There are a lot of ways to have a bad day, but a car crash is near the top of the list. You hope your bad day only involves property damage, a schedule adjustment and nothing more than a minor injury. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many car crashes involve significant injuries resulting in months, if not years, of physical and emotional pain. This pain can be exacerbated if you do not take the necessary steps to protect your interests. If you are like most people, you might start thinking about a course of action shortly after recovering from the initial shock and trauma of the crash. You may ask some of the following questions:
- Do I need a lawyer?
- How soon do I need to hire a lawyer?
- How do I choose the right lawyer?
- How much will a lawyer cost?
- Will I get more compensation for my injuries with a lawyer?
- How do I deal with my medical bills?
- How do I know if the other driver has insurance?
- Do I need to contact the other driver’s insurance company?
- Do I have insurance that will protect me if the other driver does not have insurance or enough insurance?
- Can I recover my lost wages?
These questions are daunting during normal times but are made more difficult when trying to recover from crash injuries. In order to assist with some of these questions, Murray and Murray recommends that, when possible, you follow some basic steps and avoid others. These include:
- Contact your own insurance agent/company and report the crash;
- Take photos of your injuries and damaged property;
- Do not post anything other than very basic information about the crash on social media. Insurance companies are notorious for using social media comments and posts, especially those about your injuries, against you;
- If you are contacted by the defendant’s insurance company or representative, do not speak with them before consulting legal counsel;
- Do not ignore medical bills.
- Do not hire a lawyer because you see him or her on television/billboard or received a slick mailer. Ask yourself – would you hire a doctor because you saw him or her on a billboard? A lawyer should be no different. You do not need a good marketer. You do need a good lawyer;
- Do talk to your friends or someone you trust about which lawyer they might hire if in the same position. Lawyers earn their reputations;
- Make sure you meet with a lawyer before you hire him or her. You need to feel comfortable with your legal counsel;
- Make sure you understand the fee arrangement with legal counsel. Most injury lawyers work on a contingent fee basis which means the lawyer will receive a percentage of any award or settlement. Read the attorney/client contract and ask questions about anything you do not understand;
- Ask the lawyer about medical bills and health insurance repayments. Medical insurers and/or providers typically have a right or repayment (this is often referred to as subrogation when dealing with medical insurance providers) and you should understand how repayment to providers and insurers will impact your compensation.
Dealing with a car accident can be difficult and confusing. Murray and Murray would like the chance to help you obtain the compensation your serious injury case justifies. Contact Murray and Murray at 800-624-3000 or contact us online for a free consultation . . . we believe it will be one of the best decisions you make after your car crash.
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