If your accident is the fault of another driver, you will need to deal with your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. It is certainly possible that an insurance company could offer a fair settlement for your claim.
However, insurance is a business, so initial settlement offers usually provide far less than a victim is entitled to receive. The latest trend has been to offer an injured driver compensation before they retain an attorney to save money and not pay what you deserve. Many injured drivers fall victim to this. To protect your interests, here are a few things you should know about handling automobile accident claims through insurance.
Car insurance ads go to great lengths to make it seem like insurance agents are your friends. When you have a tough time, it appears as though agents are watching out for you. Honestly, the agents who sell policies might want you to recover fair compensation after an accident. But they’re not the ones making the decisions.
Instead, claims are handled by an entirely different set of people. Their goal is to pay as little as possible in every situation so the insurance company can make more money. When they negotiate, even on something simple like the amount they are willing to pay you for a damaged car, they will often start with an unfairly low number.
When you work with a dedicated personal injury lawyer, you have an advocate pursuing the exact opposite goal. Your attorney wants to get the most they can get for you. Insurance companies know which attorneys are willing to take claims to court to get the best outcome. They are much more willing to eventually make good settlement offers to these attorneys in negotiation to save themselves time and legal fees.
Do You Have to Talk to the Insurance Company?
You can and should report accidents to your own insurance company. Provide the information they ask for, but do not volunteer anything else. If your attorney finds it advantageous to give additional information to your insurer, that can be provided later. Keep your information limited to certain facts. You don’t know the full extent of your injuries until considerable time has passed, so you don’t want to under-report anything. You also don’t want to offer opinions about fault. Stick with the facts such as the date, time, weather conditions, and events leading up to the accident.
While you should report basic information to your insurer, you have no obligation whatsoever to speak with the insurance companies of others involved in the case. If they contact you, tell them to speak with your attorney. If you have not yet hired a lawyer, then direct them to your insurance company. Remember, the insurance companies will be looking for any reason imaginable to deny or reduce the value of your claim. Anything you say can be taken out of context and used against you. Don’t give them ammunition.
Work with an Attorney Who Stands Up to Insurance Companies
An experienced auto accident lawyer can assist in numerous ways after a collision, including handling interactions with insurance companies and evaluating the adequacy of settlement offers. The team at Johnnie Bond Law is committed to helping our clients recover the full compensation they deserve after their losses. To learn how we could help you, contact us now.