Common Questions Crash Victims Often Have for Their Lawyers
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Feb 26, 2021 in Auto Accidents
If you have ever been involved in a car accident, you know crash victims often have numerous questions for their attorneys. These questions cover a variety of topics, from the validity of a claim to the value of damages and how an attorney may be able to assist them.
Phillips Law Group has compiled a list of questions crash victims often have for their attorneys. If you need answers to these or any other questions after an auto accident, call today to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help – over more than 28 years we have recovered more than $750 million in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Should I File a Claim?
If someone else caused the accident, he or she should be held accountable. You should not have to pay your medical bills out of your own pocket.
There is no telling how severe your injuries might be. Some injuries may not be very painful at first, but they could worsen in the coming weeks and months. Treating these injuries is not cheap, and without proper treatment you could be left with chronic pain that makes everyday life painful and difficult. It may be hard for you to enjoy the activities you once did.
Contacting a car accident attorney in Phoenix to discuss the situation is an important step. You can find out what your options may be.
Can I Afford an Attorney?
Despite numerous TV and radio advertisements and billboards stating there are no upfront fees, many people still do not know how most personal injury lawyers are paid.
Phillips Law Group operates on contingency. That means there are no upfront fees. There is no retainer or hourly rate when you meet with a lawyer for a free consultation. There are also no fees while your attorney works on your case. Our lawyers are paid if, and when, we recover compensation for you.
That means there is no financial risk in meeting with us to discuss your potential case.
However, it is important to discuss this when you first meet with an attorney, so you can avoid surprises later in the process.
Can I Sue the Other Driver?
While a lawsuit is certainly one option for pursuing compensation, the truth is most car accident cases involve insurance claims. It is only when the claim is unsuccessful that a lawsuit might be pursued.
That said, it is important to find an attorney with experience and the resources to take your case to trial. Sometimes the only way to have a chance of obtaining full compensation is to file a lawsuit when the insurance company’s settlement offer is too low.
If your attorney is not prepared to go to court, you may be stuck taking what the insurance company is offering. Unfortunately, insurers regularly offer settlements that are far less than a claim may be worth.
What Do I Say to the Insurance Company?
The at-fault driver’s insurance company often contacts the victim to offer a settlement or to take a statement. Insurance companies know victims are vulnerable early in the process. They are often unsure of their options, the value of their claim, their rights, and what the insurer’s intentions really are.
A good rule is to not say much to the insurance company. You can say you have sought medical treatment and state the date and time of the crash. If you say more than that, you run the risk of giving the insurance company something to use against you. For example, an off-the-cuff remark about how you were in a rush at the time of the crash could be used to pin fault for the crash on you.
You do not have to sign a statement, give a recorded statement, or rate how much pain you are in. You can refer the insurance company to your attorney.
The insurer is not on your side and are looking to pay out the least possible amount of compensation.
Am I Partially at Fault for the Crash?
Insurance companies like to try to convince accident victims the crash was their fault, or at least partially their fault. They do this because they want to reduce the value of your compensation award. Under Arizona law, compensation awards can be reduced based a victim’s percentage of fault.
The attorneys at Phillips Law Group will need to review your claim to determine if you may bear some fault. It is best not to take the insurance company’s word for it. Even if you think you broke a traffic law or were negligent somehow, this is something to discuss with an attorney, not the insurance company.
How Much Compensation is Available?
It depends on many things, like the amount of medical bills you incur to treat your injuries. While the insurance company is committed to paying out the smallest settlement possible, or no settlement at all, an experienced attorney should be committed to obtaining the maximum amount available.
The value of a claim often does not become clear until you have completed your medical treatment and your doctors determine the long-term effects of your injuries. That is why it is a bad idea to accept any settlement offered by the insurance company early in the process.
What if My Claim is Worth More Than the Insurance Policy?
There are still options for recovering compensation to make up the difference between the limits of the at-fault driver’s policy and the value of your damages. These options can be discussed with your attorney, as these types of cases can quickly become complex.
Underinsured motorist coverage in your own insurance policy may provide the extra compensation you need.
How Do I Pay My Bills if I Cannot Work?
You may be able to claim lost wages in your car crash insurance claim. This would cover the money you lost because you could not work. This would also cover the money lost when you missed work to receive treatment.
It is important to keep track of the hours you missed so you can claim all of them when you seek compensation.
Should I Avoid Social Media?
You do not have to stay off all your social media accounts, but it is not a bad strategy. You must remember, the insurance company is actively looking for anything to use against you. Pictures and text posted to social media could easily be used against you.
If you do continue posting on social media while your claim is being processed, you should avoid posts about your claim. You should also avoid posting anything that would make it seem like you are not injured or that your injuries are not that serious. Pictures of you partying with friends or on a vacation on a beach somewhere can damage your credibility.
Phillips Law Group is Here to Help. Schedule a Free Consultation.
There is no risk in contacting our firm to set up a meeting with one of our experienced attorneys. At Phillips Law Group, we work on contingency, which means no upfront fees.
You can learn more about our services by scheduling a free consultation today. Our attorneys have been serving Arizona injury victims for nearly three decades and have a proven track record of success.
Find out if you may have a case. Call 1-800-706-3000.