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Help I Was In a Wreck!!! When Should I Call My Attorney?

Published on March 29th, 2018

What your attorney can do for you & When DO you need the Attorney with you!!

We’ve all seen people and their cars on the shoulder of the road or blocking the intersection and the police are there investigating and directing traffic around a collision. There are three times having an Attorney assisting you in dealing with a collision and helping you recover for losses to your property and your well-being.  Here are some tips on what your attorney can do for you at each of the stages of an auto collision claim.

JUST AFTER THE COLLISION:

  • Helping you get your information organized as to your insurer, the traffic collision report, and contacting the other driver’s insurer. Getting to get yourself checked out by a healthcare provider if you weren’t treated at the scene of the collision or at the Emergency Room that night. You might not realize that the stiffness and pain could only arise after your body’s adrenaline is gone.
  •  Helping you at the first contact with the other driver’s insurer as they can ask what seems like a simple question to get you to waive your claim. An example; asking you if you were hit by a Ford F-150 and you’re not a truck person so you don’t know how to answer. Your attorney will ask if they mean the vehicle belonging to their insured (the other driver) and then their little trick has failed.
  • Negotiating on the property damage to your vehicle; either insurer (yours or theirs) will try to minimize the damages and value of your vehicle. Your attorney will be able to make sure your vehicle is safely repaired or if the vehicle is “totaled” negotiate the best car value to enable you to replace your vehicle.

WHEN YOU’RE READY TO NEGOTIATE:

  •  Insurance companies make their money by not paying claims; they stop being a good neighbor and put those good hands in their pockets and keep them there. Your attorney will have a detailed and organized settlement demand which incorporates your medical records and bills. The attorney may have a doctor or other expert witness review your records, examine you and prepare a summary report of your condition or event which could help prepare an eventual law suit if no settlement is reached.
  • When the insurer makes an offer to you; your attorney will be able to advise you whether it’s a fair offer or not. The attorney must tell you about any offer as it is your case. You will also be advised whether or not to stand by the demand or make a counter offer based on what your case may be awarded at trial and what might happen if an award is made at trial and would the insurer delay payment by pursuing an appeal of the award

WHEN THE CASE GOES TO COURT:

  • If you have not been able to negotiate a settlement of your claim and within the two (2) year statute of limitations to bring an action for the property damage and personal injuries from the collision the attorney files your suit and serves the other driver.
  • After the suit is filed your attorney will guide you through the pre-trial process of “discovery” where you be asked written questions, to produce records, and possibly give live testimony in front of a court at a deposition. Your attorney will prepare you for likely questions they will ask and be sitting right next to you and advising you on your answers if you are unsure how to answer the questions.
  • At trial the attorney will be there to present evidence on your behalf and object to evidence presented by the other driver’s insurance company provided attorneys.
  • When the jury awards you damages the attorney will help you minimize claims for medical bills and prepare a defense for a possible appeal by the insurance company. Sometimes the award even begins a second cycle of negotiation when an appeal is used as leverage.

Insurance companies hire lawyers in battalions; you are at a major disadvantage if you are unrepresented at any stage as the insurer’s goal to keep all the money they can. Consulting an attorney on any matter where the Courts or Corporations are involved is your best move.

Thanks for reading,
A Law Office of Crosby and Associates, P.C.

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