Often after an accident, life is never the same. Whether the injuries suffered are physical, mental, or emotional, scars remain. As such, many people are reluctant to hire a personal injury attorney to either file a claim on their behalf or assist them with the process. And while it is possible to file your own claim, it is certainly not advisable.
For most, an accident involves medical bills, rental car bills, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket expenses. What cannot be easily calculated is the negative impact an accident can have on your day-to-day life—a fact well known by insurance companies. Without an attorney to guide you through the process, insurance companies and their adjusters often try to take advantage of those who have been injured as a result of another’s negligence. Simply stated, insurance companies are not in the business of paying claims, they are in the business of denying claims.
An experienced personal injury attorney will not only advocate on your behalf, they will ensure that all types of damages allowable under Texas law will be pursued. Texas law allows for the following damages to be claimed in a personal injury suit:
- Physical pain;
- Mental anguish;
- Physical impairment;
- Medical expenses;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Loss of consortium; and,
- Loss of services.
Each of these damages require legally-sufficient proof in order to recover. That is, if the appropriate documentation and information is not provided to the insurance company to support each claim, the claim will likely be denied or significantly undervalued by the insurance companies.
With an understanding of what is available to an accident victim – the question then becomes: How can I receive full compensation for my injuries? An answer to such a question is variable by case-type and injury; however, there are some general guidelines to follow.
The first, and perhaps the most important piece of advice is to attend all of your medical appointments. Often, we try to work through pain and discomfort, and put-off seeing a doctor after an accident. This is a mistake. A car accident, even a low-impact accident, can result in significant injuries due to the amount of force involved. Simply stated, the human body is not designed to sustain the amount of force involved in any car accident. After an accident, it is always advisable to seek medical treatment to ensure that you did not suffer a significant or latent injury. Once you have seen a physician, it is also important to attend all prescribed follow-up appointments. Your long-term health is dependent upon good medical care after an accident; therefore, follow-up appointments and referrals to specialist are always important to keep.
Another practical piece of advice in order to receive appropriate compensation after an accident is not to speak with anybody. In almost every case, after an accident you will be asked to provide a recorded statement. This statement is important for the insurance company to have a better understanding of the incident in order to assess fault; however, these recordings are also being analyzed in an effort to deny or limit coverage. This is true of even your own insurance company. Because of this, it is important to not provide any statement before you have had a chance to speak with an attorney.
Lastly, it is always important to have an open line of communications with your lawyer. Your lawyer is there to assist and guide you through this process so you can focus on what is most important: healing after your accident.
The claims process after an accident, while on its face seems straight forward, is a complex process designed to benefit the insurance companies. Victims of a car accident often feel alone and overwhelmed by their injuries and property damage. Fortunately, the experienced attorneys at the Ted Smith Law Group, PLLC stand ready to help. Through integrity, strength, and proven results, our team is ready to help you on the road to recovery. Contact us today and let’s discuss your case and how we can help.
A native of Fort Hood, Texas, Raymond L. Panneton has built a national practice with deep Texas roots. Raymond is the Managing Attorney of the Ted Smith Law Group. He specializes in Personal Injury and Business Law.
For more information about Raymond, please read his full biography here