You’ve been hurt in a car accident. Now what?
The other driver was looking at his phone. He ignored the stop sign. He just wasn’t paying attention to what was going on. As a result, he hit you and now the insurance company is calling, the hospital bills are starting come in and you don’t know what to do.
One of your first questions may be, do I need to hire a lawyer?
The short answer is maybe. Some people prefer to negotiate their claims with insurance companies without having a lawyer. And in some circumstances, that’s completely appropriate. For example, if the only damages you are dealing with are damages to your car, then involving a lawyer may not be the right decision for you.
But, if you have a claim that involves any type of medical treatment, you are likely going to be better served by having a lawyer involved for three reasons:
1) As you read this, the insurance company is picking apart you and your claim.
The person who keeps calling from the insurance company is called an adjuster. Adjusters are insurance professionals who receive regular training in how to deal with injured people. They are graded based on their ability to pay as little as possible to resolve claims.
They may run background checks and conduct audio/visual surveillance using private investigators of you and your family. They will record your conversations with them in an effort to get you to say the wrong thing about what happened, about your medical history or about the ongoing medical issues you are having. They will dig into your medical treatment history to find any basis to discount or deny your claim.
Having us involved prevents the basic mistakes that you don’t know about because you have not done this before from happening. It’s the best way to level the playing field in dealing with the adjuster and insurance companies.
2) Finding everyone responsible for your wreck requires attention to detail and knowledge of the law.
Was the person who hit you driving a company vehicle at the time of the wreck? If the driver was a teenager, did his parents know that he was using their car? If the person was drunk, where did he get the alcohol and why did they give him so much? If it was a one vehicle accident, did the State of Tennessee have information that the curve was dangerous or the roadway wasn’t wide enough? And what if the person that hit you decided to leave the scene before you had a chance to get contact information from them?
The answers to these questions can make or break your case. We are trained and experienced in finding this information. We know how to use the tools that the legal system and the internet give us to track down every single person potentially responsible for your injuries and hold them accountable. Tracking down this information can be the difference between receiving full compensation for your injuries and getting nothing.
3) Showing everything you have been through will require experts and experience.
Every injury client we represent goes through a basic interview process at the beginning of their case to tell us about all of the doctors and hospitals they have been to. Almost without fail, our clients do not know the name of every provider they have seen. For example, if you got to a Nashville emergency room and get a CT scan for a neck injury, you are likely to have at least three different doctors bills: one for the ER doctor, one for the ER staff and one for the radiologist who read the CT scan after it was conducted. If you fail to track down some of these bills, you may leave out thousands of dollars in medical treatment from you claim.
And what about proving the permanency of your injuries or how much money you have lost in income or the severity of your post-concussive syndrome? In order to recover what you are entitled to for each of these types of losses, we will need to hire expert witness included economists, doctors, neuropsychologists and vocational rehabilitation specialists. If you do not have experts, the insurance company will be much less likely to compensate you for these losses.
The insurance carriers are sophisticated professionals in dealing with claims. Make sure you have your own team of professionals fighting for you and your family. Give us a call at (615) 846-6200.