The Nine Most Important Things You Need To Know After An Accident
Before I started representing accident victims in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, I worked for a major insurance company. As an insurance company lawyer, I worked on cases involving all kinds of accidents - auto accidents, slip and fall accidents, and more.
Working for the insurance company, I gained first-hand, inside knowledge of the way that insurance companies evaluate and handle injury claims. I subsequently started my own law firm so that I could use that same knowledge to help people who had been injured, people who were now going up against the insurance companies themselves.
If you've been hurt in an accident, or even think you may have been hurt, here are the nine most important things you need to know:
1. You need to go the doctor as soon as possible if you haven't already gone. Don't delay. A doctor's visit is not just for medical reasons. The longer the time between the accident date and the date you first go to the doctor, the more the insurance company will try to penalize you.
2. You need to go to the right doctor. Not all doctors have practices that will provide the specific kind of care that accident patients need. For example, you will usually not receive the necessary attention and treatment from a family doctor or primary care physician that you will from a doctor who specializes in treating people who have been injured in an accident.
3. You need to go to all of the doctor and physical therapy appointments that are prescribed for you. People sometimes fail to complete the treatment program prescribed by their doctor. This is a mistake, both for medical reasons and in terms of the insurance claim. You may not heal as quickly or even at all, and you'll likely receive less from the settlement.
4. Contrary to the way that he or she may act, the insurance company adjuster is not your friend. He or she has one ultimate goal: to convince you to settle your case for as little as possible, and often for much less than it's worth. Don't be fooled.
5. You may be entitled to a number of different types of monetary damages under Texas law. If you don't know how each one may apply to your case, find someone to help you who does know. The seven most common types of damages are:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent impairment
- Damage to your vehicle
6. You have to be extremely careful what you say to the insurance company - for example, how you describe the accident or your injuries. They will try to use everything you say against you. Even an offhand remark or side comment can potentially lead to a dramatic decrease in the settlement offered to you on a claim.
7. The insurance company will usually treat you more fairly with regard to the damage to your car than they will for your injury claim. (And there's a good chance they won't treat you fairly on the damage to your car.)
8. The insurance company adjusters are full of tricks. They will try to trick you into thinking they're helping you. They may try to trick you into settling your case before your medical treatment is finished. They may even trick you into thinking you don't need a lawyer. Unfortunately, they could eventually trick you into settling your case without getting what you justly deserve.
9. When it comes to handling accident and injury cases, not all personal injury lawyers are the same:
- Not all have experience in handling accident and injury cases
- Not all are skilled in the art of negotiating
- Not all are personally involved in their clients' cases
- Hardly any have actually worked for an insurance company
If we can help you in any way, or answer any questions you may have, please don't hesitate to call us. Whether you need an auto accident lawyer, a slip and fall accident attorney, or you've been in some other type of accident, I can evaluate your case, explain your rights and options, and help you obtain fair compensation. Whether you're in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Allen, McKinney, or anywhere else in Texas, and need a personal injury attorney, we're here to help.
Call or Email Stephen Johnson for a free initial consultation about your personal injury case.