A car accident is always unexpected and can turn what a normal day at the office or with the kids into a stressful event. Taking months or even years to recover from. The emotional and psychological effects of a car accident can be truly devastating.
If you are lucky enough to emerge from an accident relatively unscathed, you still have hurdles to overcome. Once you are safe, it’s time to deal with your insurance company. An interaction that is hardly ever swift or easy. To add insult to injury, insurance companies try to extract a statement and even a settlement from you as soon as possible after an accident when you may still be disoriented, in shock, or depressed.
While you may be trying to do the right thing after a car accident, insurance companies are trying to minimize their payout. The fact is that you will have to deal with an insurance company for any accident that causes any damage or injury. All insurance companies are businesses, and they exist to turn a profit. You have to look out for yourself following this highly stressful incident. That means knowing how to handle both your insurance company and the other party’s. Properly communicate with the insurance companies, and understand your responsibilities in order get the maximum compensation.
How to Handle Your Own Insurance Company Following a Car Accident
It is important to contact your insurance company in short order after an accident. The fine print on many insurance policies will state a time limit within which you must report the accident, or the policy may be voided. Whether or not you caused the accident or are liable for it in, you must report it. However, it is important not to admit fault, even to your own insurance company. This is where the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer will be invaluable. A lawyer always makes your best interest top priority. Lawyers know how to present the facts of the case, without implying that you were at fault. As soon as you report the incident to your insurer, your next call should be to an attorney.
If your insurance company requests a recorded or written statement regarding the accident, excuse yourself from the call and tell them you will speak with them at a later time. Insurance companies have professional claims adjusters, that skew the facts to the benefit of the insurance company. This means a lesser settlement for you. Always consult with an attorney before going toe to toe with an insurer.
How to Handle the Other Party’s Insurance Company Following a Car Accident
While you must follow your own insurance company’s rules in order to stay compliant, there is no obligation for you to communicate with the other driver’s insurer. Be polite, but do not discuss the accident with them. Avoid answering any yes or no questions regarding the incident. Be sure to specifically tell them not to contact you again, and provide them with your attorney’s contact information. There is nothing else that you must or should do.
The other insurer may put on a friendly and casual tone in approaching you over the phone. They may make a seemingly innocuous request for your medical records or other details. It is natural to try to defend yourself or comply with requests out of politeness. But from a legal standpoint, any cooperation could weaken your claim. It is best to turn over all communication to your attorney and focus your efforts on recovering both physically and mentally from the crash.
Working with a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Crash
There is no need for you to navigate the complex world of insurance compensation on your own. Personal injury lawyers know exactly what to do to help you preserve evidence, work with your doctor. Obtaining all the necessary paperwork and records, and protect you from the insurance companies who are more interested in saving a buck than paying what you rightfully deserve.
Proving liability in a car accident case is rarely straightforward, even if the cause is. The other party’s insurer may play games to try to avoid paying a full claim. Even if the police report clearly finds one party at fault, the insurance company will exhaust all of its avenues to protect its financial interests. Each state has different laws regarding car accident liability, and what you don’t know can hurt you. It is almost impossible to maximize your settlement without the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer who knows the territory. On Your Side—Donaghue & Labrum
When you’ve been involved in an accident, don’t wait to contact an attorney. The more time that passes, the more likely it is that evidence will disappear. Both you and the other driver’s memory will fade, and you will want the whole thing to be over. Putting an experienced car accident attorney on the case from day one puts you in a strong position to get what you’re owed for your injuries and your pain and suffering. The attorneys of Donaghue & Labrum have been fighting on behalf of car accident victims for three decades and have won some of the largest settlements in the greater Philadelphia area. Call us today for a free consultation. You deserve to have the best on your side!