When you have been in a car accident, one of your first thoughts should be, “how will I find a car accident attorney near me?” Working with the right attorney in Houston, TX gives you the best chance of being compensated for your financial losses. It’s important to remember that the other party’s insurance company will likely try to minimize its payout to you, regardless of your best interest. So, how should you handle communication with the other side without jeopardizing your claim?
Should I Talk to the Other Party’s Lawyer If They Call Me?
If you are reading this without having spoken to an attorney of your own, the answer is no. You are not obligated to speak with the other side’s lawyer or any representative from their insurance company. If you do, you risk disclosing information or using words that they will spin against you. The best thing to do if you are contacted by an opposing attorney is to hang up and consult with a personal injury lawyer of your own.
Understanding How Car Accident Claims Work
Getting the maximum compensation for your injury is a process involving personal injury laws, insurance companies, and medical records. Many insurance companies and opposing lawyers take advantage of the fact that injured people are not always in the best frame of mind to navigate the system.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to have your own attorney who will prepare and negotiate your claim for you. As you start to understand the process, you will see why it is so essential not to speak with the opposing lawyer before you talk to your own.
The Life Cycle of a Claim
The goal of a claim is to get you the highest possible payout. Calculating the cost of your injury is the first step in the submission process. Your attorney should take the time to understand what happened in the accident and how your injuries affected your life. Depending on the situation, your compensation could include medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, emotional damages, and disfigurement.
Once your attorney has helped you draft the claim and collect evidence to support it, he or she will negotiate with the liable party’s insurance company. If they offer you a settlement that is appropriate, you can accept it and consider the claim resolved. Most personal injury claims end this way. If not, you can take the claim to court, where your attorney will represent you.
The Opposing Lawyer’s Objective
Insurance companies make their money by finding legal ways to minimize their payouts, even in the case of serious injuries. In fact, the more money you need to cover your medical expenses and lost wages, the more likely the insurance company is to push back. If their lawyer contacts you, it is likely an attempt to gain information that they will use to prove that you played some part in causing the accident. Another common practice is using techniques to delay your claim.
If you are contacted by the other party’s lawyer, you are not obligated to speak with them or send them any documents. Always consult your own lawyer, who will handle the information that you are required to disclose.
Your Lawyer’s Objective
Your lawyer’s objective is to put his or her professional assets towards getting you the highest possible payout, whether it comes after a settlement offer or a courtroom verdict. A qualified personal injury attorney will be familiar with the strategies often used by insurance companies. He or she will be knowledgeable in all the deadlines and protocols involved in making sure the claim submission process goes smoothly.
How Will I Find a Car Accident Attorney Near Me?
Identifying the right attorney to work with is one of the first things you should do after a car accident. You should avoid attorneys who appear to dabble in all aspects of the law and focus on someone with ample experience in the area of personal injury. Look for a reputable firm that has a reputation to uphold and a robust network. Their connections could end up being valuable if your lawyer needs to work with an economist or another type of professional to prove certain aspects of your claim.
One of the most important things to remember when you are choosing an attorney is that filing a personal injury claim requires a lot of communication. You should be sure to hire someone who takes the time to understand your situation and can work with you effectively.
What to Do After the Crash
In addition to finding the right attorney, there are certain things you can do to safeguard your claim against the liable party. These steps pertain to documenting the incident and caring for your injuries.
Get the Medical Care You Need
Immediately after the crash, check yourself and all passengers for injuries. When in doubt, it is best to go to the emergency room. Remember that some injuries could be delayed, meaning that you will not start to feel them until a few days after the crash. Delayed injuries could include headaches, backaches, and abdominal pain.
Going to the emergency room will create a record of your condition immediately following the crash. Your lawyer might use test results and other evidence generated in the ER towards furthering your claim.
Document the Property Damage
If you can, you should take photos and videos of the crash. Focus on getting shots from multiple angles to show the extent of the damage. When possible, your attorney might also try to obtain surveillance footage of the accident happening. Don’t forget to document any damage done to valuable property inside the vehicle, such as a laptop or a camera.
Get Information From the Other Driver
It is important to obtain certain pieces of information from the other driver. That includes his or her name, address, and phone number. Make sure you record the name of his or her insurance company as well as the relevant policy number. You should also take down the numbers of his or her license and license plate. Finally, note the model, make and color of the other vehicle, as well as the location where the accident occurred.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney
It is best to contact a car accident attorney as soon as possible. However, even if you are somewhere in the middle of the claim process or if you were not able to take the steps mentioned above, it is not too late. Get in touch with a lawyer as soon as you can to help fortify your case against the party that injured you.
Get Expert Legal Support in Houston, TX
If you are asking yourself, “how will I find a car accident attorney near me,” contact Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner. Our team in Houston, TX can help you through all of the legal uncertainties surrounding a car crash injury, including how you should communicate with an opposing lawyer. We will strengthen your case with our detailed understanding of the law and our experience going up against big insurance companies. When you work with us, you can focus on your recovery knowing that the legal aspects of your claim are in the right hands.