Many folks believe that the insurance adjuster will be fair with them after an injury accident that was not their fault. Unfortunately, the number of times the adjuster paid full value to a victim who was not represented can likely be counted on one hand! Usually, it is only after that offer that the victim realizes the adjustor never intended to make a fair claim after all.
Adjusters will often “accept liability” or “responsibility” in an early conversation with the victim in the hope that you will not reach out to a skilled personal injury lawyer. Many accident law firms offer free consultations with some of the following advice:
Take These Steps to Improve Your Case:
Get Timely Medical Care:
Get checked out by an ER doctor or your primary care physician. Delaying to do this after the accident will hurt your case. The sooner you go for a medical evaluation, the better for your claim.
Make sure that you mention every body part that hurts, even if the pain is minor. Human nature is for us to focus on the parts that hurt the most. However, what initially may seem minor can turn into a persistent problem. If you have not mentioned the injured area in your early treatment, expect the insurance company to dispute the cause of that injured part of your body, or they may even claim you are faking it.
Protect Your Evidence:
After a severe injury accident, proof of what happened and how it happened can be vital to the success of your case. Evidence like statements can be obtained after identifying eyewitnesses., Experts can download the event data recorder (black box) in your car or the guilty party’s vehicle. Also, if a product caused your injury, keeping the product is essential to pursue a product liability case. If you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, that attorney will be the one to identify and protect the critical evidence.
Call a Houston Personal Injury Law Firm:
The general rule is the more severe your injury, the better your attorney should be. If your injuries are minor, it may not matter that much who you retain. But if you have lost a loved one or required surgery because of an accident, you should contact the best personal injury lawyer law firm in your area.
The sooner you hire an experienced personal injury attorney, the better for your case. The longer you delay, the more challenging your case will become. So, do your research and choose your personal injury lawyer with care and do so as soon as possible!
Do Not Give Recorded Statements:
A big mistake most victims make is agreeing to give a recorded statement to the adjuster. The recorded statement will not help you and will be used to hurt your case. Insurance companies train their adjusters in questions to ask and how to ask the questions. Of particular harm are questions that involve estimates of time, distance, or how you reacted. Also, questions with “all” or “every” can be problematic. Further, many people give a statement before they realize the extent of their injuries.
Your attorney should handle all communications with the other insurance company after the wreck. If you get a call from an adjuster, simply refer them to your accident attorney. If you have not hired a personal injury lawyer, get busy and hire one.
Be Wary of Posting to Facebook or other Social Media:
An insurance company’s attorney will always ask for your Facebook identification in depositions and written discovery in a lawsuit. Their reason for doing this is simple: Courts allow the use and discovery of social media to cross-examine the victim.
For example, you just recently had an accident, and you are in pain, but there is a child’s birthday party you can’t miss. If you post about the party, a skilled attorney for an insurance company can make you look bad, even when your explanation is true and accurate. Be very careful in your posts after the accident and until you are fully recovered.
- Get All the Treatment Your Doctor Recommends: Follow your doctor’s instructions and treatment advice. If you don’t, the insurance company will claim you were not hurt that bad.
Many victims have perfectly valid reasons why they did not get all the treatment their doctors recommended. Perhaps they were busy, could not miss work, did not think they needed it, or whatever. However, Texas juries have proven when the excuses come out; the awarded damages go down.
When to Call a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Call the attorney as soon as you possibly can!
The more severe the accident, the harder it is to move forward and get the help you need. Maybe you are laid up in the hospital recovering from surgery or so overcome with grief from losing a loved one you can’t function. Still, the earlier you find the right attorney for your case, the better for your case!
Insurance companies act quickly to protect their policies. In fact, in a recent Houston wrongful death case we won, the defense attorneys were at the scene of the crash before the semi-truck had even been moved. The longer you delay getting the right attorney, the more significant the advantage you are giving to the insurance companies to use against you.
Why Get an Accident Lawyer Promptly?
Evidence Can Be Lost:
Every case requires proof. Proof of who is at fault, proof of your damages and losses. Some proof can be lost if you do not act quickly. For instance, if an 18-wheeler speeding hit you, the trucking company may try to repair the big rig and promptly put it back on the road. If you could not inspect the truck or download the computer data, that critical proof may be lost.
Another example would be locating eyewitnesses or video evidence. Witnesses can be hard to find after the fact. Also, many commercial surveillance videos only last for so many days before it is overwritten and lost.
Finally, if you suspect a product to be faulty or unsafe, steps must be taken to protect the remaining product. Otherwise, proving a defect can be almost impossible.
Do your research and look for the best personal injury attorney in Houston with experience with your type of case and call them promptly. An experienced attorney will take steps to obtain the evidence your case requires.
Texas Statute of Limitations:
Every state has a law that limits the time you have to file a lawsuit. Don’t delay! If you miss the deadline, your case may be forever barred. Other factors can also limit the time to give notice of or file a lawsuit, and they depend on the circumstances.
You Make a Mistake that Hurts Your Case:
Maybe you are pressured to give the insurance company a recorded statement. Perhaps in trying to be friendly, you say the wrong thing. Recording of your answers by an adjuster with leading or confusing questions never helps and can hurt your claim. Here are some things the insurance company does not want you to know.
The way you fill out medical questionnaires is also significant, as is the way you describe your accident to a nurse or doctor. What a medical provider writes down is usually believed by a jury, even when the medical provider did not accurately write down what you said. Here are the top 6 mistakes to avoid with a car accident injury claim.
Maybe you are not aware of the subrogation rights of your health insurance company or how to deal with a Texas hospital lien? Getting a free consultation from a Houston accident lawyer can, at the minimum, help educate you on pitfalls.
What to do to Maximize Your Injury Compensation?
Suppose a lawyer at our Houston personal injury law firm accepts your case. In that case, we will handle your communications with the insurance company and do what we feel is needed to obtain and protect the vital evidence. The right attorney for your case should be one who you have confidence has the experience your case deserves and the track record to back it up! Selecting the right attorney for substantial experience is the first move to tilting the odds in your favor.
Our award-winning Houston car accident attorneys have been fighting for maximum compensation for decades. Call us to discuss your case.
If You Are Determined to Represent Yourself:
If you have a minor injury or just want to be your own representative, here are a few tips:
Your Goal Should be a Fair Settlement:
Be wary of making pie-in-the-sky demands not backed up by your medical records. If the adjuster perceives your demand as unrealistic and out of bounds, they will never seriously entertain a fair resolution with you. Here is how to deal with a low-ball offer.
Ask Questions of the Adjuster:
Use the opportunity to ask questions and learn what you can about the case. One question you should always ask is, “how are you going to value my pain and suffering?” The answer or non-answer you receive will speak volumes about the insurance company’s intentions for your case. If they accept responsibility, they should have no problem telling you what their insured’s story is. Here are some common tactics of car accident claims adjusters.
Don’t Discuss Settlement Until You Have a Handle on Required Care:
Quick settlements with “estimated medical” are almost always a mistake for you. Be wary of agreeing to a settlement on the phone because a Texas court has upheld an oral agreement. Here are some other tips about dealing with the insurance company on an injury claim.
- Be Prepared to Provide the Evidence:
You should be ready to give the adjuster your medical bills and records and proof needed to prove your case. Insurance companies earned the moniker “delay, deny and defend” for a reason. An adjuster will not be able to consider a medical claim not backed up by your records.
Deal with Subrogation or Hospital Liens Early:
Don’t wait until after settlement to find out most of the money goes to your health insurer or the hospital. Be proactive and negotiate with the liens early in the process. Here is what you need to know about hospital liens in Texas.
If You Give a Recorded Statement:
Be very careful with your choice of words and how you answer every question.You may find value in our article on how to give a deposition in a personal injury case. That statement will not help you, but it sure can hurt you! Here are some other secrets of handling your own personal injury case.
Call an Experienced Houston Accident Law Firm