Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be a frustrating and confusing experience. You carry insurance specifically for times like this and expect your insurer to have your best interests in mind, right?
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. From lowball settlement offers to claim denials outright, many insurance companies are notorious for prioritizing their profits over their clients. However, with the right approach, you can increase the chances of maximizing the value of your accident claim.
Read on to discover some tips to help you deal with insurance companies after an accident.
- Communicate Promptly and Clearly
It is crucial to communicate with the insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. Most insurance policies have a timeline for reporting accidents, and failing to report an accident on time may result in a denial of your claim. Ensure you provide all the necessary information, including the accident’s date, time, location, and a factual account of the accident and your injuries. Avoid giving any unnecessary or irrelevant information. It is best to have your attorney speak on your behalf or to file a claim. It is in your best interest to speak with a qualified attorney before speaking to your insurance company. This way your attorney can ensure your insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.
Before calling your insurance agent, review your insurance documents, including the insurance agreement, to clearly understand your coverage. Pay close attention to your policy’s “Coverage” and “Exclusion” sections. This can help you provide accurate and specific information about your coverage, facilitating a clearer and more efficient communication process.
- Be Careful What You Say
Insurance adjusters may try to get you to admit fault or say something that could be used to minimize your claim. As such, be careful what you say to an insurance adjuster, and do not admit fault or apologize for the accident. Even saying something as innocent as “I’m sorry this happened” can be used against you later.
Remember that insurance adjusters are not your friend. They work for the insurance company and aim to minimize their payout. Be polite, but do not say anything that could hurt your case. In addition, take detailed notes during your conversation with the insurance company. Note down specific information such as:
- The date you made the call
- The phone number you dialed
- The full name and position of the representative you spoke to
- The name of their supervisor
- The accident details you provided and
- What the representative told you during the call
- Do Not Agree to Give a Statement
Insurance adjusters may ask you to provide a recorded statement regarding an accident. They may make it seem like it is necessary or a standard procedure. However, it is essential to remember that you are not obligated to give a statement. You have the right to decline the request. A recorded statement can be used as evidence against you if there are inconsistencies in your story.
By providing a statement, you may unintentionally say something that could harm your case later on. Therefore, seeking legal advice before giving a recorded statement is best. When you have an attorney, they can ensure that you are not coerced into saying anything that could damage your case. They can also guide you on what to say and what not to say so that you do not inadvertently harm your case.
- Document Everything
When dealing with an insurance company, it is critical to document everything. Keep a detailed record of all conversations, including emails, phone calls, and other communication with the insurance company. This will help you track your claim’s progress and any agreements made.
Take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries, and keep all medical bills and receipts. It is also essential to keep a detailed log of any missed workdays and other expenses related to the accident. This documentation will help support your claim and ensure you receive fair compensation for your damages.
- Do Not Sign Anything Without Your Attorney Reviewing it
Insurance adjusters may try to get you to sign a settlement offer or release form quickly. Remember, they are not on your side, so the offer could be far less than you deserve for your injuries and damages. Do not sign anything without having your attorney review it first. Your attorney can ensure that the settlement offer is fair and that you are not waiving your rights to pursue further compensation if you discover additional injuries or damages later.
- Identify All Recoverable Damages
You must determine the recoverable damages to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. This includes both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. A personal injury attorney can help you determine the full extent of your damages and ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
- Retain a Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring a personal injury attorney is essential if you have been injured in an accident. A personal injury attorney can help protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Insurance companies have teams of attorneys working for them, and they will try to minimize their payout. Hiring a personal injury attorney levels the playing field and ensures that you have someone fighting for your rights. In addition to helping you navigate the claims process, a personal injury attorney can help you negotiate a fair settlement or take your case to court if necessary.
Need Help Dealing With Insurance Companies After an Accident in Burbank?
If you have been involved in an accident in Burbank, California, and need help dealing with insurance companies, Avaness Law can help. Our experienced accident attorneys can guide you through the process and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Contact us today at 818-430-3382 or online to schedule your free consultation.