Dealing with an insurance company after a car accident is one of life’s unpleasantries. Although many insurers ethically conduct business, the fact remains some insurance companies employ agents and adjusters that missed Business Ethics 101 while in college. Add to unethical behavior a difficult to navigate insurance claim process, and you have the perfect storm for waves of confusion and frustration.
Before you interact with your auto insurance company, you should review a few tips that educate you about how to handle your insurance company after a car accident.
Avoid the “Let’s Be Best Friends” Mindset
Savvy insurance adjusters try to disarm their customers by charming them and putting on the ‘Let’s be best friends” act. The strategy is used to get insurance company customers to trust adjusters. Once an insurance adjuster earns your trust, there is no telling what the adjuster might do to save the company a few dollars.
If you need a friend, turn to Facebook. If you want compensation from an insurance claim, turn to an accomplished car accident lawyer.
Speaking of a Personal Injury Attorney
The aftermath of a car accident throws several obstacles in front of accident victims. From obtaining evidence to interviewing witnesses, one misstep can make the difference between a failed and a successful auto insurance claim. Working with a state-licensed personal injury attorney ensures you collect and organize the medical documents you need to get your claim approved. Personal injury lawyers know how to negotiate settlements in the best interest of their clients. With an assertive, yet polite personal injury lawyer in your corner, you should be able to level the legal playing field with your car insurance company.
It is not what you say, but how you say it that matters when communicating with an insurance company. Sending off angry emails and text messages do nothing to move along your insurance claim. Some auto insurance policies stipulate a deadline for filing a claim. If you need more time to file a claim, let your insurance company know right away. Respond to every email, phone call, and text message or your insurer might think the claim is not that important to you.
Just the Facts
Your instincts might tell you to explain everything that unfolded before, during, and after a car accident. However, you should not offer more information than is requested by your insurance company. Answer every question honestly, but never offer unsolicited details about the vehicle crash. If you misrepresent what happened at the scene of the vehicle accident, your insurer cannot deny your claim, but the company has the right to raise your monthly premiums.
Allow the Pro to Negotiate a Settlement
Insurance companies love nothing more than negotiating settlements with policyholders. “What do you think is a fair settlement” can be one of the first questions asked by your insurance adjuster. One of the most
important reasons to hire a personal injury attorney is to get the most out of your insurer through a fair settlement. Personal injury lawyers not only understand the law, but they also know how to counter the negotiating tactics implemented by auto insurance companies.
Never Assume Blame
One of the most frequent mistakes made after a vehicle accident is admitting fault for causing the crash. The combination of an adrenaline rush and the presence of law enforcement might make you say things that you never wanted to say. With most car accidents, at least some blame falls on the shoulder of every driver involved in the accidents. Take a deep breath and allow law enforcement to do its job.
Assuming blame is a one-way ticket to the poor house.
Know What Your Policy Covers
If you have not reviewed your car insurance policy for a year or two, spend time getting familiar with it before you communicate with an insurance adjuster. It makes no sense to request money for things that your policy does not cover. The most important part of your insurance policy is the expenses your policy covers.
Make sure you know what that is before hiring a personal injury attorney.
With all the activity going on in the aftermath of an auto accident, contacting your insurance company might not seem like a priority. Nonetheless, you should speak with a representative from your insurance company before you leave the scene of the accident.