If you are involved in a serious car accident, the process of submitting a claim to the right insurance company can be long, confusing, and complicated. The situation is made even worse if you sustained injuries in the accident and you are trying to recover. While many honest insurance companies perform their duties according to the law, others are deceptive and only care about their financial interests.
Most insurance companies will do everything possible to pay the minimum amount on any personal injury claim. Understanding this dynamic when filing a claim is essential. Below are tips to help you when dealing with insurance companies after a car accident.
Don’t make friends with an insurance adjuster
An insurance adjuster will try to befriend you. While they may seem friendly and welcoming, remember that they’re not your friend. They often befriend victims to win their trust. When you are friendly with an insurance adjuster, you can easily confide in them and unintentionally tell them something that will destroy your claim.
Never forget that the insurance agent only represents their company’s best interest, not yours. The insurance company’s main objective is to resolve the case as soon as possible, and they don’t care about your injuries or the damages you suffered.
Hire a personal injury attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney will help you claim compensation for sustained injuries, damaged properties, and any lost wages. The attorney knows the right steps to take when submitting a personal injury claim. Hiring a lawyer in most cases will help you get a higher settlement compared to handling your claim yourself.
Some insurance companies deceive car accident victims into accepting lower payouts without clearly informing them of their rights. Your attorney will be representing your interests in the case.
Handle any relevant communications promptly
Some policies stipulate that the victim must file a claim within a specified period of time and send the relevant information within the same timeline. This is a rule that often applies when you are filing a claim against your insurer. If you don’t handle the required communications promptly, you could end up missing deadlines.
Complete any lawsuits and file all claims before the statute of limitations expires. If you wait too long, you won’t be able to file a claim at all.
Leave the negotiating to the experts
Don’t try to negotiate a settlement on your own unless you are experienced. In some particular cases, even the manufacturer of the truck can be held liable for your injuries. Let your attorney negotiate for you- they are more experienced than you are to handle this kind of case.
If you attempt to negotiate without a legal representative present, the insurance company could deny your claim or give you a lesser payout in the compensation.
Be aware of the damages caused by accident
Before sitting at the negotiating table:
1. Make sure you are aware of all recoverable damages
2. Ask your lawyer to help you identify the sources of damages
3. Be aware of how much property damage is sustained
You should also add any healthcare expenses such as hospital bills, rehabilitative and therapy care, travel expenses related to seeking treatment, follow-up treatments, anticipated future medical bills, and the cost of prescription drugs. If you sustained injuries that make it difficult to continue working in the future, you might be eligible for compensation for reduced earning capacity, lost wages, and economic damages.
Your family may also be entitled to seek compensation for loss of support, companionship, consortium, and services depending on your state. Consult your attorney to understand which type of compensation you are eligible for based on the injuries and damages you suffered during and after the accident.
The above tips are helpful when dealing with an insurance company after a serious car accident. After the accident, gather all the relevant documents to support your personal injury claim. Ensure you have copies of your hospital bills and medical records. You should also have proof of how much time you lost away from work and any profits you had to disburse due to the accident.
Not being aware of the extent of the damages or injuries sustained could lead to the insurance company paying less compensation than you are eligible to receive.