Posted on Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 2:38 pm
Earlier today I spoke with an old friend whom I have not spoken with in years. He knows that our firm represents plaintiffs in personal injury actions and wanted to ask some questions about an accident that he had a few years back. This happens often in personal injury actions and I’ve heard almost every reason imaginable for not seeking advice sooner: ‘I didn’t think I was as injured as I was..’ or ‘I’m not the litigious type…’ are but a few of the many excuses for not speaking with an attorney immediately following an accidental injury.
The longer one waits to seek legal advice after an accident, the more likely it is that the case weakens and the value of that claim diminishes. Often the defendant’s insurance carrier will contact the injured party and obtain a statement. Defendants can legally contact a potential plaintiff if that person is not represented by an attorney. You might think to yourself, ‘well, I have nothing to hide and I’m not going to lie so what is the harm in giving a statement?’ Well, insurance carriers are experts at taking statements with the sole purpose of diminishing the value of your claim should you decide later to contact an attorney. Any statement you make can be used against you in any future litigation to discredit you and ultimately devalue your claim.
The person contacting you will often seem very courteous, sympathetic and likeable. But don’t be fooled, that person taking your statement is trained to be courteous, sympathetic and likeable in an effort to get your guard down and encourage you to speak freely. Even seemingly minor details can come back to haunt you later in your lawsuit and will serve only to diminish the value of your case. Dozens of times a year people contact our firm and ask if it’s too late for them to file a lawsuit for an injury that occurred a few years back. Too often it is too late for that person to file and that failure to act quickly after an accidental injury serves only to take money rightfully due the injured party and put it right back into the pockets of the defendant’s insurance carrier. It costs you nothing to speak with an attorney and there is never any obligation for you to retain an attorney you speak with regarding your accidental injury.
So whether you were injured on the job, on a construction site, a trip and fall or a motor vehicle accident call us and find out what your rights are. Even if you are unsure whether you have a case, give us a call. Again, it costs nothing to speak with an attorney but could cost you everything if you don’t!