An accident brings stress, uncertainty and a great deal of worry into your life. There’s a bunch of moving parts that start going full speed after you’re in an accident. Medical bills, liability, driving records, insurance, and plenty more are just some of the things you have to worry about, and that doesn’t even take into account your long-term health! Since everything comes at them so fast, individuals often feel like they need to rush to settlements, provide statements, or admit to fault/liability to get their life and health on track again. That’s not always the case, however.
While your claim, or lawsuit process, from an accident could flow smoothly, rushing to action without full knowledge of your legal rights will likely cost both you and your family in the end. Recovering from an auto accident should be done with eyes wide open and knowledge of what’s to come. Unfortunately, many people don’t have that knowledge. We want to pass on that knowledge to you, so here are a few points to remember if you’re ever in an accident.
Recorded Statements and Your Rights
After an auto accident, an insurance representative or adjuster will likely reach out and ask for your recorded statement. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important to know you do NOT have to provide any statement on the record at that time. While the request may seem harmless, providing a statement before you’ve had a chance to collect your thoughts or review what happened could lead to a faulty portrayal of your side of the story. Those few words to the insurance representative could have a severe adverse impact on your case without you even realizing. Before speaking to the insurance company, parties involved in an accident should consider talking to an attorney about their rights under the law.
Legal Representation During the Claims Process
Recorded statements aren’t the only instances where you may need legal representation in your case. A claim for injuries or damage doesn’t have to get in front of a judge for you to hire legal counsel. A qualified accident attorney can help gather data, facts, and supporting documentation. This is critical, as it can ensure you receive the full value of your claim from the insurance company or other involved parties. In the case of a dispute over liability, claim amounts, or in instances of severe property or bodily injury, hiring a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer Atlanta GA can count on, is critical to ensuring you have the resources needed to help you get back on your feet.
Settlement, Discovery, Lawsuits and More
After you’ve submitted a claim with an insurance company, they will often send you a dollar amount. That is the insurance company’s value of your damage or injury. In some cases, this may seem a fair and reasonable settlement that fully compensates you for what happened. In others, however, you may need to push back against the insurer because the value was too low or deficient.
Hiring an attorney for your accident can often result in larger settlement offers when the initial claim was deficient. An experienced attorney is knowledgeable about the intricate details and requirements of insurance claims. They also act as your advocate to large and sophisticated corporate insurers. If a lawsuit is necessary, an attorney will represent you throughout the process. Your attorney can explain what will happen at each step, from the start of evidence gathering (the courts call it discovery) through trial and everything in-between. A good attorney will also tell you exactly what you need to make your case as solid as it can be.
If you’ve been in an accident and need legal advice, contact an attorney today to help protect your rights.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Butler Tobin for their insight into accident and personal injury cases.