After you have been in an accident, contacting your insurance company is one of the most important things to do. Most companies want you to believe that they are your friend and that they will do everything in their power to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. The reality is that oftentimes they have their own best interests in mind, not necessarily yours.
Auto insurance companies sometimes use various tactics to ensure that they do not have to cover the full extent of what they owe you. While their agents may seem friendly and interested in helping you, they want to do what they can to save the company from additional expense. The reality is that they can afford to pay your settlement in its entirety if you are not at fault.
There are several things you should be aware of when trying to file your claim with an auto insurance company:
Do not give a recorded statement until you have consulted with a lawyer.
The claims adjusters often will attempt to record your version of the event and then later use what you say against you in order to devalue your claim. They may try to get a statement when you are in pain, overwhelmed, or stressed by the trauma of the accident and not in the right frame of mind to focus. Know that in many cases, you are not required to give a recorded statement. Therefore, you should consult with an attorney about what is necessary.
The initial offer made may be lower than you deserve.
Insurance companies will attempt to settle immediately with a low offer. If a claim is worth $60,000, they may offer you $25,000 to wrap things up quickly. While $25,000 is a substantial amount of money, it may not even be half of what you should be compensated. Additionally, you only get ONE CHECK, ONE CHECK EVER for your bodily injury claim. The check is all-inclusive, meaning it lumps together medical bills, lost wages, out of pocket expenses and pain and suffering. You should consult with a lawyer before settling your case to make sure you are being fully and fairly compensated.
Talk to an attorney before dealing with the insurance company.
While your insurance company may make it seem enticing to handle things on your own, auto insurance companies look forward to victims who are inexperienced in these kinds of situations. In hiring an attorney, they can help you deal with the insurance company as well as seek out the right doctors who can treat your injuries, testify on your behalf, and provide expertise as to how or if any injuries could have possibly been sustained. Most of all, lawyers are experienced in valuing claims and making sure you are made whole for all the harms you have suffered.
At Potter Burnett Law, we see these cases every day. Let us provide you with the support and legal expertise to achieve the settlement you are entitled to.
If you have been in an accident and are thinking about what to do next, be sure to remember these tips and be aware of the games they may play. Get the compensation and justice that you deserve. Contact the office of Potter Burnet Law for a free case evaluation today.