After you experience a car accident, it is sometimes difficult to know how to navigate the insurance claim process, especially if you suffered injuries in the accident. If you do not deal carefully with insurance companies, law enforcement and medical care providers, you may suffer serious consequences or miss out on important portions of a settlement.
In many instances, it is wise to consult with an attorney to make sure that you have all the tools you need to focus on your own recovery and keep your rights protected while you resolve the matter. An experienced attorney can help in a variety of ways, representing and protecting your interests.
At the scene of an accident
In some instances, you may want to call an attorney out to the scene of your accident, to ensure you don’t miss important opportunities to protect yourself and begin building a claim.
An attorney can advise you while you speak to the other parties involved, or can speak on your behalf to ensure that you do not accidentally say something that hurts your interests. For instance, while it is a common courtesy to talk with the other driver and ask about his or her state, it is unwise to apologize or otherwise indicate that you accept liability for the accident.
Even if you think that the accident is your own fault, you may not know all of the factors that contributed to it. An attorney can protect you from compromising your options later on by ensuring that you do not make any admissions of guilt or otherwise complicate the matter.
An attorney also understands how to gather relevant evidence at the scene, which is not always easy to do while you recover from the shock of the accident. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what to look for and how to document it, you may miss important evidence that is crucial to building a strong claim or defending your innocence in the accident.
Even if you do not call an attorney to the scene of your accident, it is important to protect yourself during your recovery. Insurance companies consistently look for opportunities to save when it comes to paying out a settlement. Without a detailed understanding of the insurance claim process and the tricks that insurance companies use to save money at your expense, you may lose a significant portion of a settlement.
An attorney can represent your interests to an insurer and fight to make sure that you receive all the compensation you deserve. If you do suffer serious injuries, an attorney can work with your medical care providers to make sure that you do not drown in medical debt while the you negotiate a settlement. In many cases, insurers that suspect a claimant is desperate to settle because of mounting medical bills may use this desperation to leverage better settlement terms for themselves, leaving you with less than you deserve, and possibly not even covering your medical expenses.
Protect yourself as soon as you can
Whether you choose to use an attorney or not, you should address any medical or legal issues as soon as you can. The sooner that you move forward with these issues, the sooner you can focus on your recovery and get back to your normal life.