Hurt in a car accident?

If you have been injured in a car accident, time is not on your side. You need an experienced, car wreck attorney to help you get the compensation you are owed. The insurance company for the person who hit you will try to delay the process as long as possible. They don’t care about you or your injuries, they will do whatever they can to pay you nothing. But the good news is, the law is on your side and so are we. When you have been injured in a car accident, you need an aggressive, experienced car accident attorney on your side. Before you cash any check, sign any forms, or speak with an adjuster, consult /our experienced car crash attorneys to make sure you get what you deserve.

Hurt working in a car accident?

If you have been injured in a car accident, time is not on your side. You need an experienced, car wreck attorney to help you get the compensation you are owed. The insurance company for the person who hit you will try to delay the process as long as possible. They don’t care about you or your injuries, they will do whatever they can to pay you nothing. But the good news is, the law is on your side and so are we. When you have been injured in a car accident, you need an aggressive, experienced car accident attorney on your side. Before you cash any check, sign any forms, or speak with an adjuster, consult /our experienced car crash attorneys to make sure you get what you deserve.

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Injured in a car accident? Call us now for immediate help with your car accident claim

If you were injured in a car accident in the Houston area, or anywhere else in Texas, you are probably looking for information about your legal rights and may be worried about the medical expenses and lost wages piling up due to your injury. You may also be dealing with insurance companies and their adjusters and lawyers. Getting your car accident claim settled for the amount you deserve as quickly as possible may not be something you can do on your own. That’s why you should consult with an experienced, Board Certified injury attorney as soon as possible.

Why you should hire experienced attorneys immediately to handle your car accident claim

When you have been injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will get to work immediately to protect their negligent driver. They have a team of adjusters and lawyers who will use legal tricks and traps to protect themselves and minimize your injury claim. Luckily, our team of experienced car accident attorneys know exactly how to protect your legal rights. When you hire our law firm, you can rest assured that we will work with you throughout the entire process to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve. We will guide you through the legal system, investigate your case fully, and will be prepared to take your case to court if the insurance company doesn’t make you a reasonable and fair settlement offer.  Learn more about how insurance companies try to trap you into recovering nothing.

What to expect from the car accident claims process

Don’t be afraid to find out your rights after a Houston car accident and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries. A lot of the fear that keeps victims from getting help is a simple fear of the unknown and what will happen. After decades of handling these types of cases, we know what will happen. The insurance company and its representatives will pull any trick in the book to try not to compensate you for your injuries. They are counting on you to not know what to do. The claims process can be lengthy and confusing but, we can help. Read a general overview of what to expect from your car accident injury claim and then contact us so that we can help ease your mind by helping you along every step of the way.

When should you contact an attorney after a car accident?

If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be wondering if you need to contact a car accident attorney. Often, your answer depends on th details of the accident. For example, if you or any of your family members were injured during the accident, then you should seek the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer, especially if there were permanent injuries. Insurance companies can be difficult to work with and its very common for them to offer a low settlement even with significant injuries. Car crash attorneys will work with the insurance company and will be able to negotiate a better settlement than you can on your own. In the case that a settlement cannot be reached, a lawsuit becomes the only option. An experienced auto accident attorney can lead you through this process. Even if you have already settled with your insurance company, it is possible under certain circumstances, to bring a legal action against them. If you aren’t sure if you should contact an attorney, you probably should. Learn more about how to know if you should contact an attorney after a car accident.

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The insurance company is trained to trick injured car accident victims

The insurance company has trained adjusters and attorneys ready to do what they can to make sure you are not fairly compensated for your injuries. Read on to learn how they use recorded statements to trick you into saying something that could hurt your case and how to tell if the insurance company is trying to fool you.

After a car accident, you can expect the insurance companies to be pounding on your door (not literally, of course). More than likely they will be calling you all the time asking for your statement. They will probably say that they are just “gathering information” but their real goal is to try to trick you into saying things that might hurt your case. It is important that you are very careful about what you tell the insurance adjuster, especially if you do not have an attorney. It is always better to refuse to give a recorded statement until you hire an experienced car accident attorney who understands the tricks the insurance company will try to pull. Find out more about why it is smart not to trust the insurance company after you have been injured.

When you have been in a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company will try to call and pressure you into giving a recorded statement. They may even tell you that, by law, you have to give them a recorded statement. That is FALSE! You are under no obligation to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. First, insurance companies hire seasoned professionals who may try to trick you into saying something that will hurt your case. After a serious injury or wrongful death, you may not be in a position to give an accurate and complete statement anyway. Lastly, anything you say to the adjuster may be twisted and used against you later. These adjusters are highly skilled manipulators who want to record your statement for that very reason. You can believe that the other driver’s insurance company is looking out for its own interests. You need someone to look out for yours. That’s where we come in. Read more about how giving a recorded statement could hurt your claim.

If you want to know if the insurance company is trying to trick you, ask them these questions and see what they say:

  1. Before you take my statements, will you admit liability, put it in writing, and have the insurance company sign the letter?
  2. Before you take my statement, will you promise to pay for all my medical care until I am 100% recovered, and will you put that promise in writing, too?
  3. Before you take my statement, may I see a copy of your investigation file for this case?
  4. Before you take my statement, can I take a recorded or written statement from the person who hit my car?
  5. Before you take my statement, will you promise to settle my claim and send the settlement check within 30 days?

Most insurance adjuster will not answer these questions or follow through with the commitments in the questions. That’s because they are not really trying to help you or settle your case quickly or determine what’s wrong with you so they can pay your claim. They are trying to minimize what they owe you.

While avoiding a statement is almost always the best choice, preparing yourself for a statement is probably the second best choice. If you feel like there is no way you can avoid giving some kind of statement to the insurance company, here are some tips:

  • Speak with an attorney first. Remember that a recorded statement is probably not legally required, and victims who offer these statements before speaking with an attorney can easily wreck their claims without realizing it. If you absolutely must give a recorded statement, you can schedule a time to speak with the insurance company after you have a better understanding of your rights.
  • Keep answers short and to the point. While you always want to be honest about what happened, you also don’t need to offer more information than is being asked for. Whether you are filling out the police report or talking to an insurance adjuster, keep your responses short and sweet unless you are speaking with your own legal counsel.
  • Don’t guess if you don’t know. Victims may be asked to estimate details like speeds or distances while speaking to the adjuster, but it may be wise to avoid guessing if you’re not sure. Instead of feeling pressured to offer a guess, don’t be afraid to simply say that you don’t know. If you are pressed to offer an estimation or opinion, don’t be afraid to make it clear that it’s only a guess.

If you’ve already given a recorded statement to the insurance company, don’t panic. Although it could cause some potential problems with your case, there may still be time to save your claim if you’ve already given a recorded statement. You are definitely not the first car accident victim to get talked into giving a recorded statement, and you probably won’t be the last. In fact, this is the most common mistake people make after they are in a car accident. Depending on the details of what you said and what happened, you could still build an injury claim that is stronger than the words being used against you. But you’re probably going to need help.

If you have given a recorded statement, getting compensation for your injuries may be more difficult. First, get informed about your rights so you can avoid further mistakes. Then, talk to an attorney who has experience with complicated auto accident claims. Not every case is the same, and not every attorney has experience, skills, and resources needed to take on a difficult accident case. Make sure you reach out to an attorney who can give you personalized attention, offer honest information about how the recorded statement might affect you, and has the skill and knowledge required to make sure a small mistake doesn’t become a big problem later on.

In their initial visit with you, insurance adjusters will try to talk you out of contacting a personal injury attorney. They may even bad-mouth lawyers in general. What they won’t tell you is that, while you hang around without an attorney, the insurance company has literally hundreds of attorneys on retainer working around the clock, examining your claim for ways to minimize or even eliminate it. Some insurance companies will send letters to people involved in accidents that tell the injured person that they do not need an attorney. Since 1995, for example, Allstate has been sending a letter entitled “Do I Need an Attorney?” which makes the following misleading claims, among others:

  • Claims are settled faster when a lawyer is not involved.
  • Lawyers charge a percentage of recovery but, if you settle directly with Allstate, you get to keep the entire amount.
  • Injury victims can hire a lawyer later if they don’t like the settlement offer.

The letter includes many other statements that are misleading, half-true, or not true at all. In fact, the insurance company’s own statistics prove that it costs the insurance industry an average of $9000 more per claim when the injured person has a lawyer. The reason the insurance companies try to convince people not to hire an experienced lawyer is because they know they can settle the case more cheaply if the injured person doesn’t have a lawyer.

The real truth is that talking to a personal injury attorney—sooner rather than later—can only help your claim. A lawyer who is experienced in handling personal injury claims can walk you through your claim and give you a sense of the compensation you deserve after being hurt. Even if you don’t wind up hiring an attorney, that initial discussion will help you be able to better navigate the claims system and obtain a better settlement. If the insurance company is trying to convince you not to hire a lawyer, you should know right away that they are trying to trick you into settling your case for pennies on the dollar. Talking to an attorney will only strengthen your claim.

Insurance companies play a game with you when you try to make your injury claim. You will never win at their game, because they made up all the rules to benefit themselves. However, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and avoid falling for their tricks:

  • Don’t delay getting medical care
  • Write down everything you remember about the accident, including information about the exact accident location, weather, time of day, the presence of witnesses—anything and everything you recall.
  • Get a copy of the police report.
  • Don’t sign anything from the insurance company until you talk to a lawyer.
  • Don’t give the insurance company a recorded statement.
  • Don’t sign a blanket medical release form.
  • Don’t settle quickly.
  • Don’t mess around with your future and your family’s well-being—get advice and guidance from an experienced attorney before making any decisions about your case.

It isn’t about accident victims getting rich. It is about victims having enough money to pay for the months, years, or even lifetime of medical care they’ll need after a bad accident. For most serious injuries and accidents, you absolutely must consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer if you want to fight for the full worth of your claim. Once your case is in the hands of a qualified injury attorney, the insurance company can no longer play by its own made-up rules, but must abide by the rules of our legal system.

Fortunately, for the most part the rules of our civil justice system are fair to injury victims, and they are certainly much fairer than the insurance company’s rules. If you believe the insurance company is using any of these tactics against you, contact an attorney right away.

What is included in a car accident police report

The police report usually includes a lot of important information, such as:

  • When and where the accident happened. The officer will document the time of the accident and where it happened. This means that the police report is often referred to again and again as an official document for establishing these kinds of basic facts.
  • A diagram of the scene. Many times, the investigating officer will include a rough diagram of the accident scene. For more serious auto crashes, the officer will take pictures and maybe even call in the police “accident reconstruction” team to do a detailed analysis of the crash.
  • Statements from the people involved. Usually, the officer will record what each driver says about how the wreck happened. Sometimes, an officer will also document what passengers or witnesses at the scene have to say.
  • The officer’s conclusions. Typically, the officer will write a brief narrative of his or her opinion on how the accident happened and complete a “factors & conditions” section indicating who, or what, caused the wreck. Sometimes an officer will also record citations issued.
  • Property damage. Officers will document the location and extent of the property damage to all involved vehicles, as well as indicate whether or not each vehicle was towed from the scene.
  • Injuries. Police officers usually document whether anyone was hurt in the wreck, and he or she will usually also indicate the severity of any injuries.
  • Ambulance transport. If anyone is taken from the accident scene by ambulance, the officer will record the ambulance company and the hospital to which the person was taken.

Why the police report matters after a traffic accident

Most car accidents of any significance are investigated by the local police. Typically, the police officer will drive to the scene of the wreck, interview all involved drivers, interview any witnesses, inspect the vehicles, inspect the scene, and complete a written accident report that same day. While this may seem very routine, the police report can actually become a crucial document for establishing the initial facts about a wreck, especially if there is a later personal injury claim. To help clear up any confusion, here are some important things that accident victims need to understand about the police report.

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Why it matters what the police report says about your car accident

A police report establishes when the accident happened, what happened, who was involved, and maybe even who is at fault. It is a key document if you later decide to file an injury claim. Police reports are also public documents, and you should know that your statements in that report will be available to the other driver’s insurance company, the attorney involved, and nearly anyone else who wants a copy.

This also means that the other driver’s insurance company can try to twist your words on the report to minimize your claim. It is the police officer’s job to get the facts, not to help you later win an injury claim and you will be asked to give facts and sometimes estimations. Be careful. When you don’t know the answer or aren’t sure what to say don’t try to guess. If the police report contradicts your case in some way, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up on your injury case. Most of the time, inconsistencies in a police report are something that an experienced attorney can handle. Learn what to do if the police report isn’t accurate.

Should I sign a medical release form after my vehicle accident?

Signing a medical release isn’t as simple as you would think. Asking auto accident victims to sign a medical release form is a common practice for many insurance companies. It might seem like a reasonable request to many people – after all, the insurer need to know about the injuries you suffered in the accident and how you were treated in order to properly reimburse you. It isn’t that simple. You might be giving the insurance company more information than they need; you could be giving them access to your entire medical history.Really the answer all depends on what kind of medical release form the insurance company is asking for. Do they want a blanket release that allows them access to your entire medical history? Or, is the release very specific and asking for only records relevant to your injury?

The real reason the insurance company wants you to sign the medical release form

After a serious car crash, you may feel unsure of how to proceed. As you are trying to recuperate from your injuries, the insurance company is badgering you about signing a medical release form. What do you do? The purpose of a blanket release form is to give the company complete access to all your medical records. The insurance company may be trying to find out if you have a preexisting condition they can use to deny your claim. Meaning, an injury or illness you suffered before the accident. Basically, the whole point of asking you for a medical release form is for them to figure out a way to avoid paying your medical expenses. To maintain control for your personal records you could submit copies of the relevant records yourself. But, the best plan is to speak to an experienced car wreck attorney who can keep your privacy rights intact.

Ready to get started?

If you are ready to get started, give us a call toll free at 877.724.7800. The consultation is free and confidential. We will walk you through the entire legal process, answer every single question, and help you make the best decision for your future. You can also use the contact forms on our website to send us a confidential email, and we will schedule an immediate appointment for you to learn your rights. Our Board Certified attorneys know time is not on your side. Don’t wait another second to get the maritime injury settlement you deserve.

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