What Should You Do First? Call a Lawyer or the Insurance Company?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Car Accidents Published on November 4, 2022 and updated on December 4, 2022.

using a smartphone while seatedMany vehicle crash victims talk to an insurance company before talking to a lawyer. While these victims may still recover compensation for their damages, their conversation with the insurance company could hurt the strength of their case. That is why it is generally best to talk to a lawyer before talking to the insurance company.

Below, we review the dangers of talking to the insurance company before talking to a lawyer. Our licensed attorneys have been working with victims of car crashes for many years, dealing with every step of the legal process, including filing a claim and negotiating for compensation. We are prepared to do the same for you, if we can validate your claim and determine we may be able to assist you.

Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices. We are ready to help: 410-401-9979.

Why It Is Not Too Soon to Call a Lawyer

Sometimes crash victims hold off on calling an attorney because they are unsure if they need one. They want to think about it some more or talk to their family. They may even want to hear what the at-fault driver’s insurance company has to say.

However, if you were injured in a car crash, it is not too soon to call a lawyer to determine if he or she can help you. You may have a case even though you think you do not. It is generally a bad idea to assume the merits of your claim, particularly if you have already spoken to the insurance company.

Even if an attorney tells you that you do not have a case, it should give you peace of mind. If you assume you do not have a case and do not call an attorney, you might accept a lowball settlement offer.

These are all reasons why you can and should call a lawyer before the insurance company.

Dangers of Calling the Insurance Company First

Even if you do not accept a settlement offer for far less than the full value of your claim, the insurance company could give you the wrong idea about your claim. This could influence you in such a way that you decide not to call a lawyer. You may think you do not have a case because of things the insurance company said.

You cannot trust what the insurance company is telling you about your claim. Their interests and yours are not aligned – they will be looking for any reason to attack your credibility and/or assign you fault for the crash.

When crash victims file claims, insurance companies are hoping to avoid paying out any compensation. Short of that, insurance companies will try to settle the claim for as little as possible. Insurance companies need to protect their profits.

Crash victims may think they can avoid saying anything that hurts their case when they talk to the insurance company. Sometimes these crash victims may be correct.

However, it is important to understand something if you talk to the insurance company: Insurance companies talk to crash victims all the time and know how to manipulate them. There are various comments you could make that you may think are harmless but could hurt your case:

  • Comments about your injuries – You can say you have injuries but revealing any more than that could be a bad idea. You might exaggerate your injuries or undersell them without even realizing it. If you exaggerate, the insurance company will probably find out and this hurts your credibility. If you downplay your injuries, the insurance company may use these statements as a reason to try to underpay your claim.
  • Comments about your recovery – Even if you are excited that your recovery is going well, you should not tell the insurance company about it. They may use statements about your recovery to downplay the value of your claim. They could argue that you are healed, so you should not have any more medical expenses.
  • Comments about your actions during the crash – You may feel that you could have acted differently before the crash and maybe these actions would have prevented the accident. However, you might be wrong. Sometimes crash victims feel the need to apologize, even if they have nothing to apologize for. However, apologizing or saying you should have acted differently gives the insurance company a reason to claim you are partially at fault.

Can I Manage a Case on My Own?

There are times when an attorney will tell a victim that he or she cannot help him or her with the case. That is not necessarily because the victim has no case, but the value of the case may not be that high.

Often, victims can manage these cases on their own. You may only need a few thousand dollars to cover your damages, and insurance companies may be more likely to make a fair offer for these types of claims.

However, it is often a bad idea to manage a case on your own, particularly when you need significant compensation. By hiring an attorney, you are showing the insurance company you are serious about recovering full compensation for your damages.

It is important to hire an experienced attorney who is prepared to go to court to seek compensation. When insurance companies know there is a possibility of a case going to court, they may be more likely to negotiate in good faith and offer full compensation for damages.

Contact Peter T. Nicholl Law Offices to Discuss Your Crash

One of the most important phone calls to make after getting injured in a car crash is the phone call to a lawyer. Sometimes crash victims call a lawyer from the scene or at the hospital, just hours after the crash.

The experienced Maryland car crash lawyers at our firm are ready to help. Call our firm as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation and learn more about our services.

Unlike attorneys who handle other types of cases, we do not charge upfront fees for our services. We are not paid for representing our clients, unless our clients receive compensation.

Call us today to learn more: 410-401-9979.