full scope of your compensation. Your attorney will ensure you get compensation for those expenses that might not have happened yet, but will in the future.
- Your Lost Wages and Loss of Earning Capacity: When you are out of work recovering, you eventually erode your sick leave and vacation pay. Then, you are stuck without a paycheck. You should be reimbursed for using sick leave and vacation leave. Furthermore, you should be compensated for the time you will miss for doctor’s appointments, meetings with insurance companies, and more. If you cannot earn the same amount in the future or you are permanently disabled, then you want someone who can calculate your earnings in the future and make sure you are properly compensated.
- Pain and Suffering: After a serious accident, it is not just about physical pain. You have mental anguish, emotional suffering, and the physical pain compounding the injury. You are entitled to compensation for these losses. An attorney can look at them objectively and help identify how much these losses are worth.
Speak with an Accident Attorney Now Rather Than Later
While you could wait to call an attorney, you should enlist their help as quickly as possible if you want to receive your settlement. Speak with an attorney at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, PLLC, now to discuss your case. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.
Our team understands what you are going through, and we are here to serve as your advocates. We will hold insurance companies to their terms, make sure they pay what your settlement is worth, and make sure you do not get strong-armed by an insurer’s attorney.
Schedule an appointment by calling us today or requesting an appointment online.