Filing Claims and Working with Insurance Companies
Working with insurance companies after an accident to settle a claim can be challenging, even when you’re working with your own insurance company. That’s because insurance claims adjusters have mixed loyalties. As much as they may appear to want to help you, their primary job is to save the insurance company money by paying you as little as possible. They may even be offered an incentive for keeping payouts for claims under a certain level. That’s why it’s wise to be cautious – and to have a good personal injury lawyer on board to advocate for your rights.
Tips for working with insurance companies after an accident:
File your claim quickly.
In most types of accidents, there’s a time limit as to when you can submit a claim. Allow too much time to elapse and you can be denied compensation, even with a valid claim.
Another key component to filing a successful insurance claim is to make notes and keep copies of everything you do concerning your claim. That starts at the accident scene and continues until you’ve cashed your settlement check. For instance, take photos of the accident scene, and make sure to take notes about any and all conversations you have regarding your claim.
Make sure you’re not settling too soon.
While it may be tempting to accept the figure the insurance company offers you shortly after the accident that may not be the best idea. Sure, having some quick cash to help with immediate needs after a wreck, can be a big incentive to settle, but once you settle your claim with the insurance company, you release them from all future liability. If you settle in the first few days after your wreck and then later find out you need additional medical treatment, the insurance company will not pay for it even if the treatment is clearly from your injury in the wreck. Make sure your settlement also considers any income you may have lost due to having to take time off work because of your injuries.
Seek legal counsel if the insurance settlement offer is not acceptable.
Also, talk to an attorney if your claim involves an injury to you or your family. Having a lawyer to represent your interests is especially important when there are injuries involved. A good personal injury attorney can help you estimate what your injuries will cost you over the long term, and help you to get adequate compensation. Additionally a good personal injury attorney can determine additional rights and sources of recovery for you. Most personal injury lawyers offer an initial free consultation and, if they take your case, will work on contingency basis. That means you don’t have to pay them unless they help you collect a settlement.
Navigating the ins and outs of an insurance claim following a traffic accident can be complicated. If you find you need a lawyer after an auto or motorcycle accident, we’re here to help. Contact the Deuterman Law Group today for a free consultation.