If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, then you know how much of a nightmare they can be. You not only have to deal with the damage to your car (or any other property that was damaged), but the physical and emotional injuries you sustained. If you had passengers, it can complicate things more.
Once you have received initial medical treatment for your injuries and have had your vehicle towed off to a body shop, your first order of business should be to call a Huntsville car crash injury attorney. Injury attorneys have experience in handling all facets of car accidents, and you need the ability to focus on getting better rather than being run around by insurance companies.
An attorney will begin investigating your case by obtaining the official accident report, any statements made to the insurance companies involved, photos of property damage, and photos of your physical injuries.
You should begin to see activity on your case with your attorney negotiating with the insurance company to get your vehicle repaired in a timely manner. If you have ever had to chase your insurance company just to get a rental car approved after an accident, you understand how frustrating even this part of the process can be to handle on your own.
Even with property damage claims, attorneys understand that you can place yourself into a detrimental position by trusting the insurance company. You may be told that you have to use one of their repair shops, or that you need to accept their initial offer because that’s all they’re authorized to pay out for your vehicle. Don’t allow them to take advantage of your inexperience and desire to simply be done with it all.
Should I settle my car accident claim just to be done with it?
Personal injury claims, like those for car accidents, typically take longer to settle than you might think. Your injuries may require you to be treated for a period of time and until you have reached what is known as maximum medical improvement, you shouldn’t settle. You may need physical therapy, or even need surgery or other procedures in the future. Until those unknowns can be predicted, you may be seriously shortchanged in a settlement offer that will leave you financially responsible for your future care related to an accident that wasn’t your fault. You can bet the insurance company will push to settle faster to avoid this possibility, and without an attorney, you may cave under the pressure.
Once your health has improved enough to talk settlement, your attorney will gather all of your related medical records and medical bills, and begin the negotiation process with the claims adjuster. Having a knowledgeable third party who is on your side to negotiate for you, is more to your benefit in obtaining a larger settlement. Your attorney will know every area of damages you are entitled to receive, and every factor from your accident and recovery that will provide leverage to increase your compensation.
Will my lawyer force me to go to trial?
Most insurance companies prefer to settle because they understand there is a risk in going to trial. It may cost them significantly more than just increasing a settlement offer. However, sometimes negotiations fail because the settlement amount offered won’t come close to making you whole again, and litigation becomes necessary. No attorney will ever force you into a trial, but if your injuries are severe, court may be the best option for securing a fair and just award.
If your case has to be prepared for trial, your attorney will file a complaint and engage in the discovery process. This involves gathering evidence related to the crash, your property loss, your lost wages, and your resulting injuries, to prove to a jury why you should be entitled to more than the insurance company is offering.
People who have been injured in car accidents and begin dealing with insurance companies directly are starting out placing themselves at a disadvantage. You need to place yourself on equal footing with the claims agent to guarantee you will be treated fairly.
If you have suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident, you need an attorney who will fight for you to obtain the compensation you need to move on with your life. To schedule your free consultation with a Huntsville car accident attorney from Martin & Helms, call us at 256-203-0332, or reach out to us through our contact page. From offices in Huntsville and Decatur, we proudly represent clients in Athens, Madison, and throughout all of North Alabama.
Choosing the right personal injury attorney is an important step in building a better future. You deserve a lawyer who works one-on-one with you, and who can develop a plan for you to move forward. When you choose Martin & Helms, you get Clay Martin and Tara Helms: experienced, compassionate counselors who put your best interests first. We invite you to read more about us.