Being in a car accident is jarring enough, but if you also emerged from it injured, then you have another tough road to navigate. Suddenly, you might be dealing with insurance companies and medical bills and feeling like no one is on your side.
With more than 50 years of combined experience, Anthony Pusch and Chi Nguyen have made it their life's work to help people in exactly this type of situation. The team of attorneys at Pusch & Nguyen, plus their network of investigators, work together to make sure their clients receive the maximum settlement possible.
From dealing with difficult insurance companies to gaining more leverage, Pusch and Nguyen explain why it's vital that you get a personal injury attorney following a motor vehicle accident:
Never wait to get an attorney
If you have been physically injured, regardless of how minor the damage to your vehicle might seem, don't hesitate to seek counsel as soon as possible. No two people are alike, so no two people will be affected exactly the same way by a car accident.
Be sure you talk to them before anyone else
Never talk to the insurance adjuster about your injuries before speaking to your lawyer. "Remember, insurance companies are trying to build a case against you, and will do whatever they can to give you as little money as possible for your injuries," says Nguyen. "The moment your claim is filed, they are looking for ways to devalue it and get themselves off the hook."
Not all injuries show up right away
What insurance companies know (and what the average person doesn't) is that a lot of the time, injuries following a car accident have a delayed onset. This means you might not become symptomatic until days, sometimes even weeks or months, after the accident. But if you report your injuries immediately following the incident, it gives the insurance companies an argument against anything else that may emerge after your statement is given. If you didn't claim it, insurance isn't paying for it.
Do not immediately accept any offers to settle
It may be tempting to just put the whole experience behind you, but you should not accept any offers to settle before talking to your attorney. "Insurance companies move quickly to get you to accept a nominal amount to settle your claim, knowing that your claim could potentially be worth exponentially more — and they know most people are not aware of that," says Pusch.
Don't accidentally terminate your rights
"After the insurance company has convinced you to accept a lowball offer, they will usually get you to sign a release and immediately send you a check," says Nguyen. "Once you've signed the release and taken that check, you've given up your right to bring any future claims."
Remember that having a lawyer gives you power
"It's a fact: you'll be offered a smaller settlement if you don't have a lawyer," says Pusch. "That's because the insurance adjuster knows that if you're on your own and you don't agree with the offer, you basically have no alternative. But a personal injury attorney is entirely focused on getting you the best settlement, and they will fight until they win. Plus, when there's an attorney involved, the insurance adjuster knows if they don't give a fair and equitable offer, they will be sued."
Remember that you never have to fight alone and that the attorneys at Pusch & Nguyen have made it their sole job to keep their community informed and protected when it comes to dealing with insurance companies. Visit their new office at 6330 Gulf Fwy., and let someone else fight for what's right.