Mitchell Lattof | June 10, 2020 | Personal Injury
Being injured in an accident can be a traumatic life event. A victim often deals with severe injuries and financial losses that can be overwhelming. Insurance claims adjusters can add another layer of stress and anxiety for a victim.
Claims adjusters are interested in settling an injury claim as quickly as possible for the least amount of money. Some adjusters can be very aggressive. Victims may be pressured to settle a personal injury claim before they heal from their injuries.
Personal Injury Lawyers Protect You From Aggressive Claims Procedures
When you hire a personal injury attorney, you can focus on your recovery instead of an insurance claim. Your attorney handles all aspects of your injury claim, including dealing with the insurance adjuster. The insurance company and other parties should contact your attorney, not you.
In addition to stopping a claims adjuster from pressuring you into making statements, signing medical releases, or settling your injury claim too early, an attorney also:
- Investigates the accident to determine fault;
- Gathers and preserves critical evidence;
- Interviews eyewitnesses;
- Obtains copies of accident reports and police reports;
- Works with your medical providers to obtain an accurate and detailed medical diagnosis and impairment rating;
- Research laws applicable to your case;
- Monitors deadlines to file claims and personal injury lawsuits;
- Calculates the value of your damages, including financial losses, pain, and suffering;
- Prepares a demand settlement package;
- Negotiates with the insurance company to settle the claim; and,
- Prepares and files a personal injury lawsuit, if necessary.
Your attorney evens the playing field between you and the insurance company. You deserve a legal team working to protect your best interest against a large corporation seeking to pay you as little as possible for your injuries and damages.
Five Signs You Should Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney can benefit you in most situations. However, there are some situations in which you should always consult with an attorney.
Five signs that you need to hire a personal injury attorney immediately are:
1. The Insurance Company is Delaying Settlement
An insurance company has to investigate claims promptly. If a company fails to take reasonable steps to investigate a claim and provide the victim with a decision, the insurance company could be guilty of bad faith.
Also, the company may be attempting to drag out the case until the Statute of Limitations has expired. The Statute of Limitations is a deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, any lawsuit you file can be dismissed.
In most personal injury claims in Alabama, you have just two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. However, there could be exceptions that shorten or extend the deadline.
2. You Are Being Accused of Contributing to the Cause of Your Injury
Alabama applies the pure contributory negligence theory of law to personal injury claims. It is the harshest standard for contributory negligence claims.
Under pure contributory negligence, if you have any responsibility for the cause of the accident, you cannot recover any money for your injury claim. In other words, if you are just one percent at fault for the cause of the accident, the other party is not responsible for any of your damages or losses.
Insurance companies in Alabama like to use contributory negligence as a defense to insurance claims. By blaming the victim, the insurance company hopes to get out of paying a valid injury claim.
3. The Accident Caused a Permanent Disability
Accidents that involve catastrophic injuries and traumatic injuries can result in permanent disabilities and impairments. Victims who sustain permanent disabilities might be entitled to additional compensation for future damages.
However, valuing future damages can be challenging. In most cases, medical experts, economists, and other experts are needed to estimate the cost of ongoing medical treatment, future personal care, and loss of future wages and benefits. A personal injury lawyer has resources to retain the experts necessary to assist with future damages.
4. You Are Unsure How Much Your Claim is Worth
Valuing a personal injury claim can be complicated, especially in high-value cases. Placing a value on a person’s pain and suffering is impossible, but attorneys must do so to recover compensation for their clients.
Attorneys understand how juries and insurance companies value pain and suffering damages. They understand how to use the evidence and facts in the case to maximize these damages.
The insurance company will not tell you the actual value of your claim. You need an attorney to ensure that you are seeking maximum compensation for your injury claim.
5. Your Child Was Injured in an Accident
It can be difficult for a parent to be objective when they are seeking justice for their child. Parents can allow anger at the other party for causing an injury to cloud their better judgment.
Having an attorney gives you a different perspective that can help you obtain the best possible outcome for your child. Also, personal injury settlements for minors have different rules. An attorney ensures that you follow the procedures for obtaining and securing a settlement for your child.
Talking to an attorney never hurts. In most cases, consulting a personal injury attorney about your accident claim provides benefits that you may not be aware that you need until you meet with the attorney.