Insurance companies make their money by offering protection to individuals in the event of an accident or injury. Insurance companies do not profit from paying out on accident claims, it’s actually what hurts their profits. If you have been involved in a car accident, you can expect your insurance company or the insurance company for the at-fault driver to attempt to save as much money as possible. This is often done by offering a settlement less than the full value of your claim, delaying the investigation into your claim, denying you coverage, or in some cases, using intimidation tactics to get you to accept a settlement that only covers physical damages or engaging in bad faith insurance practices.
It does not matter what coverage you believe you have, nor how much your insurer tries to get you to believe they are working with your best interests in mind. The goal of many insurance company representatives is to keep payouts at a minimum so profits continue to rise.
Do not be fooled by an insurance company representative’s kindness or helpful nature; your insurer is not on your side. If you want to improve your chances of maximizing the value of your accident claim, you need to retain legal representation from an experienced personal injury attorney. With our experience and long track record of success, our attorneys are more than qualified to help you deal with insurance companies after an accident. We are also committed to being an aggressive advocate, and we will fight to help you to negotiate a fair and just settlement.
When dealing with an insurance company following an accident, the following are five tips that could help you avoid problems.
1. Gather as Much Evidence As Possible
The evidence you are able to gather following an accident will play an important role in substantiating your claim. Take pictures, make notes, obtain witness statements and document every aspect of your accident. This will increase your chances of being able to prove fault and pursue the full value of your claim.
2. Keep Strict Records Of Everything
Keep strict records of every accident-related transaction and communication between you and your insurance company. Keep copies of medical records, diagnoses, doctor recommendations, repair estimates, the police report, and any other documentation or evidence relating to your accident. Even when you file a claim with your insurance company, keep copies of everything so you have a complete record.
What you say to your insurance company or its adjuster when filing a claim can be used against you to deny coverage, reduce the value of your claim or prove your negligence. It is important you communicate clearly in each conservation you have with your insurer. Do not admit fault. Do not make accusations. Provide the facts of the accident and details. Other questions or information for which you are not prepared to provide should be referred to your attorney.
4. Be Very Wary of Documents You Are Asked To Sign
After an accident, it is extremely likely your insurance company will ask you to make a statement or sign documents pertaining to the accident. You need to be cautious and wary of any documents you are asked to sign. In many cases, such documents will limit or restrict your legal rights and could prevent you from being able to pursue the full value of your claim. Always have legal counsel review any documents or settlement offers you are asked to sign BEFORE you sign.
5. Retain Legal Counsel To Find The True Value Of Your Claim
Insurance companies will often only offer compensation for expenses related to physical injuries. Medical bills, vehicle repairs and loss of income are also some of the main costs which insurance companies may offer to cover following an accident. Insurance companies tend to avoid emotional damages stemming from the accident, even though you may have a legal right to pursue those damages. Working with an attorney can help make sure you able to accurately determine the true value of your case. An attorney can aggressively pursue all of the damages you have a right to, based upon the facts in your case.