Even though you may have a fantastic insurance company, it is very important that you do not put all of your faith into the company or agent. They may be working for you, but that doesn’t mean they will always be able to give you the settlement that you deserve for your personal injury claim. Let’s look at some of the things that you need to do and be aware of when it comes to working with your insurance company.
Contact the Insurance Company after the Accident Occurs
After you’ve been in an accident, you need to make sure you contact your insurance company as soon as you possibly can. Time is very important in these cases for a number of reasons.
First, the memories of witnesses will fade over time, so you want to make sure that you have their information for the company as soon as possible. If you wait a month to file your claim, you may not even be able to find the witnesses that were at the scene of the accident. If you can, they may not remember exactly what happened.
Second, if you wait for too long, you could actually exceed the statute of limitations for the case. In most cases, the statute of limitation is two years, but it depends on the type of injury and the location. You need to get the ball rolling with the insurance company as quickly as possible. The sooner you file, the better preserved the evidence will be, and that can make all the difference with an injury claim.
Contact your insurance company to let them know about the accident. You also need to make sure that you contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company to let them know that you are filing a claim as well. However, that’s the limit of the contact you want to have with the other party’s insurance company at this point. We’ll get into that more a bit later in the article.
Beware of What You Say
You want to be honest with your insurance company, but you need to be very careful about what you say when it comes to other parties and their insurance companies or attorneys. Never apologize and never admit fault, or it can damage your case. Your insurance company should be working on your side, but you should filter everything that happens through your attorney. Going into a personal injury case without having a lawyer is a terrible idea, and the vast majority of people who do soon come to regret it.
Keep Track of the Evidence
Keeping tabs on everything involved in your case may seem like a hassle, but it is essential. Some of the examples of evidence that you will need include the damaged property, photos of the injuries and the accident scene, medical records for any care you may have received, as well as police reports. You should also keep receipts for any expenses you might have incurred after the accident that relate to that incident. Some examples include paying for transportation if you can no longer drive your vehicle, car repairs, crutches, and other items. Keep all of the receipts and anything that relates to the case, even if it has only a tangential connection. Your attorney will let you know what you have to keep. The attorney can also find and collect evidence for you. They will look for anything that can establish fault of the other party and that might help to prove the need to collect damages on your behalf.
Beware of the Other Party’s Insurance Company or Attorney
After an injury, there is a very good chance that the other party’s insurance company and/or attorney may contact you. In the beginning, they will seem very concerned about the accident and will want to know if you are okay. The worst thing you can do is talk to them. If you say that you are fine, or that you are sorry the accident happened, they could twist the words into meaning that you weren’t severely injured after the accident. This would hurt your case drastically, and it is a tactic that’s unfortunately common. They are working for the other party, and you have to remember that – they might be smiling, but those teeth are sharp!
The adjusters may also try to offer you a quick settlement for the case, especially when they realize that they have little chance of winning. They will provide a dollar amount that might seem like a lot at first. However, when you break down all of your expenses, the extent of the injuries, and the problems that the accident causes, it generally becomes a pittance. The insurance companies throw this number at you hoping that you will take it so they can be done with the case and spend less than they would if you were to follow through with your claim. They may even say that it’s much easier this way and that “you could have the money right away”. Understand that it is one of their methods of operation. They don’t care about your injuries. They care about getting you out of their hair.
Keep in mind all of the potential damages that you could collect. Do not just think about the medical expenses. Consider pain and suffering, loss of income, mental anguish, and more. All of these things, and more, could be a part of your claim. However, you will need to have a professional helping you.
Work With an Attorney
What you need to do is get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can after the accident or other type of injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you receive the amount of damages that you actually deserve for your injuries, pain and suffering, and more. They want you to get as much as possible, and they fight hard to make sure that happens. Their experience helps to ensure that you don’t have to settle for less.