Car Accidents

Soon after the accident you can expect to be contacted by insurance companies who will offer a settlement. While this settlement may be in their best interests, it is not always in yours, and you should avoid signing or accepting any proposal until you have consulted with an attorney.

Careful What You Say — It Will Be Used Against YOU!

So you've been in a car collision and it's the other person's fault. Expect that within a day or two the insurance company for the other person will call you and sweet talk you to try to get information from you and settle your case. Watch out for the "sweet talk". The insurance company hires people who are trained to get information from you but aren't very nice; if they were nice they wouldn't be working for the insurance company to try to lessen the amount of $ you would be entitled to receive.

Payment For Fixing or Replacing Your Vehicle

The only thing you should be talking to the insurance company about is getting you a rental car and how soon will they fix your car. If the claim adjuster for their insurance company says — "Unless you tell us what happened — we can't help you — tell them to "forgedaboudit" — and call a lawyer. Lawyers as a rule don't like to handle your vehicle damage because there really is no money in it and you can do it yourself. If your car is totaled — check out on the web the many automobile valuation firms and try to negotiate a decent price. Chances are — any lawyer you choose won't be able to do much better for you. What you should know — if your car is not totaled — since your car has been in a collision — it's worth less if you try to resell it. Arizona law provides that the lessened value of your car because it has been involved in a collision is compensable and your car may be worth up to 20% less. Most firms like to pretend they don't know this. And it is very hard to collect much from them for it but it's always a good idea to try. When you went to buy your car — you negotiated what you would pay for it and you didn't need a lawyer holding your hand to do it.

And — if you are smart enough to have your own insurance collision coverage that will pay for your car — use it! Your insurance company doesn't care a whit about you and it's like the fly trying to protect the elephant. You'll only get squashed. It's always an open question about whether your rates will go up — but you got insurance to protect you — and if you want to be nice and protect your insurance company with money that you spent for the insurance — I could use the gift better than your insurance company!

No or Little Damage to Your Vehicle Collisions

This is the nightmare to injury lawyers. It used to be that your case no matter how little the damage to your vehicle — was worth about 3 times the medicals. In the last 15 years that has changed a lot. The insurance companies have hired experts who proclaim that unless you were rear ended at more than 10mph — there is no way you could have injuries. They use trumped up studies involving bumper cars at fairs — and paid employees of the testers to 'prove' you couldn't have suffered any continuing injury. If you have a quarter size bump on your bumper — it's going to be hard to prove that the collision occurred at enough speed to cause you injury. These cases hardly ever go to the jury — and when they do — juries are almost never sympathetic and you'll be lucky to get your medical bills paid. Considering that you've had to hire an expert, pay a percentage fee to your lawyer — if it is a small collision case — and your neck and/or back stops hurting within a week or so— settle the case yourself for your medical bills and whatever else you can persuade the insurance company that your case is worth — and forget about a lawyer!

On the other hand — if your injury does not go away or gets worse, and you start having funny feelings in your hands or feet — you will definitely need a lawyer — who if he is worth his salt — will hire an accident reconstructionist to show how the speed of the collision was greater than what the other person's insurance company is claiming.

For those of you who need your bodies to work — most of us do — it's worth your while to at least contact us for a 'quickie' free advice to make sure that you are documenting your injuries correctly so that if the little injury turns big — you are not left out in the cold without even a scarf!

When you have a substantial collision and are hurt — that separates the men from the boys in documenting your case, getting doctors to treat you if you don't have adequate insurance, and protecting you properly; I can do that.