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Posted in Car Accidents on October 5, 2020
After a serious car accident, you have plenty of items on your To Do list. Your first priority: medical care. If you suffered severe injuries, you may find yourself swept away as you receive contact from a host of companies that want your account of the accident. One of those? The insurance adjuster. Before you speak with the insurance adjuster, however, you may need to make a phone call of your own: one to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. These reasons can help you better understand why you need to speak with an attorney before you take that call from an insurance adjuster.
An insurance adjuster may have a lot of questions for you. Much of that information, you do not necessarily have to share. For example, the insurance adjuster does not necessarily need to know about any past personal injury claims you may have filed or whether have had a car accident in the past. The insurance adjuster may also ask highly specific questions that have little bearing on your claim, including what specific actions you took to prevent the accident.
An attorney can help you understand what you need to share and what information the insurance adjuster really does not need—and what information could hurt your claim. In many cases, an attorney can take over many of those communications for you, preventing you from inadvertently accepting responsibility for something you did not cause or mistakenly minimizing the compensation you can receive for your injuries.
Many insurance adjusters will talk around you in circles. The adjuster may try to put words in your mouth or try to convince you to accept his version of events, even when that version does not fit with what you remember.
Memory often fades quickly, particularly after a highly traumatic event like a car accident. You may find yourself questioning what you remember or struggling to answer questions, especially as you go over the events of the accident again and again. Did you really see what you thought you saw? Did you try to avoid the collision? What did you notice about the accident?
An attorney can help you straighten out what you remember from the event. Where an insurance adjuster might ask leading questions designed to challenge what you remember, an attorney will help you sort out the things that you actually remember from the accident and put together a statement that you can use to inform your future communications with the insurance company.
The longer you wait after an accident, the faster evidence can disappear. Witness contact information may go missing, or the witness may no longer actually remember the event. In the case of an accident with a big truck driver, driver logs might get deleted, or the driver might lose track of many of his personal records. Sometimes, an insurance company may even try to make that information disappear, especially if it paints the driver covered by that company in a poor light.
An attorney, on the other hand, can help collect that evidence on your behalf. An attorney may collect witness testimony, look for video footage, and check over logbooks. Your attorney may also consult an expert witness to help get a better idea of exactly what led to your accident.
All of this evidence can add up in your favor, especially if you know you did not cause or contribute to the accident.
Many insurance adjusters will start their interaction with you by trying to limit the compensation you ultimately receive for your injuries as much as possible. In many cases, including cases in which you suffer severe injuries, the insurance company may try to issue a settlement in one of your early conversations.
The settlement often sounds attractive. You have a damaged vehicle, serious injuries, and a lot of bills piling up fast. You may already feel the pinch of lost wages, especially if you had to miss a considerable amount of work after the accident. The insurance adjuster may play on that, trying to convince you that you should accept the offer to get compensation in your hands as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, that settlement offer may not reflect the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. In many cases, it represents only a fraction of the compensation you really deserve for your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering. If you accept that offer, unfortunately, it can prevent you from ultimately receiving the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help give you a picture of how much you should really expect in compensation for an auto accident, including when to accept an offer and when to continue negotiating for the funds you really deserve.
Talking to an insurance adjuster can cause a lot of stress for the victim of an auto accident. You may feel as though you have to fight them in order to get the compensation you really deserve. Often, the adjuster may pressure you, making you feel responsible for an accident you did not cause or contribute to. An attorney can help relieve much of the stress and pressure associated with those interactions, including taking over many of them for you to free you up to focus on other concerns, including your recovery.
Did you suffer injuries in a car accident? Do not wait to get in touch with an attorney. Talking to an experienced personal injury attorney before you speak with an insurance adjuster can give you a better idea of your legal rights and the compensation you deserve following a serious accident. Contact the Law Office of John W. Redmann, LLC today at 504-500-5000 to get a better idea of your legal rights after an auto accident.