As many can agree, dealing with insurance company adjusters after an accident can be almost as mentally and emotionally draining as the car accident itself, as you once again find yourself in a moment of uncertainty and high frustration.
That’s why it’s important to understand and be prepared with the information you need to discuss with your insurance company so you won’t be taken for a ride. Here are some tips to keep in mind so you won’t be taken advantage of by insurance company adjusters:
Gather all the evidence you need.
First things first, gather all necessary information before communicating with your insurance company by making sure you have filed a police report and have obtained important documents, including: photos from scene of the accident, the other driver’s information, the police officer’s name and badge number, statements from witnesses and insurance companies’ information before proceeding with your insurance claim. The more prepared you are, the better the interaction will likely be.
Don’t accept the first settlement.
Always be wary of any settlements presented to you by an insurance company and don’t sign anything before reading it extensively.
The truth is, most insurance companies are more concerned with saving money than they are with offering a fair settlement. That’s why it’s very common for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to call the victim very shortly after an accident to offer a seemingly high settlement amount, when in reality, it’s much less than what they’ll end up spending on medical bills, physical therapy, etc. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up accepting a settlement offer for much less than what you actually deserve. Remember, if you needed medical attention, if you were forced to miss days from work, if you lost a loved one or faced other similar losses or casualties, you should be compensated appropriately for them.
Here's more information about why you should never accept an insurance adjuster's first settlement offer.
Only speak the truth.
One important thing to remember is to tell the truth. And although that may seem like a given, many don’t realize that they embellish their story or recall something incorrectly from the accident. Some people feel pressured into providing an answer for insurance adjusters, so they guess at some of the details of the accident just for the sake of getting them off their backs.
Try to keep the information simple and straightforward, and avoid embellishing any details. If you’re not sure, reply with: “I don’t know.” The insurance company will require documentation of the accident and if things don’t match up to your testimony, your claim may not be processed properly or at all.
While you’re relaying this information, remember: DO NOT ADMIT FAULT in any capacity, even if you feel you may be partially at fault. As soon as you say it yourself, any argument against that claim in the future won’t be validated. Your best bet is to have an experienced personal injury attorney assess your situation to determine how you should proceed.
Get the help you deserve from a lawyer.
Car accidents can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. And on top of all that, there are deadlines that must be met, including finding and seeing a doctor, going to physical therapy, contacting witnesses, etc. With all of this going on, it’s very easy for an accident victim to say whatever it takes to get off the phone with an insurance adjuster.
Having a personal injury attorney to assess your case will help you be able to take a step back and cope with your injuries, deal with your emotional distress and adjust to whatever else you might be going through at this time. They have your best interest in mind and will fight hard for your recoveries. Find out when the best time is to speak to a personal injury attorney about your case.
Learn more about how a car accident attorney can help you by contacting The Law Firm of Cohen and Cohen online, or download our free infographic below for tips on the right questions to ask after an accident.