When Does a Car Accident Become a Personal Injury Claim?

When injured in a car accident, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by uncontrollable events after the wreck: dealing with medical bills, getting your car fixed (or replaced), all those calls (and letters) from insurance companies, not to mention the pain and hassle resulting from the injuries themselves. It can be a real chore for car wreck victims to decide whether they need to hire an attorney.

Sometime after your automobile accident, likely sooner than later, you may come to accept that your injuries and other associated costs are far greater than you first thought. You could file a claim with the negligent driver’s auto insurance company. But how much do you know about the compensation process? Do you understand how much money is really needed to cover your losses — all those medical bills, your missed income as you recuperate, your pain and suffering, and other lesser, but still important, expenses?

Every accident victim’s standard for determining whether or not to file a claim is relative and depends on the severity of their losses and the amount of ambiguity they’re willing to deal with in order to recover them. The more money an injured victim needs after a wreck, the greater the odds the negligent defendant’s insurer will resist paying the victim’s total legitimate claim. They won’t sweat claims of a few thousand dollars or so, especially if no one was seriously hurt. However, by tapping into the knowledge of a seasoned personal injury lawyer  at The Johnson Law Firm, you will be better able to decide if a claim, or even a lawsuit, is the right pathway to recovering your losses.

Most personal injury law firms work on a contingency basis. Therefore, they – and we with The Johnson Law Firm in Pikeville – never charge for a consultation. So this initial (free) “case evaluation” is not only your chance to decide whether you should hire us, it’s also our opportunity to decide how best to handle your car accident case. We encourage you to take advantage of other injury lawyers’ free initial visits. Depending on the number of “offers” these firms make to take your case, it will give you a good idea whether you should (or shouldn’t) file a claim. And depending on the questions you ask these prospects, you can get a very good idea of the difficulties you may encounter in collecting on your claim. The right lawyer (if you choose wisely) will likely negotiate an acceptable settlement; since only one in 10 claims end up going to trial.

It’s certain that if you take advantage of all this available “free legal knowledge” in your complimentary case evaluations, you will not regret meeting with an attorney (or several). And if you build a personal connection with one of these prospective lawyers, all the better when it comes to hire the right one to move your claim forward.

Other indicators you need an attorney to manage your claim may include:

  • The negligent driver’s insurance company is bugging you with calls and letters.
  • That same insurer offers a settlement that appears adequate within a day or two of the accident, but, in reality, it’s far from what you will end up needing.
  • The defendant’s insurer wants you to make a statement they will record (though they may not tell you it’s being recorded – look out!). If that happens, start looking for a lawyer IMMEDIATELY!
  • The injuries sustained by you and/or your passengers are serious, and expensive.
  • Someone in your vehicle suffered a wrongful death from the accident (which means a representative from the defendant’s insurer is likely to be on your doorstep with check in hand).
  • You detect any other behavior that tells you the defendant’s insurer is worried.

Once you stop and think, it shouldn’t be hard to understand when you need a lawyer and when you don’t. The more attention you get from the insurer and how fast they offer a settlement are your two biggest clues.

Just remember, don’t sign anything and don’t make any statements to anyone – other than the police – without speaking to at least one seasoned injury lawyer. The Johnson Law Firm in Pikeville is available to you 24-7 to schedule your free consultation, either through this website’s contact feature or the telephone number listed on this web page.

 

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