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After a car accident, never settle without a lawyer.

When you're involved in a serious car accident, your entire world can be turned upside-down. Your health and your future may be uncertain. You may have life-and-death issues that need your immediate attention. You may also be concerned about who will take care of your kids while you're out of commission.

If, amidst all this, an insurance adjuster is contacting you to settle some paperwork, it can be tempting to sign whatever documents they present just to get them out of your hair. However, accepting an insurance settlement too soon can prove to be a costly mistake over the long term. Here's why:

It's important to bear in mind that an insurance adjuster works for an insurance company. Therefore, whatever offer they make will always benefit the company first and foremost. You don't want to accept a low-ball offer before you completely assess the full extent of your injuries--and the impact they'll have on your life further down the road.

Physical injuries

Lacerations and broken bones are easy to find and treat following an accident. However, there are other types of injuries that may not present symptoms until later on--such as whiplash or internal bleeding. In addition, you want to make sure that your compensation covers not just your immediate injuries, but also any limitations they will have on your life. For instance, if your recovery will take a few months--and you won't be able to work during that time--then your compensation should include your lost wages.

Mental anguish

Many people underestimate how a traumatizing event such as a serious car crash can affect their mental wellbeing. However, anxiety, depression, insomnia and other afflictions are common following such an event--which also impact one's ability to lead a normal life. Having a psychological examination following an accident can support additional compensation for emotional distress.

Following an accident, settling directly with the insurance company can leave you with the short end of the stick. Instead, let an experienced personal injury attorney deal with the insurance company for you--and advocate on your behalf. Once you get a comprehensive assessment of your physical and emotional injuries, your attorney can use these findings to fight for your full and fair compensation.

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