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When cleared from the fog of legal-speak, personal injury simply means you were injured by the carelessness of someone else. In vehicle terms, carelessness could stem from a range of infractions including speeding, fleeing the scene of an accident, improper lane change, or driving under the influence of alcohol. Personal injury can take many forms and a few of them are listed as follows:

  • Automobile accidents

  • Neck and Back Injuries

  • Motorcycle Accidents

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • Wrongful Death

At Wagner Law Firm, we represent individuals whose lives have been significantly changed as a result of another’s careless acts. Going it alone as an injured against an insurance company is difficult because the adjuster is trained to pay you as little as possible and has access to the legal department of the insurance company to back them up. You need an attorney on your side to make sure the insurance company fully investigates your claim and pays what is due to you.

Should you seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, or emotional trauma, the burden of proof, unfortunately, weighs on you. And, quite often during this negotiating process, many personal-injury claim victims discover that some insurance carriers are foes rather than friends. The insurance company hires adjusters and attorneys to review and handle auto accident cases in the best interest of the insurance company, not you. Hiring an attorney to look out for your best interests is a must and most people experience less stress and recover more money with an attorney fighting to enforce their rights.

An automobile accident can be a life changer or a real pain in the neck for a couple of years depending on the collision.  If you are not taken from the scene by an ambulance here are some suggestions.  Call 911 and let them know an accident has happened and be ready to give your location and some basic information about the severity of the accident.  Approach the other driver and be civil as it is an unfortunate situation for everyone.  An appropriate remark would be something to the effect that this is an unfortunate event and the insurance companies will sort things out.   If you admit to the other driver it is your fault, your statement will be held against you even if it turns out you are not at fault.  Ask for their name, address and insurance information.  Look around and see if there are any witnesses to the accident.  Sometimes the other driver blames you when it is their fault for a variety of reasons, and a witness is vital to refuting their misrepresentations.  Make sure you get the cell phone and address of any witnesses.  Ask them what they saw and make a brief note.  Next, get your cell phone out and start taking pictures of your vehicle and their vehicle and the location of the collision.   Finally, once law enforcement arrives on the scene, try to talk to them first and give your recollection of how the accident occurred.  My general observation is that the first person to the officer to tell their story usually has their story in the report as to what happened.  Law enforcement should do the above, but they are often managing several calls at a time and the reports can be lacking in necessary information that causes your claim to take longer to resolve.  If you can, gather the above information yourself and you will minimize the chance of a report that compromises your rights.  Finally, go to an urgent care or ER and have a doctor give you an exam the same day.  It is very common that the adrenalin rush due to the event will mask pain and injury, and about two days later you will feel the effects of the accident.  If you do not see a doctor the same day as the accident, the insurance company will hold it against you and assert you must not be hurt since you did not see a doctor after the accident.  Within a few days, call an automobile accident attorney and ask for a free consultation on your case.  Initial consultations are free at Wagner Law Firm.

If you are the at fault driver, then your insurance company will defend against claims from the persons you injured and the damage you caused to their property.  In this situation, you usually do not need to hire an attorney.  However, if you did not cause the accident and have injuries and your property is damaged you should at the very least contact an attorney for a free consultation on your case.  Most law firms, Including Wagner Law Firm, will discuss your case with you and provide a free opinion on whether or not you should hire an attorney.

Why hire an attorney?  Because the person that hit you has an adjuster, in house attorneys and the insurance company working to pay you as little as possible on your claims.  Insurance companies are in business to make money.  They need to bring in more money  from premiums than the pay out.  You are on the pay out side of this business model , and the less they pay out, the more they can pay  themselves and take trips to Hawaii.  The motivation of the insurance company is to pay you as little as possible.  In fact, a major insurance company made it part of their incentive pay program for the adjusters to receive credit for the amount of money they under paid each claim compared to the actual value the insurance company placed on the claim.  For example, the insurance company evaluates your claim and believes it is worth $20,000.00 and the adjuster gets you to settle for $10,000.00, then the adjuster receives compensation at the end of the year on how much money they saved the company by not pay out the full value of claims.

Hiring an attorney levels the playing field for your claim.  Hiring an attorney means you focus on getting well and putting your life back together while your attorney fights for your rights.  Hiring an attorney on a contingent fee basis for your claim means you spend zero out of pocket and pay the attorney a percentage based on the amount of money the insurance company pays on your case.  Hiring an attorney enables your claim to be managed to maximize your benefits and prevents mistakes in the processing of your claim that can cost you large amounts of money.

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