Victims of auto wrecks are entitled to compensation. This is one of the basic premises underlying American transit. It is the reason the overwhelming majority of states requires all drivers to carry insurance. Accidents happen, and we ought to be prepared and protected when they do.
But the system has a glitch. Namely, the system tasked with protecting drivers — the insurance industry — is a for-profit institution. What this means is that it has a profound interest in paying as little as it can to accident victims, while collecting and keeping as many funds as possible for itself. Insurers frequently dispute victims’ claims, and will jump on any excuse to deny them. As such, injured individuals who are unfamiliar with the insurance system frequently make mistakes that undermine their own interests.
As a personal injury lawyer serving in Easton and throughout Pennsylvania, my goal is to help victims obtain the compensation they deserve.
Avoiding The Most Common Pitfalls
My firm has helped individuals in the Lehigh Valley for more than 25 years. In this time, we have identified a number of costly mistakes that accident victims are prone to make, and which severely compromise their ability to receive payment:
- Admitting fault — It is of the utmost importance not to admit fault at the scene of an accident. Even if you think a collision was your doing that may not be the case. Weather conditions, poorly marked construction areas, and other driver inattentiveness often come into play, even when individuals involved in a crash don’t know it. Yet if you go on record accepting the blame, your ability to collect damages will be drastically reduced.
- Settling for less — Insurance companies are quick to offer victims settlements. One should be suspicious of their eagerness. Indeed, they propose settlements before injured individuals can possibly know what their medical costs will ultimately be. As such, victims who accept these offers frequently find they don’t have the funds to pay for adequate care.
- Walking it off — Commonly, victims of car crashes wait a long while before seeking medical attention. In many cases, they are unaware that they’ve been injured. The effects of soft tissue damage, for example, may not manifest for some time. Yet it is crucial to consult with a doctor immediately. Doing so is not only important to your recovery, but establishes documentary evidence that can be used to support your claim. (And insurers, meanwhile, can point to a lack of medical attention in their efforts to dispute a claim.)
- Not hiring a lawyer — It is in the interest of victims to have a representative who can assert their rights. An attorney is able to assess a personal injury claim and determine how much it is worth. As such, lawyers are uniquely able to negotiate with insurers to obtain favorable settlements, and can help clients in the courtroom if a fair resolution cannot be reached.
Legal Help When You Need It Most
If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident, reach out to the Law Offices of Edward P. Shaughnessy for help. You can reach us at 610-936-6345 or 877-245-0251, or arrange an appointment online. Initial consultations are free, and we don’t collect any fees until we win your case; in all matters, fees and charges are discussed frankly and up front.