There are many reasons why early contact with a personal injury attorney is a smart move following a motor vehicle accident.
First, most personal injury attorneys provide a free consultation. There is nothing to lose. The worst thing that might happen is that you will find out that you already knew how to do everything right. The best thing that might happen is that you may learn of something that is very important to your case early on when it matters most.
Second, you do not know what you don’t know. There is no reason why anyone should have a good understanding of how insurance claims work following an accident. While getting your vehicle fixed might be fairly straightforward (and if it isn’t then that is a sign that there may be problems ahead too for your bodily injury claim), the insurance industry has many ways in which it will attempt to try and pick your claim apart in an effort to pay as little as possible.
Many times, I have spoken with clients after they have already provided prior medical records and/or an under oath statement to their company. It is not uncommon for people to believe that they handled these matters in a reasonable way because they are, of course, reasonable people who aren’t trying to take advantage of the system. While this is true, it doesn’t mean that the system isn’t trying to take advantage of the injured person. Prior injuries are a great example. Insurance companies love prior injuries because they can use them to create doubt about whether or not the collision caused the injuries that the driver now has. While it is valid that a true prior condition may not be the fault of the accident, the intricacies of whether or not it is reasonable to say this is the case, the interplay between a prior condition and the injuries suffered in the collision, and the fact that some prior conditions have been resolved long enough that they no longer can legally be called a “prior condition” are all questions unique to each person’s claim.
Third, what may seem like a straight-forward liability situation to you may well not be for the adverse insurance company. Any percentage of fault that is applied to the injured driver is a percentage of compensation that the adverse insurance company doesn’t have to pay. So, if you are 20% at fault, then they only pay 80% of your bills and general damages. There is a great incentive to fight about liability and so making sure that you don’t give them information that hurts your case, especially inadvertently, is important.
These are only a few of the many reasons why an early consultation is a good idea At Wiener and Lambka, PS our consultations are always free and we’re happy to talk with you about your legal questions.