When Should You Speak to a Personal Injury Attorney?

June 24, 2013  |  Adriel B. Villarreal

Many people wait far too long before speaking to a personal injury attorney. Waiting to call an attorney can be a problem if they’ve already taken actions that could severely limit or impact their ability to obtain a fair settlement.
Any kind of accident can be chaotic. Your first priority in any accident is to promptly seek the medical care that you need. Be sure to follow all of the doctor’s orders and remain under their care until release.
Do not leave before the doctor would recommend or stop treatment because you “feel better” as you could be in for problems later. Many injuries or injury complications don’t show up for weeks after the accident.
Once you’ve received your immediate medical care you can start contemplating the next steps. You should talk to an attorney first before you talk to anybody from the insurance company.
This includes insurance adjusters, lawyers, or even customer service personnel. In a personal injury case, most of the effort revolves around getting the insurance company to pay a fair and balanced settlement that takes all of your injuries and complications into account.
Often, the insurance company will try to lure you in by offering a settlement that may seem high to you but which could be, in reality, not large enough to cover all your long term needs. If you take the check and sign the release form you’ve just ended your case.
It’s better to speak to a personal injury lawyer first so that you have a better idea of whether or not you have a case, what kind of case you have and what kind of compensation you might be entitled to receive. The lawyer will deal with the insurance companies on your behalf.
This is useful, since insurance companies may also try to lure you into saying things on recorded phone calls that could drastically impact your case in a negative way. They can take those words out of context or encourage you to make offhanded comments that damage your case.
“How are you feeling today?”
“Fine. How are you?”
You may not be fine. You might just be speaking with customary politeness. But the insurance company could find a way to use even this innocuous statement against you.
Sometimes the insurance company refuses to pay at all. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and heartache by simply calling a personal injury attorney right away. There’s nothing to be gained by arguing with the insurance company on the phone.
If you’ve been in a traffic accident you should definitely speak to a personal injury attorney before pleading guilty to any traffic citation. A police officer might write you a ticket immediately after an accident, but that doesn’t mean you’re guilty of the offense! A ticket is an accusation and a summons to account for your actions in court. It’s not a representation of absolute truth.
Remember, simply paying the ticket amounts to a guilty plea. That guilty plea might come back to haunt you when you’re seeking fair compensation later.
At Barna, Guzy, and Steffen, Ltd. we help our clients get the compensation they deserve so that they can pay medical bills, compensate for lost wages, and get on with their lives after being hurt by someone else’s negligence.
We will honestly tell you whether or not you have a case that’s worth pursuing. Contacting us to find out if you do is free. You will not pay anything unless or until a settlement is reached. We have more than 60 years of combined experience in the personal injury field and we’re ready to listen. Call us today.