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Why Can't I Just Settle My Own Car Accident Case?

Almost everyone will be involved in some type of car accident during a lifetime of driving. Fender-benders, parking lot mishaps, and other slight "bumps" can be expensive but do not usually result in personal injury. However, there are also people who are involved in what they believe to be a "minor" accident that turns out to be much more serious than they first thought.

If you are involved in an apparently minor car accident, should you just settle the case on your own? Is it really necessary to hire an attorney?

The answer is simple: you should always speak to an attorney about any car accident case, even if you ultimately decide not to pursue a personal injury claim.

Everything to Gain and Nothing to Lose

This protects your rights and costs you nothing. The insurance companies are in business to save money, not to give it out in the form of claims. Many people forget this when they are involved in a relatively minor accident and the claims adjustor is so friendly and sympathetic. He or she may suggest that the victim settle quickly for what seems like a relatively large sum of money. What the victim may not realize is that the adjustor has already done the calculations, and the amount offered is almost certainly smaller than the true value of the case.

Unfortunately, this tactic works with many victims. People believe they are simply bumped and bruised after a car accident and are sure they will recover quickly. By the time they realize they are seriously injured, they may have already settled for a small amount of money.

A Better Way to Handle Your Injuries

A better way to approach injuries sustained in a car accident is a three-step approach:

  • Visit the emergency room or your doctor's office. Even if you do not feel that you are seriously injured, visit the emergency room or your doctor's office. You may be surprised at what the doctor has to say about your accident. At the very least, you will establish a basis for any future medical claims.
  • Follow the doctor's orders. The doctor may ask that you follow up in a week to determine if your injuries have worsened. Be sure to keep this appointment and to ask for a prognosis for the future.
  • Talk to a personal injury attorney.
Bernstein & Poisson can help you determine if your case is worth more than the insurance company is offering. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.