Get an Injury Consultation Early!
It is shocking how many times we received telephone calls from personal injury victims who spoke to an attorney for the first time several months after their accident.
By then, many times the damage has been done to their case and the insurance company for the defendant receives the benefit.
Insurance companies are not friends to personal injury victims. The biggest mistake most personal injury victims make is expecting fairness.
Even when someone hears something like “we accept responsibility,” that does not mean that the insurance company will treat the injury victim fairly. In fact, most of the time, without an attorney the exact opposite is true.
Personal Injury Law Firms Will Talk with You
Most personal injury law firms in Houston offer free consultations to personal injury victims. Some of the attorneys will take the time to answer questions and give helpful information regardless of whether or not you are interested in hiring them or they are interested in pursuing the case for you.
While each case is unique, taking 10 to 30 minutes to speak with a leading personal injury attorney about an insurance claim can make a big difference down the road. Here are some general tips for dealing with an insurance adjuster.
Also, you may gain some insight into the claims handling process and your next steps. You can also learn some common tactics car accident adjusters use, if the attorney will take the time.
Common Mistakes We See Injury Victims Making
Failure to document
If you’ve been in a car accident and suffered a major impact, photographs of the damage to your vehicle are often very important pieces of evidence if the case goes to trial.
Often, the personal injury victim feels that the insurance company will “take photographs” and keep the photographs for them.
However, even your insurance company can be adverse in many circumstances.
Do not assume that you can access the photographs taken by an insurance company.
Often, the adjuster will not take photos designed to be informative at trial unless the adjuster believes they will benefit their defense of the claim.
We have seen adjusters take only photos of areas slightly damaged when the car was totaled out.
Trying to Tough It Out
Well, it is generally commendable for someone to try to tough it out, in personal injury litigation, the opposite is true.
Often, someone will wait weeks and even months before they understand that the injury is not going away and, for the first time, seek medical treatment.
Unfortunately, this delay in getting medical help plays directly into the hands of the insurance carrier. The adjuster then claims that the accident did not cause the injury, that the injury was not serious, or that the person would’ve waited long to seek treatment.
Additionally, the personal injury victim has made it much harder for their treating physician to give an opinion on the cause of the injury.
Adjusters are not paid to be fair to the adverse claimant. In fact, most adjusters are actually employees of the company they represent. Money saved on a claim makes them look good, and therefore, they try to pay as little as they possibly can to you. Expecting fairness is the biggest mistake most personal injury victims make.
Even experienced business people are taken aback by a friendly adjuster who indicates that they “assume responsibility”. But once the subject turns to payment of money, it is usually then when the light bulb comes on that indicates ‘we need a lawyer.
If you were in an auto accident in which you got hurt, speaking to a car accident lawyer surely can’t hurt, especially if you are going to try to negotiate the case yourself.
Not Understanding How Long a Claim Takes
Personal injury claims take time. The more serious the injuries the longer the case can take. Fair settlements usually take some time after the victim has been released by their doctors.
Quick settlements are usually lowball offers and not fair compensation for damages like pain and suffering.
Call Baumgartner Law Firm Houston Personal Injury Lawyers for Help
Whether or not a personal injury claimant decides to hire a personal injury attorney, there is no doubt that they should take advantage of a free consultation as soon as possible after the accident. The Baumgartner Law Firm is based in Houston, Texas, and serves all of Texas.
(281) 587-1111 or email us!