Most injury cases settle before going to trial. Unfortunately, car accident victims often settle for an amount that is much less than what they deserve. This can lead to insurmountable debt and eventual bankruptcy – especially if ongoing medical care is necessary. An injury attorney may be able to help you avoid this tragic mistake.
If you were injured in an accident with a negligent driver in New Mexico, then contact the Law Office of Brian K. Branch. Insurance adjusters are notorious for getting victims to admit partial or complete fault, but Mr. Branch can handle this correspondence, as well as your settlement negotiations, to help you receive a fair payout. Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a consultation with an Albuquerque personal-injury lawyer.
Until then, read on to learn five dos and don’ts in car accident lawsuits:
- Get Medical Attention
Medical treatment may be prohibitively expensive, but you should still seek care as soon as possible. As the Department of Motor Vehicles explains, immediate medical treatment will help tie your injury to the collision.
- Get a Police Report
The police report may help you prove liability. It can also demonstrate the extent of the damage and any reckless behavior on the part of the at-fault driver. If the facts on the report are not consistent with what actually happened, then your personal-injury lawyer may be able to contact witnesses to support your version of events.
- Report Your Claim
Do not expect the other party to report this claim. You should report the accident directly to the other party’s insurance provider.
- Keep Records
Record every detail of your claim, and keep that information in a safe place. Store all bills, records of time off work and proof of doctor visits. Your injury attorney may use these records as evidence to support your claim.
- Follow up with Insurance the Insurance Company
Insurance providers are often large companies. Several people may handle a single claim. Be sure to set deadlines and hold adjusters to them. This will speed up the process and prevent errors.
- Using a Property Damage Payout to Cover Medical Expenses
If you receive an insurance check to pay for property damage, then do not use it for other expenses. If you do, then the defense may argue that the damage was not substantial enough to warrant a large payout.
- Sign Blanket Releases
Insurance companies may ask victims to sign blanket releases, which gives access to medical records and other private details. Never sign a release without reading it. In fact, you should let your personal-injury lawyer review the document before signing.
- Believe the Adjuster
It is in the insurance company’s best interests to settle a claim for as little money as possible. Always get independent estimates to ensure a fair payout. You should never accept a settlement without the approval of your injury attorney.
- Behave Unprofessionally
Adjusters are also people, and while their attempts to devalue your claim may frustrate you, acting unprofessionally will not help your cause.
- Sign Claims Releases without Legal Counsel
Part of the settlement process is signing a “release of claims.” If you sign this document, then you will not be able to claim further damages. Do not sign this release without your personal-injury lawyer’s approval.
If you were injured in a car accident, then your first priority should be seeking medical attention. Then, contact a personal-injury lawyer as soon as possible. Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a consultation with New Mexico accident attorney Brian K. Branch.