Injured in a Car Crash? Some Important Things to Know
Posted on February 17th, 2023 by Zane Cagle
If you are seriously injured in a motor vehicle crash, you are overwhelmed by uncertainty and stress. Chances are you know you need a lawyer. Choosing a lawyer can also feel overwhelming at a time when you don’t feel like making major decisions.. Is it a decision you will regret? If you are hurt in a car crash, you are already living a bit of a nightmare. Thus, the idea that you have to make a major decision can feel even more overwhelming.
As a firm that has represented many great clients, there are a few things you should consider and look for in an attorney. If you are seriously hurt, the choice of a lawyer you make will probably be with you for a few years. Your attorney is also called a counselor. While that can sound really philosophical, your attorney does and should counsel you about many of the decisions that you will need to make regarding your medical treatment and legal options. Ultimately, as an attorney/counselor, the attorney does not make the decisions for you just as a traditional counselor does not make your decisions. However, our attorneys and our clients develop relationships focused on what is best for the client both medically and legally. Many clients become family friends. It is impossible to not become friends with clients when you walk with them during such a difficult experience in their lives. We treasure those friendships.
Most of our clients find it incredibly helpful to have an attorney/counselor to provide resources for decisions and assist in developing a long term plan for full recovery. This relationship only happens with open and honest communication by both parties.
One thing to consider: “Do I want to be a “Client” or do I want to be “inventory”?
We are not the largest or biggest personal injury law firm in Missouri or Illinois because we do not represent every person. Our attorneys represent a few clients well rather than 100’s at a time. Our attorneys go to trial a lot and they are successful. We work up every single case as if it will go to trial so that we know that it is done right. While our attorneys love to try cases, the decision of whether or not to go to trial always depends on what is best for the client. The timeline and outcome is NOT determined by what is best for the attorney, but what is best for the client. Not all law firms approach each case that way. As well, many attorneys assign you to a paralegal and that is your point of contact most of the time. Yes, we have very qualified paralegals who assist all clients, however, our attorneys develop a personal relationship with you. From the beginning, our clients contact us personally via our cell phones. There are times when you have questions that really require the “counsel” of your attorney.
Do I Really Need an Attorney if I’m Hurt in a Car Crash?
This is one of the most common questions we are asked daily. The insurance commercials on television tell you every day that “You are in good hands“, or “We’ve seen a thing or two because we’ve covered a thing or two” or they advertise that they are a good neighbor. When we are inundated with these commercials, we are lead to believe that we can trust insurance adjusters We certainly wish that were so. If you were not hurt, then you do not need a personal injury lawyer. If you think the adjuster is difficult regarding your property damage, we promise they will be absolutely nightmarish if you are hurt. We speak from experience.
If you are hurt, you are overwhelmed with doctor’s appointments, therapy and of course, you still have to do everything else that makes up your life. The last thing you should be doing is calling the insurance adjuster and updating them on your appointments and follow-ups. Worse, you should not have to be running around town gathering up medical records and bills for the insurance adjuster. No, No, No! Hurt people have far too much to contend with trying to seek medical treatment, return to work, and honoring their family commitments, so it is ridiculous that you are going to be communicating and updating with an injury adjuster who frankly does not care. Don’t spend your time doing that. Spend your time focusing on your recovery and trying to right the ship that is your life!
Your Own Insurance Company is Not Necessarily Your Friend
Daily, we speak with people who are hurt and are just so grateful that the insurance company took care of their car. Stunning! Think about it! You pay for auto insurance coverage every month–probably years, yet the insurance company is doing you a favor by covering the damage? Auto insurance is the only industry in which we pay a fee for a service or product but the expectation is that we are wrong to every use it. And that is just focusing on your vehicle damage! When you are making an injury claim, few adjusters volunteer any information about your policy including medical payments, under insured coverage or uninsured motorist coverage. If you think about it, it is kind of their job. They are usually so busy trying to get the other party’s insurance information and quizzing you about whether or not you have any broken bones, they do not bother to actually go over your coverage. Just remember, the adjuster may sound really cooperative but never really provide you any information about your policy coverage regarding your vehicle let alone about injuries. Guaranteed—if you are seriously hurt, those adjusters become less and less helpful and more defensive creating circles of uncertainty in phone discussions before ultimately sending you a letter saying they will not cover this or that.
Again, this is communicating with your own insurance company. If you are trying to communicate with the other party’s insurance carrier, you just need to know that from the beginning–it is about them paying out the least possible and not so much about truly covering your claim.
So, people that are hurt in a car crash don’t usually have to question whether they are hurt or not. Hurt people usually go to the doctor because they have no choice. Lack of health insurance often keeps people from seeking medical treatment. Either way, health insurance or not, seek medical treatment and call an attorney. Hurt people need attorneys. Why? In case you didn’t read the paragraph above–if the adjuster gives your grief about your property, you should not trust that they are going to take care of a serious injury claim that may take months or a couple of years. We make few promises, however, we are very confident in our prediction that either your insurance or the adverse insurance company will not fully pay your medical claim without legal help. How do we know? Twenty years of experience.
Whether You Decide to Hire a Lawyer or Not, Here Are Some Free Legal Tips:
- Do not discuss anything about your injuries with the property adjuster or the injury adjuster. Ninety-nine percent of injured people have no idea in the first few days or weeks as to the extent of their injuries and just guessing how long it will take to heal;
- Do not sign medical authorizations for the insurance carriers until you are done with your medical treatment;
- You should not discuss your health insurance with auto insurance adjuster; especially if you don’t have any;
- You do not need to even tell them the part of your body that is injured;
- You do not and should not give any statements while you are taking medication that may impact your ability to recall.
- You should not be in a “rush” to settle your injury claim for the obvious reason that early in the case, you do not know the extent of your injury or how you will heal
- If hurt, you should hire an attorney immediately
These free tips can save you heartache and disappointment.
What Can The Cagle Law Firm Do For You?
When anyone is hurt in a motor vehicle crash, the most common concern that keeps injured people awake all night is wondering “what is the extent of my injury?” “How long is it going to take me to heal?” and “How and I going to pay for this and continue on with my life?” These thoughts and the overwhelming uncertainty weigh heavy in the days following an injury. Our clients that are hurt want one thing–to get better without sacrificing everything they own to get the medical treatment they need.
We help you through the medical process whether it is through information, ideas or helping you evaluate next steps. Managing the medical process can be challenging no matter how well informed you are. Those seriously injured are rarely resolved at the emergency room but require specialized treatment. It can be challenging.
We handle all of the communication with the insurance carriers and fight for you. If you’ve dealt with an insurance adjuster on property damage, you know that it can be a fight. We passionately fight for our injured clients opposed to just sitting back and waiting for the insurance company to “come to a number”. Odds of receiving fair compensation go up dramatically when your attorney builds your case from the beginning advocating for you. Remember, your injured body part is not worth nearly as much to the adjuster as it is to you. You and your adjusters interests are not the same. Fortunately, your attorney and your interests are exactly the same.
We represent injured people. We do not represent 100’s of clients at a time because clients are not inventory. Simply put, firms that have 100’s of clients and only a hand full of attorneys cannot develop the kind of relationships required for the lawyer to truly get to know the client in order to best tell their story in trial or even in mediation.
We begin every case as if it will go to trial. We focus on our clients reaching full possible medical recovery. Granted, in some catastrophic injuries, there is a limit to what medicine can do. In those scenarios, compensation is even more needed to adjust living conditions to be cope with the future for the best quality of life. Every client wants a full recovery and we work to exhaust those options on our client’s behalf.
You never know if an attorney is right for you until you talk with that person. Likewise, an attorney does not know for sure that they are the best person to represent you until they get to know you. Thankfully, we provide free consultations.
Call us toll free 1.800.685.3302 any day of the week.