Why hire personal injury lawyer?
Unless you are in the motor vehicle claims business, you are at a disadvantage handling your own claim. Insurance adjusters either work for the insurance companies or, even if an “independent adjuster”, they likely get a volume of work from the insurance companies. When the adjusters save money for the insurance companies, they are looked upon “favorably”. They have training and knowledge in the industry that you lack; however, the quality of their workmanship can vary greatly from one claims adjuster to another. An experienced attorney, particularly one that has worked in or for the motor vehicle insurance industry, such as Attorney Tony Le Mon, can help protect you from settling your case for less than its fair value, and in some cases, far less than its fair value. He can also ensure that each of your damages relating to the accident are fully developed and presented to the insurance company in the best possible light so as to maximize your recovery.
What you should do after an automobile or commercial truck accident?
If you are physically able, you should:
- Immediately contact the police or sheriff and request an ambulance (if necessary)-- even if you believe that the accident is minor you should make a report of the accident;
- Get the name, address and telephone number of the other driver(s) in the accident;
- Get the name, address and telephone number of all witnesses to the accident;
- Get all insurance information from the other driver(s), including policy number(s) and agent(s), if available;
- Fully cooperate with law enforcement as they investigate the accident and prepare a report---you should accurately report the accident, and tell law enforcement any admissions of fault by other motorists or the details of the accident made by the other driver(s) before they arrived BUT under no circumstances should you admit any fault to anyone at the scene or assume or guess at any facts relative to the accident; rather, you should accurately report to law enforcement only what you actually saw, heard, or did;
- Safely take photographs or videos of the accident scene, including debris, skid marks, gouges in the road or grass;
- Safely take photographs or videos of the vehicles involved in the accident, including your vehicle;
- Immediately contact Attorney Tony Le Mon at (985) 302-5555 to discuss the accident and gain legal advice;
- Report the accident to your insurance company, regardless of whether you believe that you are solely or partially at fault, and get the details of your coverage benefits, including liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage limits, medical pay coverage and rental car coverage. Have Attorney Tony Le Mon participate in any recorded statement you give to your own insurance company (NOTE: failure to candidly report and fully cooperate with your insurance company in its investigation of an accident can invalidate your insurance coverage);
- Do not fill out any insurance documents or give any recorded or written statement about the accident to anyone, except law enforcement, without first securing the advice of Attorney Tony Le Mon. The quality and even the sincerity of the Insurance adjusters when investigating a claim can vary greatly. Be mindful that adjusters may ask seemingly innocent questions. For example, if asked by the claims adjuster: “Have you ever been injured in that same area of your body before this accident?”, and if you reply “No” forgetting, for example, that 20 years ago you had minor medical care for that same area of your body, the insurance company can later accuse you of lying when giving your statement;
- Immediately seek out medical care if you are injured (do not assume that the discomfort you feel from the injury will go away as it is critical that you create proof of your injuries in the event those injuries become serious);
- Photograph or video any visible proof of your injuries, such as bruises, scars, scrapes, and cuts as these types of injuries (unlike neurological and muscular conditions), may heal more quickly and thus not be captured to prove those injuries;
- Write a detailed narrative of the accident while it is still fresh in your memory and place “ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION” at the top of the narrative to assist Attorney Tony Le Mon with a clear understanding of the accident;
- Preserve all clothing and other items that evidence your injuries by placing those items in a sealed plastic bag and safely storing those items;
- Contact Attorney Tony Le Mon to assist with securing authorization for your vehicle’s repair or a replacement (if a total loss) and to secure authorization of a rental vehicle and any extension of that rental car authorization while negotiating a settlement of your property damages. If a bodily injury claim also arises and is assigned to Tony Le Mon for handling, he does not charge an attorney's fee to hand the vehicular damage claim for you;
- Do not have your vehicle repaired in any way until the vehicle is fully photographed and Attorney Tony LeMon has inspected it to determine if an expert needs to examine it should there be a possible defect or faulty repair that caused or contributed to cause the accident;
- Before accepting any check from an insurance company or signing any documents from an insurance company, consult with Attorney Tony Le Mon;
- Gather all insurance policies and coverage sheets for your automobile, disability, health, and umbrella coverages for review by Attorney Tony Le Mon;
- Document all lost time from work, even if you are using sick or vacation benefits from work;
- Keep a written or electronic log of all the important details of the management of your claim, including the names, contact numbers, companies & job titles of all persons who contact you, what occurred, and promises made to you;
- Keep all receipts of meals, travel, lodging and other expenses relating to the accident and your handling of any claim and receiving medical care;
- Do not assume that any appraisal of the damage to your vehicle is accurate. Further, even on your claim for vehicle damage, there may be other recoverable losses beyond the damage to your vehicle itself and rental coverage; and
- With rare exception, you only have one (1) year from the accident date to bring a formal lawsuit to preserve your rights for losses against the adverse driver or you forfeit your claim. You should contact Attorney Tony Le Mon as soon as possible after an accident to advise you on the deadline to make a formal claim and to effectively protect you legal rights.