Below are questions that we frequently receive from clients. If you have other questions, contact us through our website or call us at 614-529-3476.
When should I get a lawyer after a car accident?
Unless your claim is entirely straightforward with no chance of litigation, it is best to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible. He or she can help you with all aspects of your claim/case, including investigating the details, negotiating with your insurance company, talking to the other driver’s insurance company and determining whether you have cause for a lawsuit.
Should I get a lawyer after a car accident that was not my fault?
Yes, you should. If you believe litigation might be necessary, you will want to get an attorney to start investigating right away. Even if you believe your insurance claim will be paid, insurers regularly try to underpay or deny claims in order to make money. Having a lawyer represent you shows you are serious about your claim.
What should I NOT say to my insurance company after an accident?
Your insurance company is not always working in your best interests, because the company makes more money when it limits and denies payouts. Therefore, you should avoid saying any more than you absolutely have to about fault for the crash (especially if you may have been partially at fault). You should also avoid giving official statements before speaking to an attorney. Do not say you were not hurt unless you have already been examined and cleared by a doctor.
Who pays for the damage to my vehicle?
Everyone who owns a vehicle is legally required to carry insurance. Assuming both drivers have the required insurance, vehicle damage will likely be compensated by one or both insurers, depending on coverage details, fault for the accident and other factors.
How do I know whether the insurance company is treating me fairly?
You often cannot tell whether you are getting a fair settlement offer unless you have an attorney representing you. Most of the time, insurers will try to pay as little as possible for a claim. If the settlement offer you receive does not cover your medical bills or vehicle damage, you can assume you are not being offered what your claim is worth.
How can I prove my pain and suffering?
Documentation in the form of medical records is crucial, regardless of whether your case goes to court or settles without the need for litigation. Always have a doctor examine you after a crash to fully document your specific injuries. Pain and suffering is somewhat subjective (compared to say, a broken leg). But some injuries are well understood to be painful and to require healing time. Linking your pain and suffering to your diagnosed injuries is an important step.
What happens when unexpected medical bills start to pile up?
Litigation takes time, and medical bills often come due well before a case is resolved. But you may have several options if you keep lines of communication open between your attorney and the medical providers. Keep copies of all bills and share them with your attorney. You may be able to defer payments, send bills to insurers directly or work out other options to avoid having bills going into collections and damaging your credit score.