I hope that everyone had a Merry Christmas and is enjoying the holidays. I sure wish the weather were better though. Unfortunately car crashes happen 365 days a year and more often when the roads are bad. It’s raining now and sleet and ice are predicted for later in the week. And as we all know, Texans are not good at driving in bad weather.
I’m at the office today working for my injured clients. I wanted to post some thoughts on what you should do if you have unfortunately been injured in a car or truck accident in Dallas Fort Worth.
Almost all (98%) of auto accident cases settle without a trial. However reaching an out of court settlement that is fair to you if you don’t have a skilled professional at your side is virtually impossible. Without knowing the law and the tricks of the trade, you are at the mercy of the insurance company claims adjuster. And he or she knows this.
If you know how to make a compelling claim and negotiate, you will receive much more money. If you want to represent yourself, here are the basic steps a personal injury lawyer uses to successfully negotiate car wreck cases.
1. File claim as soon as possible
After obtaining the police report and conducting an investigation, my office notifies the at-fault driver’s insurance company about our client’s car wreck quickly. This gets the case off to a good start and lets the company know we mean business. We request that the adjuster verify receipt of the letter and outline any objections or defenses the liability carrier plans to raise. We then call to establish communication and attempt to find out how large the adverse driver’s insurance policy is. We investigate other insurance policies and ways to pay our client’s medical bills and establish contact with those entities as well. If there is Personal Injury Protection and other benefits like Medicare, we file the applications to get that process moving.
If you are not represented by a car accident lawyer, here’s a word of caution: only give out information to the insurance adjuster that is necessary to submit your claim. The less you say at this stage, the better. Do not give a recorded statement until you have had the chance to talk to an attorney. Insurance adjusters often take advantage of accident victims who are still in shock and are feeling pain from the accident, are impacted by painkillers, and may not have an idea how to proceed. Then they “swoop and settle” and get a full release of claims for minimal compensation. Continue reading