If I am in a car wreck, should I hire a lawyer?
Yes, if you are injured in a car wreck you should immediately hire a lawyer. Insurance companies work for their insured, which is the person who caused your injuries. Therefore, the insurance adjuster will contact you immediately, and offer you the least amount of money for your injuries that you are comfortable accepting; even though you don’t yet know the extent of the injuries or how long it will take to recover from your injuries. If you try to negotiate directly with the insurance company, they will ask you specific legal questions regarding liability for the wreck and the cause of injury. They will record your conversations, and use your answers against you in denying or limiting the value of your claim, as it is impossible to know how to answer their questions without legal advice.
Hiring a lawyer immediately after a car accident allows your lawyer at Foshee and Yaffe to deal directly with the insurance company, establish certain ground rules to prove the legal elements of your claim, prove your damages and determine applicable amounts of monetary coverage; thus increasing the value of your claim. This includes determining whether you are entitled to punitive damages (was the at-fault driver drunk driving, texting, or otherwise acting egregiously), investigating the scene of the wreck and interviewing the investigating officer immediately after the incident, providing the insurance company with concrete evidence to support your claim while also examining your own insurance policies for applicable additional coverage you may not be aware you have. Also, since most medical providers will not treat people injured as a result of a car wreck, our lawyers at Foshee and Yaffe have access to medical specialists who focus on providing medical services to injured people. For example, we offer our clients choices of the best medical doctors around the state of Oklahoma, and also make sure they are seen immediately and in front of the line.
Without hiring a lawyer, medical providers, such as ambulance transportation and high-priced hospitals, will hold you responsible for all of your bills, regardless of the fact that you did not cause the wreck. The medical providers we will introduce you to will demand payment from the at-fault driver. Also, after your settlement, I will negotiate down the medical bills absolutely free of charge.
Since we work for you on a contingency fee, meaning a percentage of any settlement, we bear all of the risks in your case and you will never pay us a penny. Even after incurring thousands of dollars in costs, if we do not win your case, you will owe us nothing. We also promise to never take a penny more out of a settlement than you receive. Therefore, if our contingency fee is more than you recover after paying all of your medical bills and expenses, we will reduce our fee.
Here are a few other important factors to consider:
- You have only a limited time to sue: In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident negligence claim is two years. If you don’t sue within that time, you give up your right to sue forever.
- You may not fully understand all of your potential damages: In addition to medical bills, you may be able to recover for permanent injuries, aggravation of all pre-existing injuries, future medical expenses, past and future loss of wages and physical and mental pain and suffering.
- Your case may be complex: Even with witnesses and a police report saying the other party is at fault, proving negligence can be difficult. Likewise, proving your damages may be difficult. Our firm will hire expert witnesses who will handle these tough issues and prove the elements needed to win your case.
- Filing a lawsuit requires adhering to complex rules:If you decide to sue, you will have to file the appropriate documents in the appropriate court. If the rules aren’t followed, you could lose your right to sue forever.
- If you don’t hire an attorney, you could be faced with owing large amounts of debt: It is important not to distrust lawyers in an effort to gain a settlement and keep every penny. We urge you to not worry about the contingency fee. The settlement amount obtained by a lawyer will far exceed any amount you could obtain. The value of your case will largely exceed the value without a lawyer. Ultimately, you will be better off getting healthy again and securing a financial settlement that is in your best interest.