Every day in California, with its network of Freeways and traffic congestion, there are thousands of car accidents ranging from minor fender benders to catastrophic life altering experiences and/or death. If you are one of the unfortunate people who are in this group you undoubtedly have asked yourself the question “Do I need an Attorney?”
In cases where the injuries are substantial there is no question that a qualified and experienced personal injury litigator should be retained as quickly as possible. There are multiple reasons for this, not the least of which is to protect you from the wrongdoer’s insurance company’s attempts to distort the facts of the accident and to do everything in their power to minimize your injuries. They do this in a variety of ways, but the most common is their desire to immediately obtain a statement from you before you speak to an attorney and ask questions in ways that yield responses that can and will be used against you later on.
The belief that you are “in good hands” if the Allstate adjuster calls you to find out your version of the accident and the extent of your injuries is naive at best and down right wrong at worst. The adjuster, and the Insurance Company Attorney, will take whatever is said and use it in the worst possible way against you. My favorite example of this is the client, who states that the other car “came out of nowhere!!” I cringe every time a potential client uses that phrase because it implies that the client was not paying attention immediately before the collision occurred. Cars come from somewhere. They never “come out of nowhere”. That statement, given to an insurance company, even if you knew exactly where that car came from, will cause damage to your case. That is just one of the many little things that an experienced attorney will make sure is avoided thereby protecting the value and integrity of your case.
It is very typical that the extent of ones injuries are not fully appreciated until a few months after the accident occurred. It is the usual pattern that a person is first diagnosed with “soft tissue injuries” if x-rays do not reveal any broken bones. The custom and practice is for these patients to receive medication and some sort of physical therapy to aid with the healing process, however some of these accident victims do not recover as is predicted. Many develop all different types of symptoms including radiating pain down the limbs known as “radiculapathy”. This is a significant finding that requires immediate medical attention and more diagnostic testing including, but not limited to, an MRI of the affected area. In a worst case scenario the MRI will reveal a positive finding that there is some “disc pathology” which might require anything from medication, pain management, and epidural injections to complex spine surgery. Unless you have an Attorney to properly manage your case and navigate the hurdles for you, the wrongdoer’s Insurance Company, and their Attorney, will do everything they can to minimize your claim and present what is nothing less than a frivolous defense to your righteous case.
The defense attorney will obtain every single medical record that exists relating to treatment you have received going back as far as they can which often times is decades. They will look for any little notation in any medical chart they can find to try and link your present complaints to some other unrelated event. This is what they do! This is why they get paid very well by Insurance Companies. If you don’t have an Attorney who is at least as smart as they are you are at a supreme disadvantage and you will be taken advantage of. This is not my opinion. This is a fact.
Most attorneys who specialize in Personal Injury Law offer a free consultation. There is no excuse not to take an hour of your time to consult with an experienced attorney after being involved in a Car Accident when you consider what the consequences could be if you don’t. Drive Safely.