In the majority of states, even for car accidents, this is an adversarial process.
You and the insurance are on opposite sides of the negotiation, and it is just that – a negotiation.
It’s important to recognize that the insurance company has every incentive to pay you as little as possible for your claim and no incentive to honor the full value of your claim.
On the one hand, this makes sense because it keeps both parties honest. On the other hand, if one party is at a supreme disadvantage, they generally get steamrolled by the other party.
For that reason, the majority of those who are in serious car accidents or other personal injury suits request the aid of an attorney to manage their claim. As attorneys, we are in a position to give some advice on the issue. These are three tips for dealing with insurance companies.
#1. Say Nothing to the Other Person’s Insurance Company
Insurance adjusters often try to contact those who have just been in serious car accidents. They’ll tell you that they’re trying to help you and any information that you can give them will help your claim get processed quicker. The truth is that they have no intention of helping you and any information that you give them may be used against you to devalue your claim. It could be as subtle as asking loaded questions like “how are you feeling today”.
This may sound innocuous, but you’re naturally reflex might be to say “much better”, “not bad” or something like that. There is a natural human instinct to put those who express concern at ease. But either of those answers could be taken as a sign that you are not entitled to extensive damages regardless of whether or not you are.
#2. Disable Your Social Media Accounts
Again, your grandmother from across the country may ask you how you’re feeling. How are you most likely to respond? You will respond in a way that sets her mind at ease. Meanwhile, insurance companies are building evidence against you. When you attempt to make a claim for emotional trauma or extensive injuries they’ll point to your conversation with your grandma that you are doing much better than you claim you are. On the one hand, that’s their job. On the other, it may affect negatively on your case.
#3. Let Your Attorney Manage All Communication
Once you retain legal counsel your attorney will manage all communication regarding your injuries and claim. Insurance companies will be forced to negotiate with them instead of you. While many folks successfully negotiate settlements with insurance companies, they don’t typically have serious injuries they need to be compensated for. The greater your injuries, the more important it is that you retain the services of a qualified personal injury attorney.
Remember, you’ll only get one chance to receive compensation for your injuries. If you jump at a low offer you’re signing away your rights to further pursue damages.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve suffered serious injuries due to another’s negligence, call the personal injury attorneys at Beliz Law Firm at (562) 452-3772 or contact us online and we can begin building your case right away.
Common Injuries Faced by Pedestrians After a Car Accident
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, they very seldom have the advantage. The car is larger and it’s moving faster. Even a car moving at the relatively slow speed of 10 mph can do serious irreversible damage to a defenseless pedestrian.
While the pedestrian has a duty to obey traffic signals and traffic laws, so does the car. Furthermore, the car has a duty to attempt to avoid the pedestrian. That is the case even when the pedestrian is jaywalking or committing some other violation. In that event, the illegal actions of the pedestrian do not negate either the illegal actions of the driver nor their duty to avoid the pedestrian. Even pedestrians who are partially at fault for an accident can collect a major settlement or jury award.
The reason for that is due to the fact that pedestrians suffer extensive injuries in collisions with cars. Some of those injuries can change a person’s life forever.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The term “traumatic brain injury” is generic enough to encompass a wide array of head injuries that vary in severity. But more often than not pedestrians will suffer from concussions at the very least. In very bad scenarios they can suffer permanent brain damage that compromises their ability to do their jobs, maintain employment, or experience a full range of emotions. Damage to certain parts of the brain can be fatal.
In addition, the brain can suffer damage from swelling or bleed internally.
Spine and Neck Injuries
Depending on how a pedestrian is hit, the chances that they suffer serious damage to their spine or neck are not negligible. From these, permanent paralysis can result. This can force major changes to a person’s line of work. If they depended on their ability to stand in order to do their job, then they will need to find a new line of work. Not only would they be entitled to collect on their loss of income, but they could also collect on training necessary to enter a new field of employment.
In the most severe cases, the paralysis is lifelong and leaves the injured party without the use of either their arms or legs. These individuals require 24-hour care. They are entitled to collect damages to pay for that care.
Bone and Organ Damage
Depending on the size of the vehicle that hits a pedestrian, extensive damage to various parts of the body can occur. Even smaller vehicles can cause serious damage to the arms, legs, and the “core”, like the ribs. This, in turn, can lead to potentially fatal internal bleeding or severe organ damage.
In every case, the pedestrian may likely need multiple surgeries and an extensive period of rehabilitation. This can keep them out of work for an extended period of time while medical expenses and other bills pile up.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you’ve suffered injuries in a pedestrian-car accident, you are entitled to collect damages. Call the personal injury attorneys at Beliz Law Firm at (562) 452-3772 or contact us online and we can begin building your case right away.