There are many problems that you have to deal with after a car accident. Medical bills, repair bills, and potentially lost wages are the main ones, as are concerns about transportation while your vehicle is getting repaired or replaced. If the accident is not your fault, then you are eligible to receive compensation that can cover those expenses from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, negotiating with the insurance company is yet another problem that you will have to deal with.
That is because the insurance company will do everything they can to reduce your settlement amount or even avoid paying it altogether. They are a business after all and they don’t make money by giving a lot of it away. If you hire a car accident attorney early on, then you won’t have to deal with the insurance company by yourself. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf to make sure that they don’t lowball you or deny your claim. You can contact car accident attorneys in Orlando if you get into an accident in that city.
Hire an Attorney
When you deal with an insurance company, it is better if you have an attorney who will deal with them for you. Your attorney can help to calculate the settlement amount you need to cover your expenses. They can also collect documents and records as evidence of your damages from the accident. They will then send them to the insurance company as part of your demand letter. If the company rejects your demands or counters with a settlement offer that is too low, then your attorney can help you to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Basically, a car accident attorney is an invaluable ally when dealing with an insurance company.
Do Not Make Any Recorded Statements
The insurance company will ask that you give them a recorded statement of the incident, claiming that this is a routine procedure. What they are actually trying to do is to get you to agree to their version of the story, which inevitably leads to you getting a smaller settlement than what you are owed. When they ask you for a recorded statement, you can either refuse or only agree to give a statement when your lawyer is present. That will prevent them from manipulating anything you say for their own ends.
Do Not Accept Their Initial Settlement Offer
There are many reasons why you should not do this. The main one is that their initial offer is almost certainly going to be too low. The other reason is that you may not know the full extent of your expenses just yet. Your injuries may get worse and require further treatment that the insurance company’s first offer won’t cover. You should wait until your attorney gets involved and can more accurately calculate the amount of compensation you will need. Additionally, you should wait until your condition has reached the point where you know it will not get any worse before making or accepting a settlement offer.
Take Pictures Of The Car Accident
The insurance company will try to reduce or deny your settlement offer by claiming that there is not enough evidence proving that the driver under their insurance was responsible for the accident. You can prevent them from making that argument by taking pictures of the accident scene. That includes pictures of the damage to each car as well as the general accident scene. Experts can examine those pictures to determine who was at fault for the accident.
You should also take, or have someone take, pictures of your injuries since those photos can prove that you sustained those injuries in the car accident. That is because the insurance company might try to claim that some of your injuries occurred some time after the car accident, but those pictures can prove otherwise.
Do Not Implicate Yourself
If the accident is not your fault, then you should avoid doing things like apologizing to the other driver. Even if that apology is just instinctive, it could be falsely interpreted as an admission of guilt by the insurance company. That would give them an excuse to reduce or deny your settlement. If you are going to talk to the other driver, then you should just ask them if they are okay and exchange insurance information with them. Do not apologize or otherwise imply that you were partially at fault for the accident. The same rules apply for when you are speaking with the police. Just answer their questions without implying that you were at fault for the accident.
Do Not Deal With The Insurance Company Alone
The best way to deal with the insurance company after a car accident is to get an attorney to deal with them for you. They will have the experience needed to negotiate with the insurance company to get you a fair deal. Also, your lawyer will not fall for any of the schemes and tactics the insurance company will try to use to reduce or reject your settlement. So get in touch with an attorney after a car accident so that you will not have to deal with the insurance company on your own.