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Who Should I Call First: A Personal Injury Lawyer or My Insurance?

Although the following information below can apply to many different scenarios involving an injury, let’s assume you are injured in a car accident.

You did everything you needed to at the scene, like exchange information with the other party, documented the scene, and collected witness information. You even remember to refrain from discussing your injuries when asked if you’re all right.

But, you aren’t all right. Your arm feels somewhere between tingly and numb, and it takes a lot more effort to move than before the accident. You’re injured and you know it, so who do you call?

Why You Should Call a Lawyer First

A lot of people think they should contact their insurance company as soon as possible after an accident, but there is no requirement to do so. The reason why people hold onto this notion is that they believe they’ll have an easier time dealing with their insurance company if they file a claim as soon as possible, but this isn’t always the case.

It may not seem like it, but you have time. Under California law, you have two years from the date of your accident to report it, but we’re not suggesting anyone wait this long to report theirs. The point here is that you have time to contact an attorney before your insurance company – and you should!

You Might Not Be Able to Give a Statement

A good reason for calling an attorney before you call your insurance company is that the latter will want you to provide a statement of the accident. Most people who are involved in an accident that resulted in an injury aren’t in the state of mind to provide the statements they need to protect their claim, and the insurance companies are counting on it.

By securing legal representation before you call your insurance company, you can get your story straight with someone who wants to help you protect your claim. That means that instead of looking to poke holes in what you say, your attorney can help you craft a solid statement that accurately describes the accident from your perspective.

You Have Unknown Injuries

Sometimes people don’t realize the full extent of their injuries until hours or even days after an accident. This is another reason why seeking legal representation first can help – it gives you time to recognize what hurts, where, and how badly.

If you speak with your insurance company first, any pain or injuries you notice after you file your claim may not be covered in the compensation you receive. This means that you might have to hire an attorney anywhere to fight for it.

You Are Offered a Settlement

Under no circumstances should you accept an insurance company’s settlement offer until you’ve discussed it with an attorney. Insurance companies are in the business of paying out as little as possible, which means any offer you receive will likely be far below what you could reasonably pursue.

An attorney like one of ours at Smolich and Smolich can advise you of issues such as these and help you fight for what you really need to get on with your life. For more information about how our legal representation can make a difference after your accident, get in touch with us today.

Contact us online now or call (916) 571-0400">(916) 571-0400 to request a consultation.