If you are injured in an auto crash in or around the City of Jackson or any part of Mississippi, my answer is NO unless you are in a crash that involves absolutely no injuries. You need to realize that it can be difficult to know if you have injuries for several weeks or months in some instances. I have been involved with clients in cases where a ruptured disc was not located until several weeks and even months after an auto crash. I recall a close friend who was in a crash in Florida. He was examined at a medical clinic in Florida and told he had no medical problems. As the weeks passed his shoulder kept hurting and aching. When he went to an orthopedic clinic in the Metro area the doctor discovered a torn rotator cuff. I have repeatedly said don’t even think about resolving an auto crash until you are 1000% certain you have no injuries.
So, what is the problem talking with the insurance adjuster for the person who crashed into you? Well, for one thing, the adjuster works for an insurance company and that insurance company wants to save money. Insurance companies learned decades ago that the best way to save money is to pay as little as possible on claims. In America, the only type of compensation the justice system can offer is money damages. The insurance company cannot give you back your health. They cannot return someone’s life that might be lost from a crash. The insurance company cannot restore your ability to work. But the adjuster can save his company money by seeing that your legal damages are as little as possible. The adjuster is not your friend. He or she might be sympathetic to your problems but you are not his boss and you don’t pay him. Do you think the adjuster will move up in their position by paying the maximum amount in claims? (See my short video on this topic here).
When you talk to the adjuster for the person who crashed into you, it is very likely you could say something that might not be true after you get a complete medical workup. Or you may say something that allows the adjuster to claim you were at fault for the crash. How about a personal example. I was coming down I-55 about to take the High Street exit. There was a man in the left lane that wanted to get over because he did not want to take the exit. Of course, I did not know this. The man did not have his blinker on. He just suddenly slammed into my SUV almost flipping my vehicle in his effort to move into my lane. He admitted it was his fault at the crash scene, but within a day the adjuster was telling me I was at fault. I spent five seconds on the phone with the adjuster before hanging up and filing a civil action. Within three days the adjuster called and asked for an estimate for my repairs. Luckily I was an attorney and could move quickly.
There are many crashes where the liability is clear. There are lots of crashes where the facts could point toward either party at fault. Remember, Mississippi is a comparative negligence state. That means both people could have some fault. It would be up to the jury to decide who was the main cause of the crash and what percentage of fault is attributable to each person. I have been in cases where the lawyer representing the insurance company raised the fault of my client when it was clear from all that facts that my client did nothing wrong. Our system of justice is called an adversary system. Each side pushes its theory of the case. So, don’t give the other side any ammunition whatsoever. If you are involved in a crash speak to an attorney. We would like that attorney to be Coxwell & Associates, but if we are not your attorney, just make sure you talk to an attorney before you make statements or provide medical releases or any documents to the adjuster for the other side.
You might be wondering about the photo at the top of this blog. As you may or may not know, at Coxwell & Associates we handle serious injury cases, criminal defense, and civil rights. Because we view our law practices as our careers, not just a job, we like to start our attorneys young so when they get out of school they can “hit the road” helping people. Call Coxwell & Associates at (601) 948-1600 if you have been injured or need criminal representation.