After you’ve experienced a personal injury or car accident you may be overwhelmed by injuries, pain, addressing car repairs, scheduling doctor appointments and more. Calling an attorney may be the last thing on your to-do list, but it should actually be near the top.

Here are the risks you face if you do not call an attorney after a car accident or personal injury event:

  1. Lower Insurance Settlement. After an accident or injury, you are likely to receive a call from the other party’s insurance company within a day or two. They will probably offer you a payment that might be tempting, but don’t take the bait. The earlier an insurance company contacts you, the more worried they are about their client’s liability and potential costs. In addition, you might not yet know all of your injuries, vehicle repair cost (car accident) or medical expenses yet so you won’t be able to determine if what they are offering you is fair. Taking the settlement offer without speaking to an attorney will likely result in receiving a lower payment.
  2. Higher Stress and Time Loss. Without an attorney, you are personally dealing with your insurance company and the other party’s insurance company as well. With an attorney, they will handle all of these interactions so you can focus on recovery.
  3. Lack of a Credible Claim. After a car accident or personal injury event, the parties may disagree as to who is at fault. Without an attorney, you are responsible for investigating the event, speaking with witnesses, identifying evidence, and more. Most people do not have the skills or experience to manage this process under the best of circumstances, but it’s even worse after an accident. Without this level of accident review, the other party may have the upper hand in negotiations.
  4. Poor Negotiation Result. If an offer is not made by the insurance company after the injury event, they may want to review the facts and negotiate a payment. Unless you do extensive research to learn exactly what you are entitled to and the value of your losses, pain and suffering, and expenses, you will probably leave money on the table. An experienced auto accident attorney knows what you are entitled to and will negotiate on your behalf.
  5. Wait too Long to File a Claim or Lawsuit. Your insurance policy probably has time limits for you to file a claim and if you wait too long to do this you get nothing. The same is true with a lawsuit. These are called statutes of limitations and if you wait too long, it may be too late.
  6. Preparing a Poor Case. Any delay in the evaluation and investigation of your car accident or personal injury incident by an attorney will hinder your case. Witnesses will move and be difficult to find, others will have forgotten key details, and the police, who investigate hundreds of these accidents each year, are unlikely to remember the specifics of your accident beyond what was written in the accident report. The sooner you hire an attorney, the stronger your claims and lawsuit will be.

After an accident or injury, contact a skilled and experienced personal injury and automobile accident attorney as soon as possible to avoid these risks and improve your chance of receiving the best possible outcome.