I had a very interesting experience the other day in court. During the process of choosing a jury, called voir dire, one of the questions for the proposed jurors was whether they had been involved in a motor vehicle accident before and if they had gotten a car accident settlement. Lets just say I was more than a little amazed. What I learned from this experience is while there are times you do not need a personal injury attorney, you should come speak with one prior to accepting a car accident settlement.
DO I ALWAYS NEED A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY?
Often, people will come into my office and meet with me to discuss their claim and the potential car accident settlement that the insurance company is offering. If their injuries are not that extensive, if the person has a good grasp on the insurance settlement process, and they appear to be well organized, I think they can handle their claim themselves. I may give them a little guidance, show them what they need to do and tell them to call me if they run into any problems.
WHEN YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED A CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
If your injuries are extensive. Such as broken bones, surgeries, you are not getting better after months of chiropractic or physical therapy, then you need to call my office. Also, if the case is going to require litigation, you can see that the insurance company is not dealing fairly with you, then call my office. If the process if overwhelming for you and takes to much time for you to deal with or comprehend, then give me a call.
As I stated, the answers from the jurors was amazing. I think probably about one-third, to almost half of the people in the prospective jury pool had dealt with a car accident settlement. When questioned further on what their injuries were, and how much did they receive in compensation, I was further astounded. I couldn’t believe how many people stated that they agreed to settle the claims for the insurance company repairing their vehicle. It appeared that many individuals had no idea that the personal property damage to their vehicle and the damage to their body are two completely separate claims, and unless you work in the industry or have been involved in other accidents, how would you know?
I encourage you, if you have been in a car accident and the insurance company is making a settlement offer, please call me first and let’s discuss. I could have helped so many people in that court room that day if they had just called me before accepting their car accident settlement.
Aaron Tillmann is an attorney licensed in Oregon and Utah, with offices in Portland, Oregon and Salt Lake City Utah. Tillmann law services Oregon clients in Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill and Marion counties. Mr. Tillmann also services the Millcreek, Murray, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy and Draper areas of Utah. His areas of focus are personal injury, family law matters, bankruptcy, and estate planning / probate matters.