Rockford Personal Injury Blog

Victim to Victor: Why You Need a Car Crash Lawyer by Your Side

In the aftermath of a car accident, dealing with insurance companies can be complex and often overwhelming. One critical aspect that victims of car accidents or truck accidents need to understand is the concept of “releases.” If signed prematurely or without proper understanding, these legal documents can significantly impact your ability to claim fair compensation.

While it is part of the car accident claims process, there is no going back once you sign a release. Thus, if you later discover that there was more mental trauma and physical damage after signing the release, then you are responsible for covering any expenses associated with it. That’s why getting a car accident lawyer on board is essential from the get-go.

Not only do car accident lawyers fight for compensation on your behalf and look out for your best interests, but it is also the only way to make your voice heard. Consider it this way: insurers and those who may have caused the accident want things to open and shut quickly. However, you need to think if that’s in your best interest and, in some cases, in the interest of other future victims of similar accidents.

In this article, we’ll go over how things work after a car accident or truck accident and why hiring a lawyer or truck accident lawyers (in the latter case) can help you get rightful compensation while making your voice heard. In addition, it will also help keep the insurance company off your back as the attorney will negotiate with them on your behalf.

Types of Releases in Car Accident Cases

To understand why you need to hire a truck accident lawyer or a car accident attorney, you first need to understand the importance of releases. Most car accident attorneys will advise that you don’t sign a release right away…but why?

There are two primary types of releases in car accident cases: property damage releases and bodily injury releases.

Property Damage Releases

Purpose: These releases deal exclusively with the damage to your vehicle.

Implications: By signing a property damage release, you affirm that the vehicle has been repaired to your satisfaction and that you have received adequate compensation for any diminished value. The diminished value refers to the loss in your car’s value due to it being involved in an accident.

Caution: Once you sign this release, you cannot claim any further damages related to the property aspect of the case. It’s crucial to ensure you are fully satisfied with the repairs and the compensation for diminished value before signing.

An auto accident lawyer possibly deals with several dozen similar cases each year, so they are in the best position to let you know if you should sign this release. Also, if they advise not to, there is a good reason, which may vary depending on your circumstances. However, without an attorney working on your behalf, it is hard to know if you have received a fair deal.

Bodily Injury Releases

Purpose: These releases are for any injuries you sustained in the accident.

Risks: Insurance adjusters may pressure you to accept a quick settlement, often a minimal amount before the full extent of your injuries is known.

Consequences: Signing a bodily injury release prematurely can be detrimental. Suppose it turns out later that you have sustained severe injuries requiring extensive medical treatment or causing long-term effects. In that case, you cannot claim additional compensation once the release is signed.

Most personal injury lawyers and car crash attorneys know that there are often physical injuries that are not instantly apparent. Thus, they can work with insurance adjusters to help you get more compensation or prevent them from pressuring you. This will ensure that if it is discovered that there are long-term adverse effects or previously unknown injuries associated with the accident, you get rightfully compensated for it.

Car Accident Claims and Cases

In the wake of a car accident, navigating the aftermath with caution and informed decisions is crucial. One of the most common mistakes people make is handling their case alone without proper knowledge. While minor injuries and low medical bills might not require legal representation, severe injuries and substantial medical expenses warrant consulting an attorney. Insurance companies are well-versed in these matters, and the playing field is often uneven. A car accident lawyer can help level it.

Be Cautious with Recorded Statements: After an accident, insurance companies may ask for a recorded statement. Exercise caution here. These statements can later be used to discredit your claim, especially if you omit details that you later include in your claim. It’s often best to consult an attorney before giving any recorded statement to ensure you don’t inadvertently harm your case.

Insurance Adjusters may come across as friendly, but they aren’t your friends: It’s a common misconception that insurance adjusters are on your side. Their primary allegiance is to their employer, the insurance company, whose goal is to minimize payouts. While adjusters might seem friendly initially, their approach can change when settling your claim. Always be careful about this dynamic and about what you share with them.

Whether it is truck accidents that involve your vehicle and if it involves personal injury, never sign anything right away. Please don’t speak with anyone other than the police and call an attorney from the accident scene if possible so that you are represented from the start.

However, there are a couple of other things that you will also want to do, such as:

  • Document The Scene: Take photos at the accident scene, gather witness information, and record all medical treatments and expenses. Documentation is critical in supporting your claim, as it helps your personal injury attorney seek maximum compensation on your behalf.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel fine, some injuries manifest later. Immediate medical evaluation ensures your health is prioritized. Plus, you will have medical records that are crucial for your claim.
  • Report the Accident: Notify your own insurance company about the accident. However, stick to the facts and avoid speculating or admitting fault.
  • Follow Up on Medical Advice: Adhering to medical advice and attending all appointments is crucial for recovery and the claim. Insurance companies may use missed appointments to argue that your injuries due to the car wreck are not as severe as claimed.
  • Stay Organized: Keep all accident-related documents and correspondence in one place. This includes insurance information, legal documents, medical bills, and communication with involved parties.
  • Avoid Discussing Your Claim: Be cautious about discussing your accident or claim on social media or with others. Statements made can sometimes be used against you in your claim. It can also adversely affect your car accident settlement. If you are concerned about making your voice heard by talking about the motor vehicle accident, the attorney you hire will help you do that without jeopardizing your claim.

Why Hire A Car Accident Lawyer To Negotiate Your Claim?

Negotiating an auto accident settlement can be a complex and nuanced process. You always want an attorney to negotiate on your behalf to avoid potentially costly mistakes during negotiations. If anything, these mistakes can jeopardise your ability to seek compensation.

Below are a few common mistakes people make during compensation negotiations:

Specifying Settlement Ranges: When asked for a settlement range, please be careful. Stating a range can inadvertently set your lowest figure as the negotiation ceiling. If you must provide a range, ensure the lower end is still higher than you would accept. This is regardless of what type of motor vehicle accidents are being negotiated.

Not Understanding the Nature of the Negotiation: It is essential to recognize that initial offers are often not the best or final ones. Negotiation is a standard part of the process, and it’s expected for both parties to start from extreme positions and work towards a middle ground. Accident lawyers know this and thus understand how best to approach these types of negotiations.

High Demands: Excessively high demands can stall negotiations. While it’s essential to value your claim appropriately, unrealistic demands might lead to prolonged negotiations or even dismissal of your case. Whether you are the truck driver who was injured in a truck accident case or the accident happened when you were crossing the road, the demand should be realistic.

Too Low Demands: Conversely, setting your demand too low can lead to receiving less than you deserve. Ensure your demand reflects the actual value of your claim, including potential pain and suffering. However, this can be easier said than done and is another area where a law firm can help victims.

Expressing Financial Desperation: Revealing your urgent need for settlement funds can weaken your negotiating position. Insurance adjusters may use this information to offer a lower settlement, anticipating your urgency to accept it.

Not Working with Adjusters Professionally: While being assertive is essential, avoid being rude to insurance adjusters. Professional and respectful communication can foster a more constructive negotiation environment.

Not Speaking with Supervisors: If negotiations are not progressing, requesting to speak with the adjuster’s supervisor is imperative. Sometimes, this can mean you get a better offer. However, an accident attorney or a personal injury lawyer should be able to help you with this, especially since they have more experience negotiating settlements with the at-fault party or the insurers.

Not Being Aware of Consumer Complaints and Civil Remedy Notices: In certain situations, filing a consumer complaint or a civil remedy notice can pressure insurance companies to offer a fair settlement, especially if bad faith is involved. However, most people are unaware of this; thus, they can’t use it to their advantage. Again, an attorney knows about these and other approaches to help push things through sooner to get rightful compensation for the car accident case.

Not Setting Forth Timed Settlement Demands: Setting a deadline for your settlement demand can create a sense of urgency and prompt more timely responses from insurance adjusters.

Not Tracking and Itemizing Medical Bills: A detailed spreadsheet of all medical bills, including those paid by insurance, is essential. This ensures you’re fully aware of the financial aspects of your claim and can negotiate more effectively.

Research and Present Jury Verdicts: Presenting past jury verdicts for similar injuries can be persuasive. It provides concrete examples of potential outcomes if the case goes to trial, which can motivate adjusters to offer a fair settlement.

Consider Drafting a Lawsuit: Sometimes, showing the insurance adjuster a draft of a lawsuit can push them to offer a fair settlement to avoid litigation. This is something that attorneys understand and thus prepare for before entering into negotiations with the other party.

How Car Accident Attorneys Can Help You?

Car accident attorneys are indispensable in helping victims get their voices heard and receive rightful compensation for any damages caused. Their expertise extends beyond mere legal representation, as they offer a beacon of guidance through the convoluted maze of insurance claims, assertive negotiations, and, when necessary, intricate court proceedings.

As car accident attorneys, we undertake meticulous investigations to amass the required evidence. This endeavor may involve scrutinizing the accident site, accruing police and accident reports, conducting witness interviews, and collaborating with accident reconstruction specialists. Our objective is to construct a robust case by establishing incontrovertible facts, ascertaining liability, and comprehending the accident’s comprehensive impact on our client’s life.

If negotiations fail to yield a fair settlement, we have what is needed to provide court representation. We will oversee all facets of the litigation process, from lawsuit filing to case presentation in court.

However, we know from experience that every case is different and thus, the approach we take may vary. As someone involved in an accident, you might want to contact us for a free consultation. This lets us understand your case and advise you on what can be done moving forward.

Navigating the legal maze of compensation claims and litigation requires a careful, yet balanced approach based on full knowledge of your legal options. Analyzing your case is the first step in telling your story and receiving compensation for lost wages, bodily harm, and property damages.

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