I recently met with a Worcester, MA resident, who was seriously injured in a car accident, for a free case evaluation. During the case evaluation I learned that this injured driver gave the other driver’s insurance company a statement over the phone before he ever had an opportunity to speak with an attorney. Now that insurance company is trying to place some of the blame on him for causing the accident. This is why anyone seriously hurt in an accident should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident and get legal advice.
How Waiting to Speak With or Hire an Attorney Could Hurt Your Case
Generally, after being seriously injured in an accident, a delay in speaking with or hiring an attorney could hurt your case. This is why speaking with an experienced injury lawyer is one of the Three of the Most Important Things to do After an Accident that we suggest.
After an accident the adjusters that work for the insurance companies will try to get a hold of you right away. While you may believe (and they may imply) that the insurance company is working with or for you, this is typically not the case. The insurance adjusters are trained contact an accident victim right away. They will treat you very nice, appear genuinely concerned about your injuries and lead you to believe that they want to pay you fair compensation for you injuries. Sometimes they will even try to convince you not to hire an attorney.
When I recently met with the Worcester resident that was hurt in an accident, he explained that he had already talked to the other driver’s insurance company. He gave them a recorded statement over the phone because he was under the impression that it was required. At least, that’s what the adjuster inferred. Additionally, this accident victim also explained how the adjuster told him that he doesn’t need a lawyer for this case.
That adjuster is now blaming him for contributing to the accident and his own injuries. This is strictly based on the recorded statement that he gave before he consulted with an attorney. Based upon the laws of contributory / comparative negligence in Massachusetts, the insurance company will try to reduce any settlement offer by the percentage that they unilaterally attribute to him for contributing to the accident. This doesn’t mean that this man is out of luck or has to accept the insurance company’s findings. If the settlement offer is not fair and reasonable, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed against the negligent driver.
This is one reason it is almost never a good idea to delay in consulting with or waiting to hire a personal injury attorney for your accident case. Your delay will almost certainly give the insurance company an advantage in your case.
Protect Your Rights – Speak With A Lawyer
If you have been seriously hurt in an accident, speak with an experienced attorney as soon as you can. Don’t let the insurance company try to take advantage of you and hurt your case.
Feel free to contact Mahaney & Pappas, LLP. We will evaluate your case, explain and protect your legal rights and answer all of your questions. Call us at (508) 879-3500 or fill out the online contact form.