Steve Roberts Attorney at Law

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Auto Accidents

Claims for injuries caused by automobile accidents have taken on a life of their own, with lawyers now clamoring to obtain those cases through television commercials, etc. I'm sure you've seen all of the ads with lawyers telling you to call them immediately and they can get you a quick check, or making promises about what you can and cannot expect once you've been injured in an accident.

The truth is, automobile accidents can be boiled down to a simple proposition: you can take a quick settlement for a small amount of money, or you can have a lawyer really work on your case so as to try to maximize the fairness of the payment you receive.

This area of law has been complicated by the fact that fraudulent claims have been on the rise, made by persons who are not actually injured or who are trying to take unfair advantage of an insurance company or someone who ran into them. Steve Roberts is not interested in those types of clients and does not handle cases unless they involve genuine injuries legitimately sustained during the automobile accident.

That said, the good have had to suffer with the bad, as the saying goes, and insurance companies today are very concerned about fraudulent claims and are always interested in trying to find some fact or circumstance that would provide the insurance company or their insured with a defense to paying the injury claims altogether.

That said, one of the worst things an automobile accident victim can do is to begin to talk to an insurance adjuster, or anyone else, without being represented by an attorney. Insurance adjusters are in the business of denying claims whenever possible, and it is common sense that the fewer claims that are paid out by an insurance company, the higher the insurance company's profits will be. To that end, the insurance companies are not going to try to pay you the highest claim that can be paid, nor pay you one penny more than they absolutely have to based on the facts of circumstances.

One of the insurance company's tools used to obtain evidence against a person who is injured is to ask them to provide a recorded statement. Often, this request for a recorded statement is suggested as simply the need to obtain the facts so that they can go ahead and process the claim and pay you. However, there is a wolf in sheep's clothing here, because the insurance company is going to examine very carefully every piece of information that is provided during that recorded statement and if any of it can be used to show that you were partially at fault for the accident, then that information will be used to reduce your claim.

Furthermore, there is often serious difficulty in trying to obtain a rental car, get fair value for your vehicle if it has been damaged or totaled, obtain lost wages if you missed work, and handle all of the other miseries that seem to come with being involved in an automobile accident.

And, if that is not enough, the person who is injured cannot possibly know what the value of their injuries are unless they consult with an attorney.

All that said, if in fact you or someone you know has been involved in an automobile accident, it is of utmost importance that they contact an attorney without delay and before they begin to speak with any other parties, or any insurance adjusters.

This is a true story. an attorney was representing an injured victim that had been involved in an automobile accident. He had been advised by the attorney not to give any statements to any insurance company and certainly not to make any statements without the attorney present to protect his rights. A few days later an insurance adjuster appeared at the home of the injured victim, and the adjuster claimed that he was working for the insurance company that insured the victim's automobile. The client, having been warned by the attorney not to talk to any insurance people, began to question the adjuster and then called the lawyer for advice. After a short conversation with the lawyer it was determined that the insurance adjuster had actually misrepresented who he was. He was actually the adjuster for the other person's insurance company, the person who had run into the victim, and the adjuster was trying to obtain the statement of the client, the injured victim through false pretenses and without a lawyer present.

Certainly, this is not a practice that is condoned by the insurance industry, and these remarks are not intended to indicate that most insurance companies do not operate professionally. The point is, however, that if you are an injured victim and you talk to any insurance adjuster or give any statements to anyone, especially recorded or written statements, you will do so at your own risk and peril and chances are that some of your own words will be used against you to reduce your claim.

That said, it is very important to obtain the advice of an attorney immediately and be protected by an attorney during the entire accident claim process.

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