Were you or a loved one severely injured in Kansas? Read these Personal Injury Tips and contact our experienced Kansas personal injury lawyers.
Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney
We were talking to somebody the other day and they asked me, “How do you choose the right attorney if you’ve been injured in Kansas?” We explained that there are three main things you want to make sure you find in an attorney. One is you want to make sure that the attorney’s core focus is on personal injury. You don’t want somebody who handles a variety of things. You may know a lawyer who has previously handled a will for your family or a divorce, or something like that. Your natural tendency would be to go to that attorney, but that attorney is probably handling a lot of different types of cases and won’t know all the ins and outs of personal injury law, so it’s really important to find an attorney that focuses on personal injury law only. They would be better equipped to help you with your case.
Number two is you want to find somebody who has experience and success with personal injury cases. They have that experience that you’re going to need with that experience. The insurance companies are used to dealing with that attorney, and understand that that attorney is going to fight for you. They know that that attorney knows what they’re doing, so they will deal with them in a different way than they would with an attorney that handles a variety of things.
Number three, and maybe the most important thing, is to make sure you find a trial attorney. There are differences in attorneys. Not all attorneys will go to trial. There are a lot of attorneys out there advertising for your personal injury case, but they just want to get your case and settle it quickly. You want to make sure you find a trial attorney, somebody who is skilled at trial work and going to trial, should we need that for your case. You want to make sure you find somebody that is a trial attorney who will work up your case and be prepared to go to trial if that’s necessary.
Mistakes To Avoid After a Personal Injury
We had a client come in the other day who had a personal injury claim in Kansas and, unfortunately, they had made a lot of the most common mistakes that we see with people who do have a personal injury claim. One, they failed to collect all the evidence at the scene. Everyone thinks that law enforcement at the scene of an injury or anyone investigating is going to be documenting all the evidence, gathering all the witnesses’ information, and taking photographs, but unfortunately that does not always happen. Sometimes it does happen, but, before they get back to their desk to finalize their report, that information is lost, so it really is important to gather evidence there immediately at the scene, take photographs and get as much information as you can. If you’re injured to the point that you can’t do that, get in touch with an attorney right away who can get as much evidence gathered as soon as possible. The more time that goes by, the more difficulty anyone will have in locating that evidence.
Another mistake that this person made is they did not go get the medical treatment that they needed. When something first happens, a lot of people feel like they’re not injured. They have a lot of adrenaline going at that time, and they immediately turn down calling the ambulance or going to the emergency room, but that adrenaline often wears off and people then start feeling the effects of their injury. Even then, a lot of times, people think they’ll get better, and they don’t need to go to the doctor, don’t want to rack up medical bills, and they’ll wait sometimes weeks or longer to get the treatment that they need. That is a huge mistake. If you have waited several weeks to go get any treatment at all, the insurance company is going to argue that you were not actually injured from the injury or the incident and instead that you had an injury some other time after that. It’s helpful to document that treatment and the symptoms that you’re having, and also to get started on your treatment right away so that you can get ahead of it hopefully and improve as quickly as possible.
Another mistake this person made was they spoke to the insurance company and gave a recorded statement. That is a common mistake that we see. People think they don’t have anything to lie about and they’re just going to tell the truth. They figure they can’t do any harm to their case, but unfortunately that is a big mistake. Insurance companies know what they’re doing and are skilled at this. They ask questions in a certain way, in a certain order, focused on or with the goal of making sure they can gather evidence to help them delay or deny your claim.
The biggest mistake that this person had made was they hired a different attorney, which ended up being the wrong attorney. It’s very important to make sure that you hire an attorney who is skilled and experienced in personal injury law, as well as a trial attorney who is willing to take your case to trial if the insurance company is not being fair and reasonable and not willing to pay a fair amount for your damages. If you don’t hire the right attorney, then you either won’t get the best recovery available or you may end up having to try to find another attorney, like this person was doing.
Those are the four things that this person did that we see pretty consistently with a lot of people, so don’t make those mistakes. If you have any questions about this or any other personal injury matter, give us a call and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have.
Personal Injury Insurance Investigation
Someone called the other day and asked if it was okay if they went ahead and gave a recorded statement to the insurance company for an injury that they had in Kansas. The insurance companies do a really great job of convincing us that they are our friends and are going to take care of us. They have a lot of great commercials that make them seem like they’re really taking good care of us. You may know your personal agent where you live and feel like they’re going to do what they’re supposed to do and make sure you’re taken care of, but, when you have a personal injury claim, the insurance company’s sole focus at that point is going to be to either delay or completely deny your claim. When they take a statement, that is what they want to achieve – delaying or denying your claim.
It may seem like there isn’t anything you can say that’s going to hurt you, that the truth is the truth, and you’re just going to tell them the truth, but the insurance company is actually very skilled at gathering the evidence that they can in a way that helps them delay or deny your claim. They can ask certain questions in a certain way or in a certain order and have a lot of techniques that they are skilled at that will help them.
Absolutely do not give a statement to the insurance company. You need an attorney to help you with this process, so give us a call and we’d be happy to talk to you further about that.