We live in an age where information, especially legal information, is easily accessed on the internet. All too often, accident victims are urged on by insurance companies to handle their own claims to avoid paying an attorney. However, if you are injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you should hire an experienced personal injury attorney in order to maximize your recovery. Why? Because what you don’t know can significantly reduce the amount of your recovery.
You Know What They Say When You Assume
I bet you assume, as most accident victims do, that the other guy’s insurance company is going to pay all of your medical bills and give you additional compensation for your injuries without you having to do a thing, right? Well, I hate to tell you but this assumption is, in most instances, wrong. I bet you also assume that all of the information you need to know to maximize your recovery is easily found on the internet, right? Wrong. The information may be on the internet somewhere, but you need to know what information you need and how to locate it.
When dealing with the insurance company, would you rather assume you have all the correct information, or would you rather talk to an experienced attorney who represents crash victims every day? I trust you would want to do what’s best for you and your family and at least talk to an experienced attorney before handling your claim on your own. We offer free consultations, and there’s never a fee until we win your case. Don’t assume, get the answers you and your family deserve.
Did You Know. . .
Did you know that, more often than not, the at-fault driver typically does not have enough insurance to cover your medical bills or property damage, let alone compensate you for your injuries?
Did you know that most of the time, the other guy’s insurance company isn’t going to pay anything towards your medical bills until you agree to resolve your entire claim?
Did you know that if you resolve your claim with the other guy’s insurance before you are fully recovered, you can’t go back and obtain additional compensation? That means if you find out you need additional medical treatment or if you are unable to return to your same occupation because of your injuries, you can’t go back and obtain additional compensation.
Did you know that you may have insurance that will help your pay medical bills and help you get by financially until you are fully recovered and can resolve your claim against the other guy, BUT you might have to pay some of it back?
Most importantly, did you know that what you are legally entitled to recover depends on where the accident occurs?
Here in the upper Ohio Valley, the laws of West Virginia, Ohio and/or Pennsylvania may be implicated in any given accident, especially in automobile collisions, as Ohio Valley residents regularly cross state lines when going about their daily activities. A Moundsville resident who is involved in a crash while exiting I-70 on the way to the Highlands in Ohio County, West Virginia would be entitled to a recover damages arising from damage to their vehicle that could not be recovered if the collision occurred while exiting I-70 to go to the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville, Ohio. For example, in the scenario where the collision happened at the Highlands exit, the victim would be entitled to compensation for loss of use, annoyance, aggravation, and inconvenience. However, those same damages would not be available in the St. Clairsville collision scenario due to differences in the laws of West Virginia and Ohio. The differences in laws aren’t limited to property damage recovery, but also include, among many others, differences in what medical expenses are recoverable and the amount of available underinsured motorist coverage. While state lines matter little in our daily lives, they matter significantly when it comes to being injured in a truck or car accident through no fault of your own.
Insurance companies count on accident victims not knowing the intricacies of applicable laws. Insurance companies, even your own insurance company, are in business to make money. And how do they make money? By offering crash victims significantly less than what they deserve with hopes victims will accept their low-ball offer. Insurance companies will tell you that hiring an attorney is not necessary in an attempt to minimize the amount of paid to you as compensation. An experienced attorney knows the value of your claim, and knows how to get you the compensation you deserve. An attorney works for you to recover the maximum allowed for you under the law. After all, if you don’t know what you are entitled to recover and the other guy’s insurance company doesn’t have to tell you, you don’t know that the insurance company is not fairly resolving your claim. Insurance companies do not want you to know that, even after payment of attorney fees and expenses, you will, in almost all instances, have more in your own pocket when everything is resolved if you are represented by an attorney.
A real-life example of an insurance company not applying the correct law in an attempt to minimize a liability settlement: I recently received a settlement offer from an insurer who either didn’t know the applicable law or was hoping that I didn’t know the law as the offer was a fraction of the recoverable medical expenses. Had my client not retained me, the insurance company likely would have got away with such tactics. Instead, the insurer was forced to reevaluate the claim in accordance with the applicable law and provide my client compensation for all elements of recoverable damages, including pain and suffering, and lost wages, in addition to all medical expenses.
The Right Attorney Makes A Difference. . .For YOU!
Insurance companies are supposed to evaluate all claims consistently and in accordance with applicable law. That means, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have an attorney, right? Wrong. I’ve spent a large part of my career involved in litigation regarding how insurance companies handle claims. Two things have become clear and are often admitted during depositions of claims adjusters: claims are evaluated differently when the injured person is represented by an attorney and the identity of the injured person’s attorney often makes a difference in the settlement value of a claim.
At GKT we handle cases throughout the Tri-State area and are well versed in the intricacies of the various laws governing personal injury and property damage claims, as well as the duties and obligations insurer companies owe to their insureds. Unlike other local law firms who will only handle the personal injury aspect of a claim, we also assist our clients with their property damage claims and make sure our clients obtain the maximum possible recovery under applicable law. We assist our clients in exploring and maximizing recovery under all available insurance coverages, whether it be liability insurance, medical payments coverage, underinsured or uninsured motorist coverages, health insurance or disability insurance. And when a personal injury claim is resolved, we work to minimize repayment obligations (often called subrogation claims or liens) and maximize the amount our clients retain for themselves.
If you are injured in a tractor-trailer or car crash through no fault of your own, call our office today at (304) 845-9750. We offer free consultations on all personal injury and accident claims. And remember, The Right Attorney Makes A Difference in maximizing an injured person’s ultimate recovery.