I strongly advise you contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. A lawyer should be able to answer any questions you have and explain to you what your rights are and what you may be entitled to under the law. They can coordinate your medical care and make sure all your bills are paid, and handle all paperwork and phone calls. They can make sure you do not give information to the insurance company that you don’t have to. I have been practicing for over 20 years, and in my experience insurance companies typically take advantage of those who are not represented. In fact, the adjusters are often very friendly and go out of their way to tell you that you don’t need an attorney. That should tell you something. Insurance companies are like any other business — they are in it to make money — not pay out claims if they don’t have to. A consultation with a lawyer is free, so you have nothing to lose.
Steven A. Schwartz
JOEL H. SCHWARTZ, P.C.
One Washington Mall, 16th floor
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 250-2072 fax
The information provided is based solely on the question and facts presented. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. www.joelhschwartz.com
When we reach out for help there is usually a reason. The furnace is making noises and the average person is not going to attempt to fix it. Same thing when the car breaks down. In the context of legal matters, sometimes it appears like it's just a pile of forms with words on them. However, just because it is not so obvious, there are many reasons why a personal injury claim requires expertise from an experienced personal injury attorney. Here are a few:
(1) The insurance industry's own statistics confirm that once an attorney is brought in to a claim, the value goes up.
(2) Your own attorney has a duty to fully inform you of all potential elements of recovery which the insurance company claims adjuster will not take time to tell you about.
(3) Settlements are forever. This means that if you decide to accept a settlement, this is the final disposition of the case forever. Should you later need additional treatment or discover an outstanding charge you did not know about, it is too late to go back.
I agree entirely with the previous answer you have received, in my experience insurance companies will take advantage of unrepresented injured people. And, insurance adjusters bend over backwards to tell you that you don’t need an attorney. Read # (1) above. That's why.
My office handles personal injury and accident cases in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. And despite the procedural and legal differences between our states, the insurance standards and case valuation aspects of this topic are relatively universal across the U.S.
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As a North Carolina lawyer, I would advise you to do a couple of things:
1. Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster.
2. Do not talk with the insurance adjuster about your injuries. It is ok to handle the property damage with that adjuster, but ONLY talk with them about damage to your car.
3. Do not sign anything with the insurance company, especially a medical authorization to get copies of your medical records.
3. If you need medical treatment, then go ahead and get it. There are a number of reasonable orthopedic or chiropractic doctors in Fayetteville that can treat you, depending on your health insurance situation.
4. I have posted a number of videos on Avvo (or You Tube) on all of the above issues. It is important to learn all of your legal rights, before you decide what to do. These videos include the topics of: Do's and Don'ts with the adjuster, how to handle your property damage claim, whether to hire an attorney, whether to handle your bodily injury claim directly with the insurance company, etc.
5. Sit down and talk with a lawyer to learn all your legal rights, before you make a final decision.
You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing.
If this information has been helpful, please indicate below.
Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
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