5 Tips for How to Deal With Your Insurance Company After a Car Accident
A car accident—especially when injuries are involved—is an inconvenient, stressful, and potentially costly experience. And working with a pushy, sometimes manipulative, and self-interested insurance company can literally add insult to those injuries.
Auto insurance is complicated to navigate. The bureaucracy and red tape accident victims must fight to ensure their claims are handled properly can feel insurmountable. That’s no surprise, given the monetary stakes for the parties involved.
Amy Witherite, Dallas personal injury and accident lawyer and founder of Witherite Law Group, offers five tips for dealing with your insurance company after an accident.
These tips will help you more effectively battle the confusion and frustration insurance companies can cause.
1. Mostly walk. But run some in the beginning.
You should always exercise caution with insurance companies, especially at the onset of the process when things are emotional and confusing. Insurance adjusters typically want to settle as quickly as possible. Don’t do it. That’s nearly always a mistake.
Take photos, video, and written notes about your accident: Circumstances, time of day, weather, etc. Note if there are surveillance cameras nearby that could support your story. Yes, it’s important to show patience with the process, but don’t wait to collect data. The more time passes, the more you’ll forget. Be quick to document and gather your evidence.
2. The less talk, the better.
Before you make a statement, collect as many facts as you can, especially before you engage an outside party. Remember, insurance companies typically record conversations for their benefit. Any misstep in addressing their questions could work against you. In many cases, when victims secure legal representation, the insurance company must leave all outside communication to their attorneys, including their own insurance company.
3. Know your policy.
Different types of insurance coverage may apply in a claim. It’s critical to know your policy and your insurance company’s policy limitations. This is knowledge and leverage that enables you to exercise the full range of rights and benefits to which you are entitled.
4. Don’t let down your guard.
Regardless of how things appear, remember insurance companies typically function in terms of what is in their best interest, not yours. Don’t fall for manipulative tactics. Some may even undervalue your claim or attempt to deny total compensation, even if the facts substantiate they have a responsibility to pay.
5. Consider getting help
The best defense is often a good offense. If you’re not at fault and there are injuries involved, hire an accident attorney who offers the expertise you need to get the settlement you deserve. Not every accident needs an attorney, but many do.
For example, most drivers don’t know the legalities involved or how to navigate the insurance settlement world. These individuals often accept the insurance company’s first offer. That’s never a good idea (see tip #2 above). An experienced attorney will inform, guide, and use their expertise to battle for you.
By keeping these tips in mind, you’re more likely to receive a settlement that’s representative of the inconvenience, stress, and cost the accident caused you.
The accident attorneys of Witherite Law Group help those who have been injured in a car or truck accident. Get legal help today by calling 1-800-CarWreck® or 1-800-TruckWreck or visiting www.WitheriteLaw.com. We’re available 24/7.