There are many people who handle their own car accident or minor personal injury claims successfully without the helping hand of an attorney. After all, there are certain cases where the injuries are relatively minor. So, it may be more economical to negotiate your own settlement and keep all of the money, rather than paying a good percentage of the compensation to your lawyer.
Never speak to an adjuster after an accident
Never spill it out to your at-fault party’s insurance adjuster. It is likely for them to call you right after an accident because of their own selfish motives.In fact, they call you the day after your crash. Their might tell you that their main purpose is just to check on you and make sure you’re alright. This sounds pretty reasonable, right?
There are many injuries that have delayed the onset of symptoms to develop or reach peak intensity. In case they call you 24 hours after the accident to specifically check on you and you tell them that you think you are fine, you have just innocently undermined the severity of your injuries in the event that your symptoms increase and need proper medical treatment. Now, the truth is that they have a recorded conversation on file where you specifically told them you were fine. Yes, they can be that shrewd!You can be sure they will reference this when you are negotiating the value of your claim. This is why you should abstain from speaking to an adjuster following an accident. Only when you have a really good sense of the severity and ramifications of the accident, you can do so. Just keep in mind that they can anything and everything against you the moment they can a scope later on during the trial. So, do not give in to them.
Look for immediate medical attention
Just after an accident, no matter however injured you are, make sure to visit the nearby doctor or even a hospital if it is that severe. Just do not judge for yourself whether your injury is “that” severe or not to be examined. There are certain injuries that show up later on. And the worst part is that you might not be able to demand claim for the ongoing treatment later on. So, make sure to visit the doctor after the accident. You need to have a good knowledge of your injuries in order to fight for financing their recovery!So, never skip doctor’s appointments. Moreover, if you do not do so, your injuries might be at stake too. The early remedy is always good. Do not believe your friendly insurance adjuster if he or she says that your injury is nothing!After all, he is not the medical expert here.
Be transparent with your doctors about your symptoms
Make sure to tell your doctors about all the symptoms that you are experiencing. Make sure to follow the same every time you go to a medical provider. Following it, your medical record shall have no loophole. Everything about the nature of your injuries shall be clear and straight-forward. Do not judge for yourself whether your doctor already knows about your injuries without you telling him.Make sure to mention each and every symptom and condition that you have undergone as a result of the accident. When you relaying your complete symptoms with every visit, it automatically strengthens your case. This is because it creates a crystal-clear picture of the severity of your injuries. Also, it increases the value of the claim when it comes time to negotiate a settlement.
Personal Injury lawyers usually take all of your medical records, bills, etc. to create a “demand letter”. They send this demand letter to the insurance company as part of the negotiation process. When your symptoms and injuries are clearly referenced by you and your physician, the case stands real strong on your part.
Go for documentation
Take as many pictures as you can of your vehicle, and the other driver’s vehicle. With the help of smartphones today, taking clear pictures is no big deal! So make use of it. Try getting statements from anyone who witnessed the crash, or at least get their contact info so you can contact them later. Make sure to ask for a copy of the accident report, and keep a file of all relevant info.This shall enable you to be prepared to provide the information needed to justify the legitimacy of your claim. You never know which small piece of recorded information will come into great use in the proceedings of your case. It might even turn the case by 180 degrees that might prove to be in your favor ultimately. So, never underestimate the power of documentation.
Be genuine, be firm in what you say
Keep in mind that adjusters are good people. However, you also need to remember that their very job is to find ways to pay you less than what you deserve. You need to be polite, calm, courteous and firm, all at the same time during the negotiation process. In case the number they come up with is not enough, let them know gently that you appreciate their offer, but you deserve to get your attorney involved if they cannot make a justifiable offer. Make sure to hire a good injury lawyer who will help you make the right decision when the time comes.
Keep in mind that it is possible to settle small claims without a lawyer. However, you need to be equipped with the knowledge and tools in that case. There might be times when an attorney can demand higher amounts from an insurance company than an individual, as the threat of filing a lawsuit, can pressure them to offer more money, to keep the entire matter out of court.
Make sure to talk wisely through your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer. A genuine and well-reputed attorney shall directly tell you whether or not you need their services.
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