After being involved in a car accident, one of the steps you must take is to contact the insurance company of the at-fault party. In some cases, you may also have to contact your own insurance company.
Insurance adjusters have one goal: to pay as little as possible, and possibly nothing, on each claim so that they maximize their company’s profit—their bottom line—which means they will try to find ways to pay you as little as possible or deny your claim entirely.
The following are several things you should be aware about when dealing with the insurance company after an accident.
Do Not Rush To Settle Your Case
Most people want to settle their cases quickly. However, to get the maximum recovery it is necessary to obtain all of your medical treatment and document your injuries and damages so that you maximize your recovery. People who settle without completing medical care or obtaining all of their medical records and bills and submitting them to the insurance company are most likely settling for too little. Insurance companies know this and they love to settle quickly or before your treatment is done, by offering a low settlement amount immediately or soon after an accident. The way to maximize your recovery is to remember that settling a case too early often means settling it too low.
Do Not Accept the First Settlement Offer
A car accident can be significantly costly, especially when injuries are involved. You need money to pay for medical bills, car repair, lost wages, and even pain and suffering from your injuries.
When insurance companies offer a settlement, it is almost always a lowball offer because they know that they can save thousands of dollars if you accept the offer because you do not know the full value of your case or are anxious to settle. Insurers also know that injured people become tired and frustrated with the settlement process and often give up and accept a low offer, rather than doing the work and spending the time to get a fair offer. So, it is important to demonstrate to the insurance company that you are not in a hurry to settle your case and that you will take the time and do the work to get a maximum recovery.
If you accept the first offer, you won’t be able to recover additional compensation in the future.
Insurance Adjusters Will Use Your Statements Against You
While this may seem like an opportunity to tell your side of the story to your insurer, adjusters will look for any signs that you are liable for the collision. In addition, they may want you to agree to their version of events. Moreover, if you give a statement immediately after an accident or before your medical treatment is over, you may not give a full and accurate account of your injuries and treatment. Therefore, do not provide a recorded statement or make any agreements before discussing your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer advising you. Those statements can often be used against you in court or in later settlement discussions.
The Insurance Company Will Attempt to Avoid Paying Your Medical Bills
Since insurers will try their best to offer the lowest settlement possible, they will do their best to build a case against you. If you do not seek immediate medical care after the accident, they may claim that your injury isn’t as serious as you claim or doesn’t exist at all.
Many people delay getting medical treatment to see if the injury will heal on its own. However, not only do you understand the full extent of your injuries by going to the doctor, but you also can obtain medical records that can benefit your settlement.
Moreover, insurance companies often claim that medical treatment is too expensive or was not caused by your expert. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment from the right doctor and to do so promptly to avoid any delays or gaps in treatment that the insurance company can use against you.
Insurance Companies are Backed by a Powerful Legal Team
Whether you file a claim and attempt to settle without going to court or file a lawsuit, your insurance company will likely have a team of lawyers representing its interests. They will attempt to ensure that the insurance company obtains the best results. In order to level the playing field, having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side throughout the process can make a significant difference.
Before having to make any of these decisions, the most important step you can take is to have our legal team at Simeone & Miller review your case, determine your legal options, and help you maximize your entitled settlement. With more than $100 million recovered on behalf of our clients, we understand what it takes to obtain the most favorable results possible.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.