No one wants to be in a car accident. Similarly, no one wants to need to hire a car accident lawyer. But the truth is that everyone that has been in a car accident should hire an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible if they want to maximize their chance for recovery.
I have had friends and family, as well as prospective clients, ask me if they should just handle their case themselves since it is “a small case” and they can avoid paying an attorney “1/3 or 40% of my money for doing something I could do myself.” This logic is faulty and to fully understand why you must understand the current landscape of the legal industry as it relates to personal injury cases and car accident cases specifically.
Frankly, the courts and legislature in Texas over the past couple of decades have made it much harder for plaintiffs injured in car accidents to obtain a full recovery. Insurance companies and their adjusters know this just as well as plaintiff attorneys do. This has emboldened insurance companies to deny claims where liability is clear, and in cases where they do accept liability, to offer extremely low amounts with the knowledge that the playing field favors them. Similarly, the Courts have created a multitude of traps that can be fatal to a plaintiff’s case if they make a misstep. These factors have led insurance companies to try and lowball experienced attorneys. Unrepresented plaintiffs? It is beyond lowballing. It is offering pennies on the dollar to them.
In an unfavorable legal environment. Here are just two examples of ways your car accident attorney is working to level the playing field for you.
Preventing the Insurance Company From Distorting the Facts
The reality is that the insurance company of the driver that hit you wants to talk to you as soon as the accident occurs. Why? They want to get a recorded statement from you that they can later use against you. While you are trying to digest everything that goes along with being injured in a car accident, they want to try to commit you to exactly what happened – even though you may not know exactly what happened. They also want to pin you down on the injuries you do and don’t have – even though in the majority of the cases you won’t know the full extent of your injuries for days, if not weeks, later. Insurance companies are experienced in using these early statements against you later in an attempt to pay out less than they should on a case. Having an experienced attorney take charge of your case from the beginning and be the initial contact with the insurance adjuster will protect your legal interests and allow you to focus on getting the medical treatment you need.
Protecting the Integrity of Your Medical Records and Bills
One of the obvious damages an injured party has in any car accident case is the cost of the medical treatment that allowed them to make a full recovery. In Texas, Plaintiffs can present at trial their medical bills and records that show the reasonable and necessary treatment they received due to the car accident. This allows the jury to get a good understanding of the injuries suffered by the injured person and award appropriate damages.
However, the law also allows defense attorneys to controvert these records and bills when they believe the treatment was unnecessary or the costs were unreasonable. Unfortunately, rather than filing these controverting affidavits in instances where there is a legitimate dispute, defense attorneys for insurance companies are increasingly filing them in every case. Why? Because by doing so they are forcing the injured party to bring to trial as a witness all of their treating doctors and medical providers. This can be logistically hard for plaintiffs who have no control over the availability of ER physicians and other doctors and nurses who provide treatment to them. The hope of the insurance companies is that plaintiffs will not be available to get these medical providers to court and therefore they will be prevented from presenting those medical bills to the jury. This helps the insurance companies in their attempt to prevent plaintiffs from obtaining a full recovery for their injuries. An experienced plaintiff attorney will file motions to strike these sham affidavits, and therefore, allow the jury to be presented with all of the medical bills and records related to the case.
The reality is that insurance companies, adjusters, and attorneys have one goal: to pay as little money as possible to injured parties who are victimized by the actions of their insured driver. You need an experienced car accident attorney who can fight for your rights and prevent them from using the system against you.
Have questions? Need representation? Contact Us.