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11 Mistakes That Can Cost Accident Victims Thousands of Dollars!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Milwaukee accident, your settlement could be reduced by thousands of dollars simply because you made a few simple mistakes. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that with our help, you can avoid making these mistakes.
This Guide contains the most common mistakes. There are many other mistakes accident victims can make. We encourage you to call Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer, so you don’t make mistakes that can reduce your settlement by thousands of dollars. Here are some of the most common mistakes that accident victims make.
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Victim Mistakes can Include:
1. Giving Statements To Insurance Companies (Click here for video & info)
Most accident victims feel they can give statements to insurance companies because they will be truthful. However, accident victims are not experienced professionals and what may seem like harmless conversation can be a legal trap.
An insurance company may call and say they need to take your recorded statement about how the accident happened and the severity of your injuries, before they can make any payments. Don’t give them a statement (3). An insurance company does not need a recorded statement from you before they pay your claim.
In many instances, the insurance company takes a statement in order to use your recorded words against you to deny or reduce your claim. Our firm routinely settles cases with insurance companies without our clients having to give statements. An experienced lawyer can help to prevent an insurance company from tricking you into saying things that can hurt your case.
Before speaking to any insurance company (3), including your own, please contact Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer for free legal advice.
2. Handling your case without the help of a trusted attorney (Click here for video & info)
A study by the Insurance Resource Council (4) discovered that accident victims that hire lawyers receive gross settlements three times larger than those who do not hire lawyers. Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident is very smart.
Think about it. Would you go to a car lot and purchase a vehicle without first researching the price? How would you know that you’re getting a good deal? Would you trust the car salesman to tell you that you’re getting a good deal? Unlike your personal injury case, it’s easy to do your own research when buying a vehicle.
Now think about your personal injury case. How do you know you are getting a fair settlement from the insurance company? Can you trust the insurance company who tells you you’re getting a fair settlement? Do you know the true value of your case? Only a lawyer can answer these questions for you.
Many accident victims want to settle their case as quickly as possible. Insurance companies know this and may offer to settle your case quickly, so you don’t hire an attorney. This is a mistake. You are fighting an uphill battle against professionally trained insurance investigators, adjusters and their lawyers.
You need someone looking out for your rights and your interests. Failing to contact an experienced lawyer before settling with an insurance company may actually cost you a lot of money. Call Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer as soon as possible after your accident. We are experienced personal injury lawyers who have handled thousands of cases just like yours. Ask us for a free evaluation of your case.
3. Trusting an insurance company to look out for your rights (Click here for video & info)
Insurance companies are big business and have one thing in mind. Profits! The only way they can make bigger profits is to take in more money in premiums than they pay out in claims. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible for your claim or nothing at all. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced lawyer.
Only your lawyer has the same interest in your case as you do. The better your lawyer does for you, the more money you get. The more money you get, the more likely you will recommend your lawyer’s services to other people you know who have been hurt in an accident.
Because we work hard for our clients, many of them are happy to recommend our services by way of testimonials. Remember, the insurance company has no interest to work hard for you. Only your lawyer has incentive to work as hard as he can for you. We welcome the opportunity to work hard for you.
4. Failing to get timely medical treatment and documenting your injuries (Click here for video & info)
Many accident victims make the mistake of not getting treatment right after an accident. Most people think they will feel better within a day or two. However, that day or two of pain can stretch into weeks, months or even years. As a result, it could take longer to recover from injuries.
Failing to get medical treatment can also affect the value of your injury case. In fact, the longer you wait to get medical attention and document your injuries, the more harm it can cause the value of your case. Insurance companies routinely argue that a delay in medical treatment indicates accident victims may not have been as hurt as they may claim.
During your case, our law firm advises you on how best to document your injuries. Please contact Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer and ask us what you need to do before it’s too late.
5. Failing to get treatment because of a lack of health insurance (Click here for video & info)
Sometimes accident victims do not get medical treatment because they don’t have health insurance. Not getting treatment could destroy any chance you have of getting a settlement. You can see a medical professional even if you don’t have health insurance. In most cases, you should not have to pay for treatment up front.
If you don’t have medical insurance, get the advice of an experienced lawyer. Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer will discuss with you how to get the needed medical treatment without any up front cost to you.
Remember, medical records will help prove the severity of your injuries and help determine the amount of money you will receive. If you don’t get medical treatment, you probably will not receive a settlement.
6. Not taking photographs of your damaged vehicle (Click here for video & info)
It’s important to take photographs of your car. Photos show the severity of the accident’s impact and will prevent the insurance company from claiming that you were not hurt.
Here’s an example how photos can help your case:
When an older model car is totaled and cannot be fixed, the insurance company may argue that the car was basic transportation and offer less than $1,000 as payment for the totaled car. Accident victims that accept this settlement and do not take photos of their damaged car have just made a serious mistake. The insurance company can then argue that because there was less than $1,000 in damage, this was a low speed accident and you could not have been hurt. In situations like these, insurance companies often offer less than the medical bills or nothing at all.
Photos of your vehicle can help prove that the accident is more serious than the insurance company claims. It may help to show that you are entitled to additional money.
You should not have to take the photos yourself. Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer will look out for your best interest, at no cost to you. Our on-staff private investigator will take photos of your car as soon as possible after your accident. Before repairing your car, call Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer to get a trained professional to take pictures.
7. Taking your car to an insurance company's 'pre-approved body shop' for repairs (Click here for video & info)
When your car has been damaged in an accident, the insurance company of the person who hit you may suggest you take your car to a pre-approved garage. Don’t do it! Taking your car to their pre-approved garage is a mistake.
Here’s what could happen:
The actual damage to your car may be $1,500. However, the insurance company may pressure the garage to fix the car for under $1,000. Because the garage gets a lot of business from the insurance company, it agrees to do the repairs for less than $1,000. The insurance company then argues that because there was less than $1,000 in damage to your car, the impact probably wasn’t very severe and you could not have been hurt in the accident.
An experienced lawyer is aware of this technique and will give you specific advice on how you can avoid this danger. Best of all, our law firm does not charge a single penny for this advice or any work we do to help you get your car fixed or salvage paid, if your car is totaled. Call Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer before you take your car to any body shop. Our advice is free.
8. Cashing an insurance check or signing an insurance release before having an attorney review it (Click here for video & info)
Accident victims often cash insurance checks or sign an insurance release thinking they are just giving their approval to have their vehicle repaired or replaced. Unfortunately, cashing an insurance check or signing a release for your property damage can prevent or limit how much money you receive for your injury claim. Money for items such as medical bills, lost wages, and even pain and suffering can be limited in this situation.
Not having an experienced lawyer review an insurance check or release before you sign it can prevent you from making an injury claim for more money. Be smart! Have a trusted lawyer review any insurance check or release before you sign it.
9. Failing to take photographs of your visible injuries (Click here for video & info)
We have all heard the expression that one picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to getting you the most cash and benefits, it’s no different.
One of the most common mistakes that accident victims make is failing to take photographs of visible bruises, cuts, and other injuries suffered as a result of the accident. In many cases, injuries heal without any evidence of their existence. When this happens, the insurance company will not fully appreciate the extent of an accident victim’s injuries and may offer less money to settle the case.
If you prefer, our firm can have your injuries photographed by our private investigator or one of our paralegals. Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer provide this service at no additional charge to our clients. We do this so our clients can receive the most cash and benefits for their injuries
10. Failing to do a thorough accident scene investigation and not getting witness statements (Click here for video & info)
An accident scene investigation is often a very important aspect of a victim’s case. An at-fault driver may try to claim the accident was not his fault. Photographs of the accident scene along with witness statements can help to substantiate your case. However, many accident victims routinely overlook this important aspect of the investigation.
An at-fault driver may claim that he had a green light or green turn arrow prior to the accident. Often his statements can be proven wrong by simply requesting the stop and go light timing sequence from the city. Most accident victims are unaware that this type of information is available and can help their case.
It’s also very important to identify witnesses and have an experienced attorney talk with them. Often, witnesses are needed to testify in court at a later date. If they can’t be located, or you do not already have their statements, it could severely hurt your case.
Getting witness statements early in your case is critical. However, accident victims should never contact a witness directly to get a statement. Often, this can be looked upon by jurors as trying to tamper with the testimony of a witness. It is best to let your lawyers and legal investigators discuss the case with all potential witnesses.
11. Not documenting your lost wages and income (Click here for video & info)
An accident victim’s paycheck is one of the most important parts of their life. However, many accident victims do not document their time off from work and as a result, fail to receive reimbursement of their wages from the at-fault person’s insurance company. Not being compensated for your hard work can be very frustrating. Don’t let this happen to you.
The general rule after an accident is to have a doctor authorize your time off from work. There are some exceptions to this rule, but it is best to have your doctor document your inability to perform your work so that you can get reimbursed by the insurance company.
Even if you are on a salary and are being paid when you miss work, it is very important to document the time that you have missed. There can be substantial benefits under the law that you are entitled to in this situation. If you are self-employed, you face additional challenges. You need to take great care in documenting lost work. You need to know the names, addresses and telephone numbers of any customers you turned down. If you were unable to perform the work or had to hire other people to complete the job, they will become valuable witnesses.
Documenting lost wages and income is critical to the evaluation and success of your personal injury case. The experienced team of Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer can walk you through this maze of confusion to help you establish which benefits you are entitled to under the law.
Check out our “11 Mistakes Videos”
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throughout my case. I have them as my family's attorney for personal injuries, property damage and they all were completely AND SINCERELY upfront, honest and always explained the possibilities, whether in my favor or not. I've never had to hunt our attorney down either. THANK YOU AGAIN LOU FOR HELPING US ALL!!
Attorney Lincoln Murphy and his staff were very humble and patient towards me. He consistently used verbiage I could understand. He also used means of communication most convenient for me. The services Attorney Murphy provides are excellent and I would return to him if I ever need any legal advice in the future.
I want to thank Tim Rymer and GLR for a great job they did on my and my son's accident case. It was extremely difficult case, but they fought hard and were able to get us a settlement. Tammy, the paralegal, was always so kind and helpful. I strongly recommend them to anyone who has been hurt in an accident.
lot and stuck us. We sustained multiple fractures. My wife had been in and accident previously where Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer had helped her. They did a great job so we immediately called them again. As expected, they did another great job. I pray it won't happen again, but we always know who to call. I highly recommend them.
I was in a car accident and I was referred to them by my friend. They have been wonderful and attentive to how I am feeling and what my progress was during rehabilitation after my car accident. I highly recommend this firm to anyone looking represent you after you are in a car accident. Excellent service and very professional!
I would like to than Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer specifically Attorney Louis Baureis for a job well done. We knew it was an uphill battle because of a pretty significant pre-existing condition. Although the end result wasn't what we expected it was a positive outcome. Thank you Lou and GLR for your legal representation . It has been a pleasure, I highly recommend GLR.