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Four Mistakes Alabama Car Accident Victims Should Avoid

The days and weeks following a serious car accident can be difficult. You may be dealing with many troubling issues. I understand completely.

Maybe your car is badly damaged. You are concerned — How do I get my car fixed? Will I even have a car? What do I do about transportation?

Maybe your work is an issue. You are concerned — Will I be able to work? Can I keep my job? How do I pay the bills when I miss work?

Maybe the insurance adjuster is an issue. You are concerned — Why is the adjuster hounding me for a statement? Why is the adjuster now demanding I sign authorizations that allow the insurance company to dig through my personal life? Why does the adjuster call constantly when he needs something but never answers the phone when I call? How should my injury claim be handled?

Most important of all, your health is an issue. Your long-term health matters the most. That should be your primary concern — How do I get medical treatment to recover? How do I heal? How should I handle the doctors and the medical bills?

At the Blackwell Law Firm, we’ve spent over 25 years dealing exclusively with these personal injury issues. We understand their importance.

Because we focus exclusively on these issues, we’ve seen the mistakes many accident victims make that can cause further delay or damage. We’ve also seen the additional damage many settlement mill lawyers can cause injured clients. We want to provide needed advice that helps your recovery, in both your health and injury claim.

In earlier posts, I’ve written about the questions you should ask before hiring any lawyer. I’ve warned about the problems billboard lawyers can cause. Today, I want to talk generally about four mistakes many personal injury victims make. Hopefully, I can provide a little advice that may help you avoid these issues. What are four mistakes that many personal injury victims make? I’ll discuss each of them briefly in the following paragraphs.

Waiting TOO Long To See The Doctor After A Personal Injury

In both car accident and workers’ compensation cases, this is a frequent problem. Maybe you thought the injury would heal with just a little time and rest? Maybe you were busy and kept putting-off that doctor’s appointment? Maybe you just don’t like going to the doctor? I understand. Nobody really enjoys seeing a doctor or lawyer!

Whatever the reason, when you delay initial medical care it creates issues with both your health and your case. From a personal perspective, delayed care sometimes results in injuries that cannot be healed. That’s right — Some injuries become permanent or chronic if you ignore them.

Your health is the number one reason you should get needed medical care without delay. Your health matters more than anything else.

A delay in health care can also negatively impact your injury claim. When injured people delay medical care, we typically hear two immediate arguments from the insurance adjuster. They are:

  • The injury must not have been serious since you waited to see the doctor.
  • Something else could have happened to cause the problem during the delay.

Delay can also make it more difficult for your doctor to attribute your pain and problems to the accident. In every claim, you must prove causation — The accident caused or contributed to your problems. This proof usually comes from the doctors who examine and treat you. If you wait too long, the doctor may not feel comfortable providing an opinion on causation. It can be a real problem!!! Over the last 25 years, I’ve talked to countless doctors about this issue. See the doctor as soon as possible to avoid any problems!

Settling TOO Early After A Personal Injury

For years, the Huntsville area had a television lawyer who regularly advertised fast checks for wrecks. You probably heard his jingle! That’s all it was — A crafty jingle for a guy who never went to court for his clients. Unfortunately, other marketers saw the profit in mass advertising for cases they could quickly settle. The end result is that serious accident victims often suffered twice — First in the accident and second when they were not compensated fairly for their losses.

Billboard settlement mill lawyers want to settle your case quickly. Insurance adjusters often do as well. Both of their reasons are bad for you. For the settlement mill lawyers, it’s a quick profit. For the insurance adjusters, it’s a deal where the insurance company saves money by settling before you realize how bad your injury may be. You suffer because your injuries are not fairly valued.

If you suffered a serious injury:  Seek medical care; Get experienced legal advice; Take the time to learn the full extent of your injuries and damages before settling your claim. An experienced and serious lawyer will then build your case for full value.

Giving A Recorded Statement To The Other Driver’s Insurance Company

You’ve probably heard this advice. However, it constantly surprises me how often insurance adjusters lull people into providing statements.

The adjusters job is NOT to pay you a fair case value. The adjuster’s job is to save the insurance company money. Some adjusters are better than others. Some are fairer than others. But, beware. The adjuster knows the questions to ask.

Some adjusters even call for statements while you are hurting and taking pain medications. You may not even be in the right of frame-of-mind to talk. Before you give any statement, seek experienced legal advice.

Hiring A Lawyer Who Will NOT Build Your Unique Case For Maximum Value

I mentioned this topic earlier. We’ve all seen those lawyers on television. Some of them are flamboyant — Wearing capes; Standing on eighteen wheelers; Chasing ambulances; Standing with smashed-up vehicles; Telling you to call with a big smile.

In recent years, we’ve even started seeing a few lawyers who advertise for injury cases claiming they have “recovered millions” when they really intend just to sign and send claims to other lawyers for part of the fee. One Huntsville law firm even has billboards around town proclaiming it has “recovered millions” for injury victims. Yet, the same firm’s website actually tells the truth in small, fine print most people won’t notice. That firm actually signs cases just to refer them to other law firms. I personally think that’s horrible. I’ve written several past articles discussing why this can have such a horrible impact on hurting accident victims and their claims.

What do you really need after a serious accident and injury? You need a lawyer who understands every case is unique (and not just an asset to quickly settle or send elsewhere). You and your injuries are unique. You need a lawyer who has experience, real experience, building personal injury cases for maximum value. Experience dealing with medical experts. Experience dealing with adjusters. Experience dealing with courts in personal injury cases. Experience going to court IN personal injury cases. Your lawyer should be exclusively focused on personal injury law. The legal rules for personal injury cases are very different than other areas of the law like real estate, estate planning, divorce or criminal defense. We all know the old saying:  A jack-of-all-trades is a master of none.

Look For Experienced Counsel Focused Exclusively On Helping Injury Victims

If you’ve suffered a serious personal injury, look for a serious personal injury lawyer. Not one who makes promises from a billboard or television. Look beyond settlement mill lawyers who quickly settle for low value. Look beyond lawyers with simple catch phrases like “we got this,” “call us,” or “millions recovered.” Look for a lawyer who will truly advise and help you throughout your claim. Look for a lawyer experienced in building and presenting personal injury claims for their maximum value.