After you’ve been in a serious accident, you’ll have to deal with repairing your vehicle, recovering from your physical injuries, and processing what happened. In such a situation, it can be tempting to accept the settlement an insurance company offers you, even though it might not cover the whole cost of the incident. But you should always speak to a Houston, Texas accident lawyer before you do so, as they can double check whether you could receive more.
In most cases, they will tell you that you are not getting the best deal and that the settlement offer won’t cover all your expenses. Aside from the property damage and medical costs, you may need to be compensated for a temporary loss of income, a permanent inability to do your work, and the emotional scars you are suffering from. Let’s have a closer look at what to do when you receive a call from an insurance company.
Should You Accept a Settlement from an Insurance Company?
Sometimes, it’s not easy to determine who caused an accident, but at other times, there is clearly one party responsible. If this is the case and you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you are likely to receive a call from their insurance company. The adjusters will speak to you about what happened and offer you a settlement, which you can accept on the spot if you like.
Unfortunately, this amount is almost always very low compared to the costs you will have to bear. The job of the adjusters is to always offer the smallest amount possible. For this reason, you shouldn’t accept the initial amount. Instead, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer in your local area and ask for an initial consultation.
What Should I Do Instead?
You might already have a figure in mind when you contact your lawyer. However, since they have much more experience than you, they can let you know whether this is realistic or not. In many cases, people are surprised by the amount of money they can receive, especially since they don’t take the intangible damages of their accident into consideration.
Together, you and our lawyer will build up a good case with strong evidence, which would hold up in front of a judge. However, insurance companies will try to avoid a lengthy court case, so it’s likely that you will settle the matter out of court. Because the adjusters know that your attorney is highly experienced, they will be much less likely to try and trick them, and you can expect a speedy, fair settlement.
Get in Touch with an Accident Lawyer in Houston, Texas
The first thing you should do is to speak to an attorney in your local area. It’s important that you don’t delay too long, even if you are still dealing with the consequences of the accident, because there is a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases. This means that you might lose your claim to compensation if you don’t act quickly.
Every good firm will offer you a free initial consultation, which removes the risk and allows you to share your story with a professional. Once you’ve spoken about what happened and how much the adjusters have offered you, the lawyer can give you some feedback about your case. Often, they will say that you can receive a lot more money, especially if your injuries are severe and you are likely to suffer from them for a long time.
Estimate the Cost of Your Injuries
You shouldn’t have to pay to recover from an incident that was caused by someone else’s negligence. For this reason, you will need to claim compensation for the entire amount. Your accident lawyer in Houston, Texas will estimate the total cost of what happened, so you can receive the money you need to move on and recover without any financial stress.
The total amount doesn’t only include your current and expected future medical bills, although they could be a big part. In addition, you can receive money for the purchase of a new vehicle or the repair of your car and the days or weeks you had to take off work while you recovered. In severe cases, the victim might not be able to go back to work, in which case the compensation must reflect the loss of future wages.
Build Up a Good Case
A great lawyer will work together with you and expert witnesses to build up a strong case. First, they will ask you to bring any evidence you might already have, including images and video footage of the accident and records of all your expenses and bills. You should never delay or refuse treatment because of the cost, since this can help you recover more quickly. Your lawyer will help you recoup the money you lost.
Often, more evidence is needed to build a strong case, so you will need some expert witnesses. These could be medical professionals who can confirm the extent of your injuries or specialists related to the vehicle or other type of property that was damaged. An experienced local lawyer will have the necessary contacts to find relevant witnesses.
Negotiate a Fair Settlement
Finally, you can get back to the insurance company and negotiate a fairer settlement. Since you are now working with an attorney, they will know that they can’t offer you an amount that is overly low, since the lawyer will be able to fight for your rights. Thus, they might be fairer and offer you what they really think you deserve.
If you can’t come to an agreement that works for you, you can take the negligent party to court. Although this will delay your case, it could be worth it to receive an amount that will provide for you and your family.
Finding Your Lawyer
Now you understand what to do when you get a call from an insurance company, you might wonder how to find the best lawyers in your local area. Since many firms now have websites, you can start by browsing the internet and reading some biographies.
Check that the attorneys are well-trained and have experience with personal injury cases. The “Practice areas” part of the site will give you more detailed information about what types of cases they are willing to accept. You should also find and read through some testimonials to see how easy the attorneys are to work with.
When an insurance company first gets in touch with you, they will almost always offer you a very low settlement. Although they might know that your case is worth more, they will try to protect their interests and pay out as little as they can. Unfortunately, this leaves you with medical bills, repair costs, and other expenses you have to pay out-of-pocket because the initial settlement offer won’t cover everything.
Fortunately, a good accident lawyer local to Texas can help you avoid this problem and get a much better settlement. They will work together with you to estimate the total cost of the accident, compile evidence and build up your case, then negotiate a much fairer amount of compensation. Call or email us today at Houston Injury Lawyers and set up your free initial consultation with one of our top attorneys.