Do you know what you should do after a car accident?
Even if you work out a plan in your head before a crash occurs, it may be hard to think clearly after being involved in an accident. Car crash victims often have a lot of questions, and the stress of an accident makes it much harder to determine the answers.
One of those questions may be about who to call first: the insurance company or a lawyer?
Below, our experienced lawyers discuss the pros and cons of calling a lawyer or insurance company first. We have been helping auto accident victims in Cleveland for decades and have secured millions in compensation.
Zero upfront costs and we do not get paid unless you do. Call us today to schedule a free consultation: 216-621-0070.
Why Calling the Insurance Company First May be a Bad Idea
Many car crash victims call the insurance company first. They know they are going to need compensation, so they want to get the process started right away. Some of these victims may have been in an accident before, and they decide to repeat the steps they took the last time.
You may think there is little or no harm in calling the insurance company to report the crash and file a claim, but even this type of conversation could potentially harm your case. For example, you could say something that makes it seem like you are partially to blame for the crash. The insurance company can and will use statements like these against you:
- “I was late for work.”
- “I should have been more careful.”
- “I did not see the other car until the last second.”
You may only want to report the crash and file a claim, but insurance company representatives are trained to keep the conversation going. The idea is that the longer the conversation goes, the more likely it is you will say something that could be used against you.
For example, you might say something that downplays the seriousness of your injuries. If you say, “I will be OK,” the insurance company could say you are revealing your injuries have healed or they are not that bad. The only people qualified to determine the seriousness of your injuries are your doctors. If the insurance company asks about your injuries, you can simply say you are getting medical treatment. If you start trying to gauge the severity of your injuries, you could say something that makes it seem like you are not hurt that badly.
Another huge risk of calling the insurance company first is that they may offer a settlement. You might think it does not make sense for them to offer compensation that quickly. However, they are just trying to close out your claim for as little money as possible. It can be tempting to accept the offer because you need compensation for your medical bills and other damages.
Even if you do not call the insurance company before calling a Cleveland auto accident lawyer, they may call you before you call them. You should be highly suspicious of their intentions. They may say they want you to get the compensation you need, but they are really looking for some reason to deny or underpay your claim.
Conversations with the insurance company are often recorded, so you cannot count on them forgetting what you said.
Why it May be Better to Call a Lawyer First
Many crash victims call the insurance company first and end up recovering full compensation for their damages. Many injured victims call a lawyer from the crash scene or the hospital before speaking to the insurance company.
There are distinct advantages to talking to a lawyer before the insurance company. For one, you can avoid talking to the insurance company and potentially damaging your case. In fact, a lawyer can warn you about the risks of talking to the insurance company. He or she can explain that you are not under any obligation to talk to the insurance company. You can refer them to your lawyer.
An experienced lawyer can also explain the other things you can do to help protect the value of your claim, such as:
- Continuing your medical treatment
- Make sure that you report all symptoms to your medical care provider
- Keeping track of your medical expenses and other damages
- Returning to work only when you are cleared to do so
- Referring the insurance company to your lawyer if they call
- Following the advice of your doctor
- Avoiding social media, as social media posts could be used against you
- And more
A lawyer can explain if you may have a case for recovering compensation from the at-fault driver. You should not rely on the insurance company’s assessment of your situation. They are just trying to find a way to minimize their liability.
When you call a lawyer, and he or she finds you have a case, he or she can get to work right away in building a case and seeking full compensation for your damages.
Contact Our Firm to Discuss Legal Action After a Crash
If you were injured in a car crash that was not your fault, you need legal advice from experienced professionals who have a track record of success.
Our attorneys have assisted victims of many types of car accidents, obtaining millions in compensation to help them get their lives back on track.
We are here to help and there are no upfront costs with our services. Our lawyers are not paid unless our clients are compensated.
Give us a call today to learn more: 216-621-0070.
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