The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and confusing. Recovering from any injuries can be more challenging if you are simultaneously dealing with the financial aftermath of the accident. A lawyer in your area can help by walking you through the insurance claim process after a car accident. We can help navigate everything from the first call to your insurer to the final settlement or verdict.
A car accident attorney can also help you deal with the other driver’s insurance company. They can make sure negligence and financial liability for the accident are accurately assigned, so you are able to recover appropriate monetary compensation for your losses.
Five Tips for Calling Your Car Insurance Company
It can be stressful having to make that call. Not only do you have to deal with long wait times and conversations with a stranger, tedious paperwork, and uncomfortable questions, but the insurance company may employ bad-faith tactics that ultimately hurt your claim. To avoid costly mistakes and protect your car accident claim, try these five tips.
Contact Your Insurance Company Sooner Rather than Later
According to Insurance Information Institute (III) guidelines, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident–even making that call at the accident scene would be appropriate. However, an attorney can ensure that the insurance company doesn’t manipulate you into accepting undue fault during this conversation. Be wary of the tactics an adjuster might use to hurt your claim.
If an adjuster tells you that you do not need to hire an attorney, the reason is that insurance companies know that car accident victims with an attorney receive three times more than those NOT represented by an attorney in a settlement.
Have the Necessary Information Ready to Go
Car accident insurance can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing your vehicle. When calling your insurance company after an accident, they may ask you for specific information to help them determine fault for the accident. What you should say to your insurance company includes:
- Your police report number which is often mandatory
- Your name, contact information, and policy number
- Any information you have on the other driver and their insurance company
- A description of the other car, including its make, model, and license plate number
- Accident and accident scene details including date, time, location, and road and weather conditions
Even if you did not cause the accident and you believe compensation will come from the other driver’s insurance, you should still contact yours. You may also need to turn to your own insurer for compensation if the other driver fled the scene or had no insurance.
If possible, let your legal representative contact your own and the other party’s insurer to avoid saying anything that might hinder your request for compensation.
Don’t Implicate Yourself or Make Assumptions About the Accident
When you make a car accident insurance claim, your insurance company will request as much information as possible to help them make a determination. Some of the things you should not say include:
- Assumptions about what caused the accident
- Acceptance of any amount of blame or fault
- Your actions prior to the car accident
- Statements that call your injuries into question
Do not make any written or recorded statements without consulting a personal injury attorney. You should also avoid making any social media posts about the accident including posting photos or comments.
Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible After the Collision
If you suffered injuries in the accident, you should get a local lawyer to work on your case without delay. Doing so ensures your case gets the attention and support it needs right from the start.
Receiving a settlement from your insurer or the other driver’s insurance after a car accident usually does not involve going to court. If your case must go to trial for final resolution, your attorney must file before the deadline expires. They will explain the statute of limitations in your state and ensure its compliance.
Allow a Lawyer to Pursue the Best Outcome for Your Case
A lawyer can help you determine whether you should accept the first offer from an insurance company or keep negotiating for an optimal outcome. A speedy settlement offer probably won’t consider your future needs (such as long-term medical care) and potential losses (including having to accept a lower-paying job).
Additional benefits of hiring a personal injury lawyer include:
- Answers to your questions about the insurance claim process or the status of your case
- Their familiarity with state and local personal injury and insurance laws
- Having an advocate who is fighting for your best interest, not their bottom line
Your lawyer can make sure your claim gets the attention to detail it needs and deserves, so you can focus on getting better or helping a loved one through their recovery.
Get Your Free Case Review Today
These five tips can help you avoid costly mistakes when contacting your insurance company after a collision. After you call your insurer, contact our car accident team for a free review of your car accident case. You will also learn more about how hard our team at Domingo Garcia fights for injured people in Texas.