In almost all instances, getting compensated after a car accident is done by filing a car accident through the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Doing so allows you to get compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Going up against the insurance company is never a simple matter and is never something you want to do going in blind. Knowing how to handle insurance adjusters and how to protect your claim will ultimately protect your claim and rights to compensation. Here’s what to keep in mind.
Know The Insurance Company’s Motivations
It’s common for an insurance adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company to call you after the accident. They may ask you seemingly innocent questions, such as how you are feeling, and act very compassionate toward your situation. You may even begin to think that this person really cares about your recovery and wants to ensure you are properly compensated.
Don’t be fooled by the friendly demeanor of the insurance adjuster on the phone. This person is not on your side. While they may lead you to believe that they want to help you get compensated for your losses, their true motivations are to maximize the company’s profits by denying or devaluing claims that come their way.
Don’t Overshare Information About the Accident
While you are required to, you are not legally obligated to give a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In fact, it’s recommended that you avoid doing so, as anything you say to the adjuster on the phone can and will be used against your claim. You can give basic information, such as your contact information and vehicle make and model.
Anything else related to the accident should not be discussed. Here are some specific things you will want to avoid saying to the insurance company after a car accident:
- Making Statements Right After the Crash. The insurance adjuster will purposefully call you right after the crash to catch you off guard when you may be stressed, confused, or in shock. They want you to say something that could harm your claim.
- Admitting Fault or Saying You Are Sorry. Even if you believe you were partially responsible for the crash, never admit fault or say sorry. Determining fault is complex and should only be done by your car accident attorney.
- Identifying What Injuries You Have. Remember that some injuries don’t show up until days or weeks after the accident. If you detail the pain or injuries that you have, you may be unable to pursue compensation if a future injury manifests later on.
Don’t Immediately Take the First Settlement
It’s almost a given that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will attempt to offer you an initial lowball settlement offer. Remember, they want to pay out as little compensation to claimants as possible. While you may be excited at the prospect of any settlement offer, it’s important that you take time to review the initial offer and ensure that it covers the total cost of your damages.
If you take a lowball settlement, remember that there’s no going back for more later on. If the money runs out, you may be stuck with out-of-pocket expenses. The insurance company may try to trick you into taking the settlement quickly by making you believe:
- The settlement offer won’t be on the table for long
- Their offer is the best that you will get
- Your case isn’t worth more than the offer
Oftentimes, even just having an attorney on your side from the very beginning will deter the insurance company from offering a lowball settlement or otherwise acting in bad faith. The attorneys at Chris Morrow Law, PLLC deal with insurance companies on a daily basis and will work hard to defend your rights against greedy insurance companies.
Get Help From the Attorney That Works
When you have been injured because of someone else's negligence, you need an experienced team on your side. At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, we aren’t just lawyers, but a team of legal advocates who will always go the extra mile to help our clients obtain the justice and maximum compensation that they deserve.
Our head attorney, Chris Morrow, prides himself in being an attorney that actually gets results for his clients, not just one that advertises himself as a great attorney. You can read some of our recent client success stories here to learn how we’ve helped others like you! These case results are just some examples that show how passionate we are about helping clients on the path to recovery.