At some point, following an automobile accident, you will have to deal with an insurance company. The extent of your involvement will depend on the type of coverage and the circumstances of the accident, but in some way or another, an automobile insurance company will want to talk with you. Unfortunately, it is difficult to know whether the insurance agent is on your side or the company’s side, and in the majority of situations, it’s the company’s side. How the victims of automobile accidents deal with the insurance companies and the claim’s adjuster may make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim. Here are a few tips for dealing with insurance agencies.
At the Scene of the Accident
As soon as you know for sure that you are okay, check your passengers to ensure they aren’t injured. Only get out of your vehicle if you aren’t injured and if it is safe to do so. If you are injured and need to seek medical attention, but it is safe for you to do so, gather as much information as you can. Get the names of witnesses, take a mental note of the other vehicles involved, and note the weather and where the accident occurred. Once the police arrive, remember to get the police report number. When you are consulting with your attorney, this information will be significantly helpful for the attorney to gather more detailed information.
Don’t Admit Fault
It’s a common thought for people to get out of their vehicle and apologize to the other driver or to tell the insurance agency that they were at fault for the accident. It’s important to resist this urge, even if you were at fault for the accident, you should wait for the police or a court to assign the fault to you. There may be a number of different factors that you may not be aware of that potentially contributed to the accident, such as negligence on part of the other driver or hazardous roadway conditions. Admitting fault may ruin your chance of recovering compensation for injuries or damages. It is best to not talk to the insurance company and instead let your Baltimore personal injury lawyer talk with the insurance companies.
Stick to the Hard Facts
If you do talk with the insurance adjusters or the insurance companies, do not guess or speculate about what happened. If there are certain questions that you cannot answer, just say you don’t know. Stick to the hard facts of the accident, such as how fast you were traveling and which direction you were traveling. Stating only the facts instead of speculating will help the investigators recreate what actually happened and assign fault to the party that is responsible. Sticking to the facts will also help to prevent legal problems, especially if the insurance company believes that you lied on purpose.
Do Not Give a Statement
You may be contacted by an insurance claims adjuster from the other driver’s insurance company, possibly on the same day as the accident. The claims adjuster may either be from an independent firm or an employee of the insurance company and it is their job to settle the claim for as small of an amount of money as possible. The insurance adjuster doesn’t know much about the specifics of the accident and they will only have a few minutes to review your file before contacting you. The claims adjuster can use anything information you provide in a statement against you later on, so it’s best to simply refuse to give an official statement. For instance, if they ask if you were hurt and you say you are okay, but then learn later on that you do indeed have an injury, the claims adjuster can assert that you said you weren’t injured.
Don’t Immediately Settle Your Claim
If you intend on accepting the settlement as quickly as possible, regardless of what your case is actually worth, you are free to take the first offer the insurance adjuster offer, but it is important to know that this offer is generally significantly less than you may receive if you file a personal injury claim. Keep in mind that the adjuster works for the company, so they will have a predetermined maximum limit for how much they can offer. Before you accept a settlement, it is recommended that you talk with a personal injury attorney to learn more about the actual value of your claim.
Consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following the accident. Your attorney can help you with recovering compensation for any injuries you sustained from the accident. Your personal injury lawyer can also complete the majority of tasks involved with the accident, such as submitting a claim and negotiating with the insurance companies.