Traffic accidents create a lot of unexpected issues for victims. In addition to seeking medical care for any injuries, there are also medical costs, property damages, and the insurance company to deal with. Often, the best decision an injured victim can make after a car crash is to seek legal help.
At Bernstein & Poisson, our Las Vegas accident lawyers are prepared to discuss your potential claim with you and answer your questions. Below, we provide answers to some of the questions injured victims often ask after being involved in a crash.
If you need answers after a crash caused by another’s negligence, contact our law offices to set up a free case review. There is no legal obligation after this meeting, even if we determine you have a claim. Call today to learn more.
Do I Need an Attorney to Represent Me or to File a Claim?
There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer. Often, whether you need an attorney depends on the severity of the crash and whether you sustained any injuries. Ultimately the decision is yours, however, it is important to recognize how having an attorney may benefit your claim.
For instance, having an attorney on your side can often result in a significantly larger compensatory award. Insurance companies know that victims without legal representation are more likely to accept the first offer, however low it is. They are also not likely to know the full value of their claim.
However, attorneys understand the many factors that go into determining the accurate value of a claim, such as:
- Waiting until an injury victim reaches his or her maximum medical recovery before beginning settlement negotiations
- Considering not just the past medical costs, but also future surgeries or other medical needs the victim may have
- Determining the value of other damages that are harder to calculate, such as pain and suffering caused by the crash
- Guiding the accident victim throughout the legal process to make sure his or her interests remain protected
- Fighting to make sure the injury victim, if partially at fault for the crash, is not assigned more liability than is fair
For a free legal consultation, call (855) 605-2959
Can I Afford an Attorney?
This is a valid question, as legal representation is often not cheap. However, for car crash claims, Bernstein & Poisson operates on a contingency basis. What this means for injured victims is that if you have a valid case and you hire our firm to represent you, there are no upfront costs. There are also no fees to pay throughout the legal process. We only get paid once your claim concludes – and only if we are successful in winning your case. That is why a car crash lawyer is not going to accept a case unless he or she thinks there is a good chance of winning.
What if I Am Partially to Blame for the Car Crash?
If you believe you were partly at fault for a crash, you should never admit it to anyone at the scene or to the insurance company. Let the accident investigators do their jobs and determine who may or may not be at fault for the crash. If you share any liability for the crash, having an attorney to advocate for you helps to ensure you do not get assessed with more than your fair share of fault.
In Nevada, even if you are assessed with some liability for a crash, you can still seek compensation – as long as you are not more that 50 percent liable. That said, under the state’s comparative negligence rule, your percentage of fault will be deducted from any compensation you are awarded. If you are assessed with more than 50 percent of the fault, you will be barred from any recovery.
What Do I Say to the Insurance Company?
As little as possible. Often the insurance company contacts crash victims while they are still recovering from their injuries. This is a time when insurers know victims are most vulnerable and may inadvertently say something that could hurt their claim.
It is really best if you call an attorney before speaking with the insurance company. He or she can communicate directly with the insurance company on your behalf. However, if you decide to handle the call yourself, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Stick to the facts – do not ramble or give information that is unnecessary
- Do not admit fault, apologize or say you feel guilty
- Give no details about your injuries
- Refer them to your attorney – legal counsel can communicate much of what is necessary
- Do not give a recorded statement – this information can be used against you later
- Do not accept any offer – it is likely to be far below the true value of your claim and other offers will follow
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How Long Will My Car Crash Claim Take?
No two cases are the same, and there are multiple factors that can determine how long a claim may take to conclude. One of the phases of an injury claim that can be lengthy is the recovery process. The more severe a victim’s injury is, the longer his or her recovery may take.
The attorney will not begin negotiations for a settlement until the victim reaches his or her maximum medical improvement (MMI). Trying to settle a claim before that point in a victim’s recovery is a bad idea. Your attorney cannot yet determine the full value of a claim because your future treatment needs are still unknown.
Do I Need to Continue Getting Medical Care?
The answer to this question is a firm yes. There are multiple reasons why, but the primary one is, of course, protecting your health. You can impede your recovery or even make your injuries worse if you stop getting treated. Additionally, the insurance company could come back and say that if you do not need medical care, your injuries must not be as bad as you say. This can severely damage the value of your claim.
If you are concerned about costs and how to pay for medical care, this is something you can discuss with your attorney. However, you could use private health insurance or the Med Pay in your auto insurance, if you have these coverages. You may be able to negotiate a monthly payment plan with the hospital.
Need a Trusted Attorney After a Crash? Bernstein & Poisson are Here to Help
You may have many questions after a car crash that this blog did not answer. Call our law offices today to set up a free initial consultation to get more answers and discuss your situation.
We charge nothing up front if we represent you, and do not collect our fees unless we win your case. Call to get more information and get started today. There is no legal obligation to hire our firm.