Dealing with the Insurance Companies After a Serious Car Accident
After a Serious Car Accident, You Need to Take Control of Your Claim in Order to Avoid Falling Victim to the Insurance Companies’ Tactics
For most car accident victims, the recovery process involves filing an insurance claim. Auto insurance provides coverage for all types of accidents, and accident victims will often be entitled to a combination of no-fault and fault-based coverage. Auto insurance might not be your only source of compensation, but will likely be an important source of financial recovery as you work to cope with your accident-related losses.
When dealing with the auto insurance companies after a serious car accident, there is a lot you need to know. There are some steps you need to take, but there are primarily mistakes you need to avoid. If you have suffered traumatic injuries in a collision, here are some important tips for dealing with the insurance companies from our senior attorneys:
Tip #1: If You File a Claim on Your Own, Do Not Share Unnecessary Information
Our attorneys can file your insurance claim for you; but, if you decide to file your claim on your own, be careful not to share any more information than is strictly necessary. This means that you should limit the information you provide to:
- The date, time, and location of the accident; and,
- The other driver’s vehicle and insurance information.
That’s it. Once you file your claim, your insurance company has a duty to investigate, and you are not required to say anything about who you believe may have been at fault. You should not let the adjuster talk you into giving a statement, and under no circumstances should you say anything to suggest that you may have been partially at fault. Insurance companies will often ask these types of questions, but the reality is that no one will know who was at fault until an investigation has been conducted.
Tip #2: Collect Documentation to Give to Your Attorneys (Not the Insurance Companies)
Collecting documentation is an important step toward proving liability after a car accident. This includes documentation of both (i) the cause of the accident, and (ii) the effects of your injuries. There are several different forms of documentation that you may be able to collect in the early stages of your case. However, once you collect this documentation, you should not give it directly to your insurance company—even if your adjuster asks for it. Instead, give it to your attorneys, and let them decide when (and if) it makes sense to provide this evidence to your insurer.
Tip #3: Do Not Accept Payment Until You Speak with an Attorney
If you have been seriously injured and it is clear that you are entitled to coverage, your insurance company may try to get you to accept a quick settlement. This is not because the insurance company wants you to have money in your pocket. Rather, it is because the insurance company wants you to accept payment and waive your rights before you know the full amount you are entitled to recover.
As a result, before accepting payment from the insurance companies, you need to discuss your claim with an attorney. It may be okay to deposit a check as partial payment, but accepting payment could also be deemed a waiver of your right to additional compensation. Before settling your claim, you need to know the full amount of your financial and non-financial losses, and this requires extensive work by your attorneys and a team of financial and medical experts that your attorneys will hire on your behalf.
Tip #4: Focus on Your Long-Term Medical and Financial Needs
The insurance companies know that car accident victims often need money quickly, and they use this fact to their advantage. However, even if you need money now, you cannot afford to settle your car accident claim too soon.
Our attorneys can help you take advantage of options that are available for managing your expenses in the short-term if necessary, and we can take on the insurance companies for you to ensure that you collect the full compensation you deserve. This includes compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional trauma, long-term medical needs, other future expenses.
Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer at Oberheiden Law
If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, do not let the insurance companies take advantage of you and settle your claim for minimal compensation. For a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights, call Oberheiden Law at 866-376-4871 or tell us how to contact you online now.