You don’t need to hire a car accident lawyer for all accidents. If there is no injury and only minor property damage, chances are you don’t need a car accident lawyer. However, if your accident involves injuries, lost wages, physical therapy, or worse, then you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. You should always be mindful that saying the wrong thing to an insurance company or signing the wrong document can jeopardize receiving the compensation you are entitled to. What you say can and will be used against you.
As a car accident lawyer, I have represented hundreds of people injured or killed in car accidents and collected millions in compensation for them and their families. My top priority is to represent you, the injured party. If you’re thinking about contacting a car accident attorney, consider my list of five signs that you need a car accident lawyer. At GKT, we offer free consultations including reviewing your situation, and there’s never a fee unless we collect compensation for you. Contact us today at (304) 845-9750, by Live Chat on our website, or by completing our no obligation online form. We look forward to hearing from you.
1) Is the Insurance Company Rushing You to Settle Your Accident Claim?
In most instances, you have two years from the date of the car accident to file your claim. Insurance companies oftentimes attempt to settle your claim as soon as possible after your car accident. They will make you a small settlement offer in exchange for you signing a release. By quickly settling your claim, they cut off any future obligations to pay your future medical bills or lost wages. In other words, the insurance company saves money by limiting its liability by having you sign a release before the full extent of your injuries and damages are known. Once your claim is settled, you are forever precluded from seeking additional compensation. The insurance company does not care how harsh the outcome may be. For this reason, you should never be rushed into a settlement. Time and patience are your allies because they allow you to fully learn the nature and extent of your injuries and provide you an opportunity to heal. Moreover, the added time will help make sure that your car accident claim includes all your medical bills and lost wages. A quick settlement only benefits the insurance company.
If you feel like you are being pressured into a quick settlement and not sure what to do, don’t sign anything until you speak with an experienced car accident attorney at Gold, Khourey and Turak. We offer free consultations, and we can help you determine whether the proposed settlement is fair.
2) Has the Insurance Company Made You a Low-Ball Offer?
The insurance company wants to resolve your claim for as little money as possible. It is in their interests to make low offers and will, oftentimes, fail to tell you about all the compensable aspects of your claim that you may be unfamiliar with. For example, in addition to medical bills and lost wages, you may be entitled to claims for pain and suffering and diminished future earning capacity. Most often, the insurance company is protecting its insured and doesn’t care if you’ve been fully compensated for your claim. There is no guarantee that the insurance company’s offer is fair or fully accounts for all aspects of your claim. Also, just because an insurance company tells you that they can’t offer you any more money or that their last offer was their final offer, it doesn’t mean that you must accept it.
If you feel like the insurance company is making you a low-ball offer, you should consult with a car accident lawyer at Gold, Khourey and Turak. Our accident attorneys will speak with you at no cost to you, review the specifics of your claim, and determine if the insurance company’s offer is fair.
3) Have You Received an Offer that Includes a Limit on the Amount They Will Pay for Medical Bills?
To resolve claims quickly, an insurance company may agree to pay a set amount up front and then pay all your medical bills over a set time period up to a maximum amount. For example, an insurance company might offer you $1,500 now and agree to pay all your related medical bills over the next three months up to a maximum of $5,000. This might sound good to you, but these offers are never good offers. First, as previously discussed, you should never be in a hurry to settle your claim. Second, these offers limit your claim for medical bills and lost wages before anyone, including your doctor, knows the full extent of your injuries. It would be an injustice for an insurance company to limit your medical bills to $5,000 and then you learn later that you will require a $25,000 surgery. The insurance company is more concerned with limiting its exposure than with making sure that you receive a fair offer.
If the insurance company has made you an offer like this, you should consult with a car accident attorney at Gold, Khourey and Turak. Our attorneys understand the various tactics insurance companies use to limit their compensation to you, and we know how to obtain the compensation you deserve.
4) Have You Been Asked to Sign a Medical Authorization?
As part of their investigation into your claim, the insurance company may ask you to execute a medical authorization. These authorizations are never limited to the injuries sustained in the accident and include access to your entire medical history. Once in their possession, the insurance company will use these authorizations to collect medical records for all your past, unrelated treatment in the hopes of finding some way to defeat your claim. With your past medical records in hand, they’ll argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident, but instead are the result of a preexisting condition you treated for years ago. Insurance companies are always looking to shift the blame. Moreover, do you really want an insurance company to have all your personal records?
If the insurance company has asked you to execute a medical authorization, you should consult with an experienced car accident lawyer at Gold, Khourey and Turak.
5) Has the Insurance Company Told You That You Don’t Need a Lawyer?
If the insurance company has told you that you do not need a lawyer, then you definitely need a lawyer.
Don’t be fooled, the insurance company’s interests are never aligned with your interests. They are motivated to act in their best interests even if it’s at your expense. An experienced car accident lawyer understands this and works to make sure that your interests are protected and that you receive maximum compensation for your claim. At Gold, Khourey and Turak, we know the value of your claim and understand the importance of fighting to make sure your interests are paramount.
If the insurance company told you that you don’t need a lawyer, you should consult with an experienced car accident attorney at Gold, Khourey and Turak as soon as possible.
GKT’s Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in West Virginia, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, call the car accident lawyers at Gold, Khourey & Turak. We offer free case reviews and only collect a fee if we obtain compensation for you. Our knowledgeable and experienced car accident lawyers are available 24 hours a day via Live Chat, by phone at (304) 845-9750, or online through our online case form.