When someone is involved in an auto accident, they may be unsure whether they should hire an attorney to handle their case or deal with the insurance companies on their own. The answer is yes, hire an attorney, without delay if you are injured. It is very likely you will need an attorney to protect your rights to receive adequate monetary recovery.
1. Will the insurance company take my claim seriously if I handle the car accident claim by myself?
Many insurance companies will not take an injury claim as seriously if a person is not represented by an attorney. In fact, the insurance company will likely delay, deny and dispute legitimate claims in an attempt to get people to simply give up on their claim. Insurance companies Insurance companies delay compensation just because time is on their side. If they can afford to wait or refuse to pay anything on a good claim just so people who need to pay their medical bill and have lost their earning just have to settle for less or give up.
There are many times where there is a limited policy and the person making the claim has medical bills close to or exceeding those limits. The insurance companies may offer the policy limits but usually must be pushed to reveal those limits.
2. Should a person consult and attorney where there is not a lot of damage to their car or truck?
Again the answer is yes, absolutely. Some collisions can seem to have minimal property damage, but can cause severe injuries.
There are times where the vehicle can absorb an impact, but the human body has sustained a serious injury. Many people sustain soft tissue injuries to the discs in their neck and spine and concussions from these kinds of impacts.
The insurance industry may attempt to deny an injured person in a low speed impact but important governmental studies show just the opposite. In these studies, the motor vehicle will show little damage. However, because of the velocity and accompanying force is transferred onto the person in the vehicle. Cars are built to withstand such minor impacts, but the human body is not.
Even though a person might think they are just a little sore after a collision the onset of serious, painful symptoms can take up to 24 hours after injury. As for the vertebral discs in the neck and back, and can potentially start a degenerative condition that worsens over time. The same is true of concussions.
Everyone is different. Some people may get better over a few weeks, while other people may sustain a serious injury. Long termed recovery and treatment may even lead to the need for surgery.
Because of this variability, it is best to speak with an attorney for these kinds of cases to make sure that the person making the claim is not short-changed by an insurance company by settling their claim before knowing their true condition.
3. What are the chances a claim can settle where there is not an attorney involved?
If a person making the claim only has minor injuries and would like a small sum of money to assist with medical treatment, then it is possible for a person to reach a fair settlement. However, as discussed above, a person may think that they only have a minor injury but actually have a serious injury that can cause severe symptoms down the road.
When a person is experiencing ongoing pain in the neck and back a qualified orthopedist is needed to conduct an examination to determine the extent of their injuries. This is especially true for people experiencing numbness, tingling and/or radiating pain.
If a person has that kind of more serious injury, it is best to consult with a personal injury attorney can make sure that an insurance company will treat the claim in good faith.
There are cases where the skills of an experienced personal injury attorney are necessary because of complex legal rules, the seriousness of a person’s injuries, or because an insurance company refuses to settle a claim in good faith. If a person is considering hiring an attorney, they should contact one as soon as possible to protect their rights.
Matthew J. Faulkner is a Bakersfield trial lawyer who only handles personal injury cases. To see thy types of injury cases Faulkner Law Offices handles, please click on the practice areas link above.