Calling a personal injury lawyer may not be the first thought you have as the victim of an automobile accident, but experts suggest that maybe it should be. Most people — after seeking medical attention and notifying the police, of course — reach out to their insurance company to report the incident and file a claim.
Unfortunately, talking to an insurance representative first, especially if another driver was at fault, could potentially affect your settlement.
To preserve and protect your legal interests, contact an attorney away. Here’s why.
Calling the Insurance Company
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses that make money by collecting premiums from customers. Naturally, they do pay out some of this money in claims; however, the companies strive to maintain, or preferably increase, their profit margins — and they do this by denying claims.
While your insurance representative may seem friendly and helpful, the reality is that the adjuster will take your accident information and look for ways to pay out the least possible amount, or to deny the claim entirely. It is in the best interest of the insurance company to calculate a low settlement offer for your claim, and to attempt to compel you to accept it.
Why You Should Call a Lawyer First
Your lawyer should represent your needs to the insurance company. This will help ensure that your interests are protected and that you obtain fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage resulting from your automobile accident.
A personal injury attorney also will offer you advice regarding your legal options for recovering damages, typically providing a free, no-obligation consultation and evaluation of your accident case. Many cases are accepted on a contingency basis, meaning that no legal fees will be collected unless the injury lawyer is able to get you compensation, and no upfront fees are necessary. When your legal claim is successful, legal fees are generally based on a percentage of the recovery.
Should You Accept an Insurance Settlement?
Though insurance commercials seem to indicate otherwise, insurance adjusters do not work for you; they work for the insurer. It is their job to settle claims at the least possible expense to the company.
Often, the settlement amount offered may not be enough to cover your expenses and the damages resulting from the accident. And even if the offer seems fair, it is important to consider that, once the settlement is accepted, no further compensation can ever be recovered. Even if you discover that your injuries and loss of income are greater than initially considered, you will be unable to collect additional damages.
So you can see why it is important to consult an experienced injury lawyer prior to giving a statement or accepting any settlement from the insurance company. In Boise, Idaho, consult with an experienced injury lawyer at the Montgomery Dowdle immediately if you or a loved one has been involved in an automobile accident. We are Idaho’s premier personal injury lawyers.