Untimely death of a loved ones is one of the most difficult time for the loved one’s family or friends. However, in some cases, someone else might be at fault and in those cases, when someone else was negligent, you might be entitled to a compensation. These type of compensations are achieved through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Here, we will discuss what different type of accidents can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Commercial trucking accidents
Most of the time, commercial trucking accidents are classified as auto accident. However, they are different from passenger vehicle accidents in a lot of way. One of the main difference is the mere size of the truck. Since commercial trucks are often heavy and large, they are most likely involved in accidents that result in death.
Commercial truck operation has a lot of elements in it, and each one of them has to be examined by the personal injury or wrongful death lawyer in order to determine how the accident occurred. These elements can include
- Mechanical failure
- Incorrect maintenance of the truck
- Oversized loads
- Loads that weren’t properly secured
- Driving error and
- Driving under the influence of some substance (alcohol or drugs)
In order to determine which party, or parties, are liable in the wrongful death of your loved one, the attorney will review every relevant aspect of the commercial truck operation.
Wrongful Death Through Car Accidents
Traffic collision involving passenger vehicles are one of the most common types of accidents that lead to a wrongful death case. This is due to the number of people that drive and how often they drive.
According to the 2019 NHTSA statistics, over 39,000 car accidents in the US had a fatal outcome. Only in Arizona, there were 911 fatal crashes, and even though this is the lowest number in the past three years, that is still an alarming number
Many of the fatal car accidents are caused by the negligence or one or more drivers. These can be categorized as:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence
- Roadway issues
- Speeding and
- Driving while drowsy
Bicycle, Pedestrian or Motorcycle accidents
People that commute with bicycles, motorcycles or on foot, are more likely to be killed in vehicle accidents. This is because they lack the necessary protection that vehicle d rivers have during the collision.
In the majority of these cases, the pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist are killed in accidents mainly because of the negligence of the driver.
Medical malpractice and wrongful death
Even though hospitals should be a safe place, where healthcare providers should be skilled and well-trained to avoid harming the patients. We even have safety protocols set up in all hospitals. But despite that, medical negligence occurs and it can be fatal.
The most common examples of fatal medical errors include:
- Delayed or incorrect treatment
- Birth injury
- Errors during surgery
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Defective devices or medications
- Hospital negligence
- Lack of informed consent
Certain occupations are at greater risk of injury and death because of workplace accidents and dangerous nature of the job. Fatal work accident can occur in any workplace where the workers are required to work under dangerous conditions.
Based on the research of OSHA, the most frequent work-related accidents which result in death, occur due to:
- Being struck by an object
- Being caught between machinery, objects or materials
Defective products are dangerous for users even if they are used correctly. Sometime, even safe use of a defective product can be fatal. The most common cases of defective products, which cause death are:
- Defective drugs
- Vehicles or some components
- Defective children products
- Toxic food or containers
All manufacturers are obligated to only manufacture and sell safe and reliable products to their users. In case the manufacturer creates an unsafe or defective product, which poses danger to the user, then he can be held reliable of the (proper) use of said product leads to the user’s death.
If you or your loved ones has died and you suspect that you have a wrongful death case of one of the types mentioned above, contact Schenk & Podolsky today and schedule a consultation. Let us review your case with you and see if you have the right to claim compensation.
You can’t really predict when an accident will occur in your life. They are unexpected and can happen in an instant. On the other hand, the recovery after an accident, both physical and financial, can take some time.
At Schenk Podolsky we’ve been handling injury cases in Arizona and have been guiding our clients through their legal journeys.
After your accident, it’s important to seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s order for the most optimal recovery. So here’s a short list of tips on how to follow up and follow medical advices
Complications – After your accident it’s important that during your recovery, you do everything you can to avoid any complications. There’s a really go reason why your doctor gives you specific advice for your recovery period. These advices can be to improve mobility and not lose function in your injured limb, to properly clean and wash your wounds in order to avoid infection, to refrain from some foods and avoid certain drugs while you’re taking other types of medication and so on.
These recommendations and instructions are crucial in order to avoid serious complications that might have huge consequences. Furthermore, they might also help that a minor injury doesn’t turn into a serious problem.
Expert advice – Getting second and third opinions are fine although you should really focus on the opinion that you doctor gives you. After all, doctors are highly trained and educated professionals who dedicate their lives in helping the sick and injured. Doctors as medical experts have a comprehensive knowledge and understand what’s the best wait to treat your injuries in order to achieve maximum recovery.
Adjusting your treatment – When you follow your doctor’s orders and report back, the feedback that you provide is very beneficial because it shows to your doctor whether the treatment plan is working and how effective is it. You feedback provides the necessary information in order for your doctor to adjust the treatment if necessary or even explore entirely different treatment plans. So make sure that you tell your doctor whether you feel discomfort, have certain reaction to medication and so on.
The big picture – The long term goal of your follow-ups with the doctor and rehabilitation sessions is to achieve best long-term outcomes. And even though every injury is unique, patients that don’t follow-up regularly with their doctor or physical therapist, might not achieve the same level of recovery as other people. So make sure that you stick with your follow-up schedule and do your exercises with your physical therapist regularly.
Keeping track – Reports, notes from your doctor or therapist are a result of you following your doctor’s/therapist’s orders. There documents represent a timeline of your recovery, starting from the initial diagnosis, treatment plan and various stages of recovery. When a doctor or therapist reviews your documents, he can see clearly how much progress you made. Furthermore, the documents can also be a valuable source of proof when you decided to file an injury claim.
Insurance company techniques and tactics – WE are all aware that insurance providers would like to pay the victims as little as possible and they will use various arguments to achieve this e.g. advise you not to seek medical attention regularly and to follow up. By doing this, they can later on argument that your injuries weren’t so severe since you didn’t follow up with your doctor, and thus they will minimize your compensation. So instead of listening to the insurance company about your recovery and following up, make sure that you stick with the advice that your doctor and medical professionals gives you.
In our previous blog posts we discussed what happens after your car accident. We mentioned that lawyers of both sides will do a deposition to take statements from you, from the at-fault driver, witnesses and medical examiners. Then those depositions get transcribed and reviewed by the lawyers. So what’s next?
Once both sides have their depositions, it’s possible that there will be a trial, if of course both sides feel that they have a solid case.
Going to trail isn’t something to be taken easily. It’s a big decision that you need to discuss with your personal injury lawyer. Your attorney should be honest with you and tell you what are your chances if the case does go to trial and what are the good and bad sides of it.
The reason why this needs to be considered carefully is because a trial can be an expensive and time-consuming process. But if a trial is what it will take for you to get the best out of your recovery and not pay anything out of your own pocket, then your personal injury lawyer will be there to help you and guide you through the process.
Negotiations with the other side will keep on going, but your lawyer will also dedicate a significant amount of effort to prepare for a trial that should give you the best chances for success.
A settlement is something that can occur at any stage of the process. Reaching a settlement is actually beneficial for all parties involved, but you should only settle if the offer you get is what you want.
If you’re not the cause of the accident and you have no part in the injuries, then you should have the obligation to bare any costs for your recovery. The goal of your personal injury lawyer is to get you every dollar you deserve.
Once a sides presents a settlement offer you will have to discuss it with your attorney. Your attorney will give you his honest opinion and whether he thinks that the offer is fair or not. The final decision on accepting or refusing the settlement offer is entirely up to you.
Accepting a settlement offer means that your case will be closed and you probably won’t be able to file another claim for this particular accident. Since this closes the loop on your car accident case it really important to carefully review the settlement offer and make sure that it covers everything you will need for a full recovery. When it comes to settlement offers, you should know that they should cover:
- Medical bills, both present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Rehabilitation costs
The recovery process could be long, depending on how severe your injuries were. If the recovery process is longer, then you will need extended hospital stays, even more than one surgery which means that you will be away from work for quite a while. It is also possible that you might not return to work in the same capacity as before.
Accepting this can be difficult, especially if we take into consideration that this might result in financial difficulties, stress and problems for your family. So working closely with your attorney who is fully aware of your needs and how those injuries might affect you in the long run is key. He will be able to closely determine the settlement that will compensate you.
Brain damages caused by a car accident can sometimes affect you for the rest of your life which means that there will be recurring costs aside from the initial treatment. These recurring costs might include prescriptions, returning visits to the doctor, therapy and rehabilitation.
Avoiding car accident trial
After a car accident, the most important thing is to focus on your physical recovery. Trials can be added unnecessary stress that you don’t really need. And even though settlements are a relatively quick and good solution to a car accident case, sometimes a trial is necessary because the at-fault party is refusing to offer a fair settlement.
There are millions of cars on US roads every day, which results in extreme congestion and of course more accidents.
Those that were unfortunate to be involved in a car accident, need to have an experienced personal injury lawyer on their side to work on getting compensation for their injuries, so they don’t have stress on how the bills will get paid.
Paying the bills should be the last think you need to worry about and instead of that you need to focus that you get the necessary medical attention and put all your energy on getting physically well. With an experienced lawyer, car accident victims can stop worrying about the legal stuff and focus on their recovery.
What exactly is a car accident deposition?
After your file a personal injury claim for your car accident, there is a discovery process and a deposition is an integral part of that process. Through the discovery process, a lawyer from every side asks every side a series of questions for documentation and records. This is actually a really important part of the discover process because it often leads to settlements. Did you know that the majority of civil cases actually settle out of court?
A settlement is something both parties want, because trials can take too long and can be quit costly. However, though discovery, both parties get together to share information and will hopefully be able to negotiate a settlement.
So to put it simple, through deposition, both sides of the car accident get to ask questions to witnesses, experts and victims about what happened. Every deposition has to be recorded, although it’s not a trial.
Depositions are important because it provides your personal injury lawyer the necessary information what happened and what a witness remembers or witness says about the accident and the circumstances.
Unlike trials, depositions are less formal. But, they are recorded by a court reporter, and in case there’s a trial, your statement can be used in the process. Depositions are usually done at an attorney’s office or some other, neutral location.
Questions asked during a deposition are broader, unlike in the courtroom where the questions are quite narrow is cope and specific. Objections to certain questions are allowed, although that might not exempt you from providing an answer. Later on, if the case goes to trial, the judge can strike the question (and answer) out of the record.
Just like in the courtroom during trial, you are also under oath during a deposition, although in a less formal setting.
After a car accident deposition
You should know that there’s no specific path to the process after a car accident claim. However, usually after a deposition, the process will go through several other stages.
The standard procedure of a court reporting program is that the court reporter must record all court sessions and proceedings. This also include the ones that happen outside of a courtroom e.g. depositions. Transcripts of your depositions are important because you can be sure that no one is misquoting you. Furthermore, this allows your personal injury lawyer to review what everyone said and to make sure that they have all the information they need.
Transcripts can sometimes take time, especially if the deposition took too long. So don’t be surprised if your attorney gets the copy of the transcript only weeks after the deposition.
Reviewing the transcript
Once the court recorder completes the transcript, he/she will provide a certified copy to both attorneys. For the next few weeks, both attorneys will carefully review the transcript, checking if your statements are correct and collect additional information they might missed during the deposition.
Car accidents sometimes cause serious injuries. In 2018 nearly 1000 people died in a car accident. Even though not ever car accident has a fatal outcome, but they can significantly impact your life.
Independent medical examination is quite common after a deposition. This is because one side believe that the other side’s doctor is presenting the injuries as more severe than they really are to get a larger sum from the insurance. So getting an independent medical exam is quite common, and it is usually requested by the insurance company.
Once you’re through will all the technicalities, you will need to sit down with your personal injury attorney and discuss your options. Your attorney will tell you whether you case is weak or soli, good or bad, and basically provide a realistic evaluation of your case.
If necessary, the attorney might add additional witnesses to your case.
Based on one of the previous reports from NHTSA, about 5,000 people die every year in traffic-related pedestrian accidents. And several of these are actually caused by car crashes.
But over the years we’ve seen the number of pedestrian deaths rise above 5,000 and more than 129,000 pedestrians seek medical attention in emergency room. Despite the fact that the number of traffic fatalities is decreasing, the number of accidents involving pedestrians has remained the same.
Traffic accidents involving pedestrians are dangerous and in the majority of cases they are deadly, so it’s important to understand the risks involved. In order to prevents these accidents from happening, we need to know how they occur so we could figure out a way to avoid them.
Pedestrian accidents – Common causes
Pedestrian accidents are mostly caused by traffic accidents, whether it’s with a car, truck or motorcycle. In these type of accidents, pedestrians are more likely to be killed than the occupants of the passenger vehicle.
50% of pedestrian accidents are cause due to alcohol consumption according (by the pedestrian or the motor vehicle driver) to the research done by the CDC. So both should be extra responsible on the road.
Some of the most common reasons for pedestrian accidents include:
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving (when the driver is distracted either using the phone or texting)
- Reckless driving
- Bad weather conditions
- Not following traffic laws
- Reckless driving
Who is at risk of pedestrian accident?
To put it simply, everyone who is walking on or near a roadway can be a victim of a pedestrian accident. However, there are some that are at much greater risk than others. CDC has released some findings according to which people who are 65 years or older are more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents. And another data shows the 1 in 5 children younger than 15 years that were killed were also pedestrians. So according to this statistic children and elderly adults are actually facing higher risks of being killed in pedestrian accidents.
If you or someone you know was involved in a pedestrian accident, Schenk and Podolsky can help. Contact us today and seek legal advice.
Even though being in a car accident is scary and devastating, but the accident itself is rarely the end of the story. After a car accident you will most likely be overwhelmed with phone calls from insurance agencies and the police which certainly adds a bit more stress to the whole situation of losing your car.
Depending on the state you live in, you might be entitled to receive compensation for the pain and suffering due to your accident. Some courts even state accident law are mostly focused on making the accident victim whole by ‘forcing’ the person at-fault pay.
But with all the things happening around the accident, how can someone know if they are treated fairly or not? Is there a way to know that the compensation offered will be sufficient?
After an accident, many accept only a portion of the compensation they are entitled to. And there are rarely situations where the person at-fault or the insurance company will offer a sum that will really make the victim whole.
Diminished value of your vehicle should be included into the compensation. We all know that cars that were in accidents or have an extensive repair history have a lower value. And this is something you can now check with a few clicks.
Some car dealership managers will diminish the value of your car by almost 30% after a simple frame damage repair. This means that if your car’s value is $20,000 you could ‘lose’ about $6,000 in value.
Diminished value claim
Claims for diminished value should be made as soon as possible. Just like with all other claims after a car accident, there is a certain statute of limitations. For Arizona, the statute of limitations is 2 years. So this means that the victim of the car accident has 2 years (after the accident) to submit a diminished value claim in order to be compensated for his/her loss. But there is one thing you need to be aware of.
When you’re dealing with settlements after your car accident you need to be aware that these settlements usually contain an exclusion clause which prevents you for making additional claims such as diminished value. So if you don’t file a claim upfront, you won’t be able to later on.
That’s why it’s important to handle all claims upfront and a skilled and experienced attorney will be able to help you with this. If you’ve been in an accident recently and would like to file a claim and be compensated, contact Schenk Podolsky and let us help you.
Fatal auto accidents are something we often hear about on the news, and the reports sometimes make us wonder – is the number of accidents going down or up?
The laws of texting while driving, additional enforcement on drinking while driving and the variety of safety measures should really make a difference.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) the answer is yes, but it’s a bit complicated. The number of fatalities in automobile accident has dropped by 2.4% compared to 2018.
Unlike automobile accidents, truck accidents are on the opposite end of the curve and have increased by 0.9% in a recent year. Most of the time, in truck accidents, the ones that suffer in the collision aren’t truckers, but other drivers and passengers that they hit.
From the automobile-related fatalities 62% of fatalities were drivers and passengers of cars and small trucks. Only 3% of fatalities were commercial or large vehicles.
Trucking fatalities – Common causes
The American economy is switching towards home deliveries and shipping. This not only increases the number of products that get moved around, but also puts a bigger pressure on truckers to make deliveries on time.
Alcohol-related collisions have decreased in 2018 which means that the most common causes of trucking accidents are actually:
- Driver fatigue
- Distracted driving
- Poor driver training
- Poor truck maintenance and
- Reckless driving and speeding
Increase safety on the road
Even though the number of tricking accidents is growing, there are certain things you can do in order to reduce the risk:
- We should all practice defensive driving
- Drivers should avoid being next to or directly behind (tailgating) large trucks or in their blind spots.
- Practice the 3 second rule.
- Be diligent in wearing your seatbelt – Not sure if you know but more than 85% of survivors of car accidents were buckled up.
- If you see any form of reckless or irresponsible driving, like texting, you see that the driver is tired or he is doing anything else that might jeopardize your life or the life of someone else…don’t hesitate in calling the police.
Everyone should do what they can in order to support the implementation of the national polities and increase the safety on the roads. Keep in mind that trucks are normally 25 times heavier than regular cars so truckers should pay extra attention to driving responsibly and ethically.
If you were hit by a large truck
If you or your loved one was in an accident involving a truck, you’re most likely going through a challenging time. Trucking accidents, since they are more severe than car accident, can leave pretty severe injuries and disabilities that turn your life upside down.
Accidents that involve trucks and big rigs are most of the time complicated and can mean a lot of complicated and convoluted paperwork. So having a skilled and qualified personal injury lawyer is required.
If you need counsel regarding a personal injury claim from a car or truck accident, contact us today.
Auto insurance is not just a legal formality and requirement. It’s also a very important aspect in protecting your financial stability and health.
Before picking an auto insurance company, you need to know what type of insurance is there, what coverage they offer and what will happen to your premium if you get into a car accident. And in case you were in an auto accident, it’s important to know what to say and not to say to your auto insurance company. These things can have a big effect on your insurance claim.
What auto insurance coverage do you need?
There are a number of auto insurance forms and not all of them are mandatory. Some are even voluntary. For example, auto insurance in Arizona includes:
- A minimum of $15,000 per person OR a $30,000 per accident in bodily injury
- A minimum of $10,000 in property damage coverage
This sounds pretty generous and reasonable. Except when you find yourself in an accident where the damages are much higher. This can impact your financial health, because you will have to pay for the extra costs out of your own pocket. So that’s why we highly recommend that you maintain higher level of protection with your auto insurance so that you are sure that you have sufficient coverage. These voluntary coverages include:
UIM or Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage – If you’re in a car accident and the person responsible flees the scene, or is underinsured or uninsured, you will be left without any recourse unless you have an UIM.
Comprehensive coverage – This type of coverage is great if you want to protect yourself against damages from vandalism or car theft, basically from things that are out of your control.
In order to make sure that both you and your loved ones are insured, locate your auto insurance policy, look it over and if necessary, increase your coverage.
Speaking with an insurance agency after the accident
When you get into an accident, you need to contact your auto insurance company in order to report it. The other driver’s insurance company might also contact you. Communicating with both insurance companies is crucial, because one misstatement can make your insurance claim invalid and will dramatically reduce the amount of coverage you can receive. That’s why it’s important that you limit your communication with the auto insurance companies in very specific ways:
Communicate only about facts – You need to understand that the goal of every auto insurance company is to settle the case for as little as possible. That’s the job of the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjuster are representing the insurance company, so no matter how pleasant they sound, keep in mind that they are not representing your best interest. So when you communicate with an insurance adjuster, speak only about facts, without providing ANY opinion, evaluation or to admit anything.
Admitting fault – Often will insurance companies claim that you were the person at fault. If they try do to that, just say nothing. You can’t really know whether you were the one at fault or not, without being fully aware of all the aspects of the accident. For example, you don’t know if the other driver was under any influence, distracted, violating some other law etc. These are all important things required to determine who is at fault.
Calls with insurance companies – When you’re on the phone with an insurance adjuster, keep in mind that the entire phone conversation is being recorded and noted down. This information can be useful in further minimizing your insurance claim. So make sure that you pay extra attention to what you tell the adjuster. Choose your words carefully.
Hiring a lawyer – Since the insurance claim can be a bit complex and complicated, the safest bet would be to hire an attorney who will advocate on your behalf. And if you sustained some type of injury due to the accident, we recommend using a personal injury lawyer as the best option. Lawyers are well-versed in these cases, they know the procedure in and out and will be able to navigate more efficiently in order to get you the highest claim possible.
If you were in an auto accident and you need help filing an insurance claim with your auto insurance company, contact us today and let us help you out!
When it comes to personal injury claims, they all require you to have an experienced attorney who is well familiar with the process and knows the differences from cases involving auto accidents, nursing home abuse or neglect. But what are the main burning questions when it comes to personal injury law?
Is your personal injury claim valid?
If you want to pursue a successful personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove that your injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence. Extensive medical treatments are usually part of every personal injury case. However, not all personal injury claims have physical injuries. Some have non-physical harms or losses. A good example is if someone attacks your professional reputation or invade your privacy. These can all be good grounds for a personal injury claim.
How soon can you file a lawsuit?
This depends from one state to another. To be more precise, on the states ‘statute of limitations’. This statute basically determines how much time you have to file a personal injury claim. Of course the statute of limitation differs from case to case. Some states have a statute of limitation of 4 years for a personal injury lawsuit, but for medical malpractice this statute is only two years.
The best thing you can do is to pursue the lawsuit as soon as possible after your injury. This is because preservation of evidence is very important in these cases. Furthermore, a standard procedure involved in a personal injury case is investigation done by your personal injury attorney, which can take some time.
What is negligence exactly?
Negligence concerns actions taken in a specific situation by a ‘reasonable person’. For example, you would expect a truck driver (or basically any driver) to obey the traffic rules and to drive at full attention in order to avoid putting themselves and others at risk. In the event that they cause a car accident because they didn’t pay enough attention while driving, they can be liable for the accident.
So basically, someone is negligent if he/she fails to act in a way an ‘ordinary reasonable person would’ in a specific situation. Personal injury cases are generally found on negligence.
Will the person at fault be punished?
Personal injury cases are NOT criminal actions. They are civil actions. Jail terms cannot be sentenced to defendants in personal injury cases. The same goes for criminal fines. This is because there was no real malicious intent that caused the injury. The cause of the injury is negligence.
Nonetheless, in some rare cases, there can be punitive damages. Punitive damages have a goal to punish the defendants that were reckless OR didn’t act in the best interest of the public. The end result of punitive damages is to discourage defendants to behave in such way.
If you think that you have a valid personal injury case, because someone else’s negligence caused you harm, contact us today and let’s review your case together!
In our previous blog posts we’ve summarized that car accident are life-changing events that can occur out of nowhere. One moment driving down the motor way listening to the radio, and in the next your car is totaled, your body is aching with pain and you’re trying to grasp what has happened.
We also talked about what insurance companies usually do, how they want to deny or minimize your claim payment and what reasons (or tricks) they use to deny your claim. Today we will be focusing on the tips on settling a car accident claim.
Contacting the authorities
If you wish to successfully settle your car accident claim, there are several things you need to do immediately after the accident.
First and foremost, you need to contact the authorities and wait until the police arrives at the scene. Once the police arrive, make sure to tell them exactly what happened and seek medical attention if you need to. You might not feel that you need help from a doctor, but that can be a result of the shock your body went through. So make sure that you get examined by the doctor. Once the effects of the shock settle down, you will feel the effects of the accident. This can take a few hours.
Once the doctor establishes that you’re safe and not injured, take photographs of both damaged vehicles and make sure that the license plates are clearly visible. You should also make notes about the other car e.g. the make, model, color and exchange information with the owner of the other vehicle. Taking photos of the scene and location is also a good idea because this will provide useful information on the weather, traffic signs and even skid marks.
Doing this, you’re starting the car accident settlement the right way. Also, you need to keep in mind that you might not be settling the claim directly with the owner of the other vehicle, but rather with his insurance company.
Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer
Not all accidents will lead to a totaled car. Some will just end up with minor property damage, for which you don’t heel to have an attorney. It’s easy to settle this.
But if the accident caused severe damage to your vehicle and caused significant injuries to you, you should really consider getting help from a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. It might help your claim.
Experienced personal injury lawyers are well informed about the process to come and can anticipate the strategies that the other side will implement so he/she can be well prepared.
The goal of the insurance company is to protect the bottom line and their self-interest. They do this by offering you very low settlements and they might even try to dispute the entire claim. But having a good personal injury lawyer in these cases can help you a lot because he/she will be negotiating on your behalf.
Recorded statements and documents
It’s not uncommon practice, that insurance company representatives will contact you as soon as they learn about the accident. The representative might sound reasonable, friendly, polite and helpful but keep in mind one thing…they work for the insurance company, not you. The goal is to minimize the value of the claim. And since many car owners aren’t exactly skilled in these matters, the insurance representatives will even try to use some rather questionable methods to get what they need/want.
One of the things they might use are recorded statements. If you get asked to give a statement, politely decline and tell the insurance representative that you will be speaking with an attorney first. This is your right before giving any statements. You might as well use it.
Another thing that insurance companies also do, is send you documents like a medical authorization or similar. The strongly advise that you DO NOT sign any type of authorization that comes from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Why? Well because then the insurance company can then dig through your medical history looking for a way to prove that some of your previous injuries were the cause of the accident.
So when settling a car accident claim, it’s imperative that you speak to a personal injury lawyer. He will be negotiating with the insurance company, he will release any medical records and advise you on giving statements.