If someone who has seriously been injured in a car accident decides to hire a car accident attorney, it's important to let that lawyer handle all aspects of the case. There are certain communication activities the injured person should avoid completely. Not talking with the insurance company unless the lawyer is present is one example.
The at-fault driver's insurer has likely already contacted the injured individual. A claims adjuster may ask for a meeting in person or by phone. This should not be done unless the attorney is present or if the discussion is through a conference call. In fact, the lawyer may advise the client to not to speak with insurance company representatives at all. The attorney may prefer to manage all the communications.
The insurance company representative will want to ask the claimant questions about the accident, the severity of the injuries, and how well they are recovering. Often, people want to cooperate, and they may give answers that undermine the case. However, it's imperative to remember that, no matter how friendly and concerned the adjuster seems, this is an employee of the insurance company. Claims adjusters work for the interests of their employer.
Injured individuals might really want to talk about what happened, and the representative will likely be interested. However, the injured person may unintentionally give details that indicate partial fault. That can result in the insurer making an unreasonably low settlement offer or denying compensation altogether.
Instead of chatting on the phone, communication should be done in writing and only include objective information. There should never be an in-person meeting without the lawyer. The claims adjuster could succeed in persuading the claimant to sign paperwork. If the signature approves a low settlement, that agreement is now locked in.
All communication should be approved by the attorney before it is sent. The date and time of the incident can be provided along with names of the healthcare providers who treated the patient. The insurance company can review the relevant medical records and police report without any commentary from the claimant.
Relying on the Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer offers the advantage of being able to let this knowledgeable legal representative manage the details and negotiate a fair settlement. Many injury attorneys offer free initial consultations so that prospective clients can discuss the case and decide how to proceed.
For more information, contact a company like Arrington Schelin, a professional corporation.