Accidents create a lot of confusion, especially when it comes to navigating the claim process. If you have been injured by another party’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation, but it is important that the steps you take do not jeopardize your claim. Accident injury lawyers in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Casper, Wyoming can help you handle communications with the insurance company and their legal team.
The Other Side’s Lawyers Are Calling Me: Should I Talk to Them?
You should never speak with the other side’s lawyers until you have consulted an attorney of your own. In many cases, the other lawyers will ask for information that you are not legally required to disclose. Anything you say to them can be used against you to minimize the value of your claim. Having your own lawyer will help you prepare your statements and identify what information you actually need to provide.
When Am I Required to Speak With the Other Side?
As part of their claim review process, the insurance company will conduct an investigation into your accident. In the case of a car crash, the investigation includes sending an adjuster to look at your vehicle. Allowing this inspection is standard. The insurance company might also ask you for a recorded statement, along with some documentation of the accident.
If the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying the damages, you are not obligated to give a recorded statement. If you are seeking compensation from your own insurance company, the terms of your policy might state that you are required to give the recorded statement. Your lawyer can help you review your policy to understand your legal obligations and prepare for the recorded statement if necessary. He or she will also guide you through other aspects of the investigation, such as sending in required documents.
How Does the Claim Process Work?
The claim submission process gives you and the other party a chance to reach a settlement without going to court. Insurance companies are bound to honor their policies, however, they also always have the right to review the claims they receive. It is important for you to submit a claim correctly and avoid doing things that could invalidate it or reduce your compensation.
If the insurance company flat out refuses to pay the damages they owe you, you can take the matter to trial. However, most people prefer to save time and legal fees by securing a fair settlement. Working with your own attorney before you communicate with the other side in any way can help you get the maximum value of your claim, whether you reach a settlement or press a lawsuit.
Submitting a Claim
When you submit a claim, you should mention all the damages you are owed. They could include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional stress. Your attorney will help you go over the details of the accident to identify every opportunity to receive compensation.
After the insurance company receives your claim, they will investigate it. In the case of particularly costly claims, they might bring on their own lawyers to try to minimize the expense. Your lawyer will negotiate with them on your behalf, arguing for you to receive the highest value of your claim. If you receive a settlement offer, you and your lawyer can determine whether or not to press for more money after reviewing it together.
The Role of the Other Attorneys
While representatives of the insurance company might be polite and courteous, you can be sure that they are not looking out for your best interests. Their job is to find evidence that your claim is invalid or that it is worth less money than you deserve. One tactic they use is to contact claimants who have not had a chance to speak with their own attorneys.
If you speak with the other side’s attorneys without first consulting your own, they might get you to disclose information indicating that you were partially at fault, or that your injuries are not as serious as you claim. Often, they will try to prove that you were distracted at the time of the accident, that your injuries resulted from a preexisting condition, or that you did not properly care for yourself.
The Role of Your Attorney
Your attorney’s job is to fight for maximum compensation. The insurance company does not care how costly the accident was to you or how much you need your payout to cover medical expenses. In fact, the more money you require, the more likely they are to push back. Your attorney will help you build a strong case against their attempts to downplay your claim.
What Can I Do to Maximize the Value of My Claim?
In addition to consulting with your lawyer before you give any statements to the other side, there are a few things you can do that will help you protect the value of your claim. Here are some steps you should take immediately after the accident:
Get Medical Attention
Even if you don’t feel hurt, you should go to the emergency room after the accident. Many people do not feel their injuries right away. Additionally, going to the ER creates a medical record that you can use in your case.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
In the case of a car accident, you should exchange information with the other driver. Be sure to get:
- Their name, address, and telephone number
- The name of their insurance company
- The number of their driver’s license
- Their license plate number
- The make, model, and color of their vehicle
When Should I Start Working With My Own Attorney?
The sooner you start working with your own attorney, the better. You should discuss the accident with him or her even before you submit your claim, if possible. Once you have begun communications with the insurance company, you cannot take back anything you say. Similarly, once you have accepted a settlement offer, you cannot go back and ask for more money, even if you learn that you could have qualified for a higher payout.
How to Look for Accident Injury Lawyers
Finding a qualified attorney is one of the biggest factors that will determine the outcome of your case. To find one, look for a law firm that specializes in personal injury with a track record of success.
Your first meeting with an attorney will determine whether or not you are a good fit for each other. The attorney will ask you questions about your accident, including how it happened and where it took place. The first meeting is a good opportunity to make sure you and the attorney communicate well together. Good communication is extremely important because the process of negotiating a claim requires a lot of back and forth.
Get Legal Representation in Cheyenne, Wyoming or Casper, Wyoming
When you submit a claim for compensation after an accident, you will be going up against the insurance company and their lawyers. To get the most compensation possible, it is important to have expert legal representation of your own. Our team of accident injury lawyers in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Casper, Wyoming is committed to helping you build your strongest case. Get in touch with us today by contacting Ochs Law Firm.