You’re not required to hire a Charleston auto accident lawyer after your car accident. But in many cases, it’s probably a good idea. How familiar are you with West Virginia’s personal injury and auto accident laws? Unless you’re an experienced auto accident lawyer yourself, chances are you don’t have that knowledge.
So, unless your accident is a minor “fender-bender,” with no injuries or serious property damage, hiring a Charleston auto accident lawyer is probably a wise decision. Let the attorney help you get the compensation you need, not what the insurance company thinks you need
Of course, as a law firm, you might expect us to say that. But if you allow us to explain our perspective, you’ll understand why we suggest hiring a lawyer after your car accident.
You might expect that the Charleston Police Department will investigate your accident. You’re right, but that investigation may not be as thorough or detailed as you need and may not necessarily give the entire picture of what happened.
One of the first things you need to do is file a claim with your insurance company. You’ll also likely be filing a claim with the other party’s insurance company. To ensure that your claim is paid, another investigation will likely be conducted. If you allow the insurance companies to investigate, who do you think they will be looking out for? Most likely they will be motivated to keep claim costs as low as possible.
When you hire legal counsel, the attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to find the actual cause of the accident. This is particularly important if the police report or the insurance companies’ investigations point to you as the cause and at fault. Your attorney will seek out evidence such as:
• Police reports
• Available area surveillance videos
• Driving records
• Cell phone records
• Social media postings
• Pictures of the accident scene
• Witnesses and their statements
• Service records of involved vehicles
• Forensic examinations of the involved vehicles
• Other important evidence related to the accident
Your Charleston auto accident lawyer should make sure that the investigation is thorough and complete, and gives the true reason for the crash.
Insurance Company Negotiations
A few days after your car accident, you may receive a phone call from the other party’s insurance company. It may even be the next day. A friendly voice is on the other end, asking how you’re doing and what they can do to help.
Don’t be fooled. Be on guard at once. You’re about to get played.
The friendly voice on the other end is asking how you’re doing and feeling, just to start the conversation. They’re actually not interested in you. What they want is to lull you into believing that they are calling to help you. Warning: you are not who they want to help.
The idea is to get you comfortable so that you will agree to take a very small settlement right away for your car accident. They may even try to convince you that you can’t get any more for your accident and that you’re not allowed to hire legal counsel. You may hear even the term “take it or leave it.”
None of these statements are true.
Our suggestion—be polite, thank them for calling, decline their offer, and hang up the phone. The next thing you should do is pick up the phone and call our office, The Love Law Firm, for a free consultation. Why?
You’re at home recuperating from car accident injuries, wondering how you’re going to pay the bills, if you’ll even be able to go back to work, and how much it’ll cost to get your car fixed. Their offer will likely be an extremely small settlement to close out your case and get you off their books. At this point, you really do not know the extent of your injuries, all your medical bills, or even the value of your car to repair or replace!
A good auto accident lawyer understands this type of offer. The insurance company knows and so does an experienced lawyer like Charleston auto accident lawyer, Chad Love, that if you accept their first offer, you will lose your opportunity to collect more compensation for your injuries and losses later on! So, again be polite, thank them for calling, decline their offer, and hang up the phone and then make that phone call to a Charleston auto accident lawyer immediately.
Because an experienced auto accident lawyer, like attorney Chad Love, has conducted a thorough investigation and understands how the insurance companies work, they can not only negotiate on your behalf, but they should also be able to get you the compensation you need for:
• Medical expenses, current, and future
• Lost wages, including future lost wages (if applicable)
• Property damage, such as repairs or replacement of your wrecked vehicle
• Other damages, such as pain and suffering
An experienced Charleston auto accident lawyer should leave no stone unturned to ensure that you are receiving the maximum settlement instead of just a few dollars.
Think of it this way: if you start adding up your expenses just days after your accident, and see damages of at least $40,000, why would you accept a settlement of $5,000—or less? Yet, this is what an insurance adjuster will be trying to convince you to do when they call. Do not be persuaded to accept their first offer.
Time is critical. You have just two years to file your accident claim or file a lawsuit if necessary. And it is why we strongly suggest that you hire a Charleston auto accident lawyer to handle your claim.
The Love Law Firm—Charleston, WV’s Personal Injury Firm
If you’ve received a letter or phone call—or many calls and letters—asking you to settle your case, call us immediately. If you take the first offer, you may lose thousands of dollars you need to heal and get back to your life.
Contact Charleston’s The Love Law Firm today at (304) 344-5683 and schedule your appointment. We’ll discuss your case with you and explain your options and what to expect in a personal injury settlement. We offer contingency fee arrangements and there’s no fee if we don’t win your case.