A lady called me after hours one Friday afternoon. We will call her “Sarah” to protect her identity. I happened to be working late in the office, so I answered the telephone. I did not know this lady, but she was interested in speaking with an attorney to help her decide whether it was too late to hire an attorney to deal with the insurance company and resolve her case. I told Sarah that she had called the right person.
Sarah’s accident happened about six months earlier. She had completed her initial medical treatment for her injuries and had incurred a good number of medical expenses. Sarah seemed to be very bright and capable. She believed that she was able to effectively negotiate her claim on her own. Sarah put together a demand for the insurance company. Upon submission to the adjuster, Sarah believed the adjuster would write a check to pay for the losses which she claimed were suffered in her car accident.
Going Against the Insurance Company On Your Own Puts You At a Disadvantage
Sarah quickly learned that the insurance adjuster had no intention of paying what she thought her injuries were worth. She further learned, that despite the fact the other driver was completely at fault, the insurance adjuster did not want to part with the insurance company’s money and give it to Sarah. Ultimately, an offer was made by the insurance company which was about 18% of the initial demand. Sarah was shocked. She could not believe that the offer was even less than her medical bills. Unfortunately, Sarah’s story is not unique; rather, it is similar to a vast majority of injury victims who have tried to resolve their injury cases on their own. While some are successful in resolving their claims, many others are frustrated, angry and hurt from the entire experience. Some end up in my office asking for a lifeline to help them get what is rightfully theirs.
At the conclusion of the telephone call, I told Sarah that we could help and that it was not too late for her.
In Serious Accidents, Hiring an Attorney Soon After Your Claim Can Prevent Unnecessary Mistakes or Delays
So when should you hire an attorney for a car accident case? If the accident caused you serious injuries or the death of a loved one, you seek help from a lawyer right away. Having an attorney early following an accident helps you avoid mistakes which are made by inexperienced accident victims dealing with highly trained insurance adjusters. If the injury is clearly not serious and your pain goes away within a few days or even a month, you probably don’t need a lawyer to help you with your claim. These injuries are generally resolved effectively by simple negotiations between the injury victim and the insurance adjuster. They are generally resolved for small amounts of money. But, remember, if you are still hurt, don’t settle your case until you are better. If you don’t improve quickly with reasonable medical care, contact a lawyer for help.
4 Reasons to Not Delay in Finding a Personal Injury Attorney
If your case is one which should be handled by a lawyer, waiting too long to hire an attorney may detrimentally affect your claim. Here are just four reasons why you should seek a lawyer early following an accident to represent you in your car accident claim:
- The insurance adjuster will want to take your statement very soon after the accident. Simple inaccuracies in statements provide the insurance companies with ammunition to use against you later on when you claim you are injured. This could reduce your financial recovery from your claim. Just as criminals ask for their lawyers before speaking with the authorities, injury victims should have their lawyers before providing a statement to an insurance adjuster.
- Delays in pursuing a claim send a negative message to the insurance company that you are not hurt or that you aren’t interested in seeking a recovery. Not getting the right medical treatment, or timely treatment sends a message that your claim is not important to you and it should not be important to the insurance company.
- Significant delays may keep lawyers from wanting to represent you at all because they have not been able to assist you in properly preparing your claim. You may have attempted to settle your claim on your own. If you attempt to do so for an amount which is too low or too high, that message frames the claim and the lawyer does not have the ability to use his or her talents in establishing a proper value of the claim.
- Delays of more than two years on a car accident claim without a lawsuit filed will prevent you from pursuing any action because the statute of limitation to pursue a claim is expired. You lose your rights for any recovery except in very limited and isolated circumstances.
The best advice is that after any accident, call a lawyer and see if you need a representative to fight for your rights and your recovery.
Contact Our Legal Team Today for a Free, No-Obligation Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from the neglect of another, call the Inland Empire Law Group to speak with our team of legal professionals who will answer your questions with straightforward responses. You can have your claim professionally evaluated so you know if you need a lawyer right at the beginning of the legal process. All of this is done for you without cost to you. We have offices in Rancho Cucamonga and Victorville, and proudly serve the entire Inland Empire and High Desert regions.
If your claim needs legal help, you can hire the Inland Empire Law Group to represent you on a contingency fee basis and without any upfront costs to you. You will receive excellent representation from a law firm dedicated to helping injury victims and dedicated to the success of our clients. Call now, 909-481-0100 or toll free at 1-888-MY IELAW.