You were being careful but the other driver wasn’t and now your car is damaged, you might have to miss time from work and you are faced with expensive medical bills. And you didn’t do anything to cause this situation.
To add insult to injury, insurance companies are poised to take advantage of you when you’re in this position.
What do you do? Where do you turn?
First, remember the insurance company isn’t on your side. Insurance companies excel at collecting premiums and at holding on to their money. Often they won’t pay unless and until they’re made to.
Don’t give a recorded statement to the opposing insurance company. It doesn’t benefit you to do it and by the way, they can’t make you do it. If they really want to be fair, they would allow your attorney to take a statement from their driver but they’ll never do that. Why not? It’s pretty easy to figure out. They only want to gather information that helps their side, not yours. Don’t fall into that trap.
Don’t admit any fault. As a human, you want to empathize with a fellow human and you naturally want to reach out to the other driver. However, if you say you did anything wrong to cause the wreck, the insurance company will seize on it and they won’t be fair to you. Ask about the other driver, that’s the right thing to do, but don’t suggest you did anything wrong.
Get treatment. If you’re hurt, you need to get seen about. If you were to settle your case and the next you find out it’s a lot worse than you thought, it’s simply too late. One of the oldest tricks in the insurance company’s bag of tricks is to try to take advantage of gaps in treatment. They suggest that if you’re really hurt, you’ll find a way to get treatment. We know that’s not always true – sometimes you don’t have insurance or transportation. However, we can help you get medical treatment if you have no other way to get it. Don’t let that stop you from getting the medical care you need.
Cooperate with your doctor. Do your part to get better. Don’t skip doctor appointments. Do your therapy. It’s your body so treat it well and follow the doctor’s recommendations for what you need to do to heal as best as you can.
Document everything. Keep a daily log for how you’re doing. Memories fade over time and it’s not easy to recreate facts from memory weeks or months after the fact. Log your pain levels, make a note of what makes it better and what makes it worse. This information will come in handy down the road.
Don’t wait too long. Many people who try to go along to get along find themselves in the position that they’ve waited too long and their case is over because of the legal deadline or statute of limitations. Generally in Alabama, you have two years to do one of two things: you must either settle your case or file a lawsuit. If you don’t do one of those two things in the two years from the date of your wreck, the law will bar you from pursuing the case.
Don’t go it alone. Hire a specialist. After I served our country in the US Army, I graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law. Then, I took and passed the Bar exam in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. All I’ve ever done in the practice of law since I started in 1994 is to represent injured people. I have a passion for helping injury victims and I feel that with each case where we hold the at-fault driver accountable for their choice to violate the safety rules, we make our community that much safer.
How long will it take? Here’s where I have to ask a big favor of you — please don’t be impatient. The court system is overloaded and the wheels of justice turn slowly but rest assured, there will be justice in the end if you will allow the process to play out.
Contact me a for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation. I can be reached by email at Tracy@AlabamaPersonalInjuryLawyers.com.
We are Alabama Personal Injury Lawyers, LLC. Personal Injury law is all we do.