When you are in an accident, the immediate aftermath is an incredibly confusing time. In addition to recovering from your injuries, an accident can disrupt your life in many ways. From missing time from work or school to dealing with repairing or replacing your vehicle, the disruptions to your life can be substantial.
In the midst of all this chaos, you will also have to deal with an adjuster from the insurance company. Although he or she may seem sympathetic to your claim, keep in mind that he or she is working for the best interests of the insurance company, not you.
However, by following these simple tips, including contacting a trusted injury lawyer, you can help protect yourself from unfair tactics used by the insurance company to reduce your settlement.
1. Be Careful What You Say
No matter what the insurance adjuster says, no matter how pleasant they seem on the phone, you should always be careful about what you say about your injuries and the accident.
One of the first things you will likely be asked to do is provide a recorded statement for the insurance company. However, it is generally best to avoid providing a statement until you have spoken with your lawyer.
Adjusters are trained to ask loaded questions that put words in your mouth regardless of how you respond. Once you make a statement, you cannot change the things you have said. It is also not uncommon for adjusters to take your words out of context to their benefit.
Many injuries from a car accident may take days or even weeks to appear. The last thing you want is a recorded statement in which you claim to be feeling fine, only to later be suffering from serious injuries. Such a statement will undoubtedly impact your potential settlement.
2. Keep Documented Records
With everything going on in the aftermath of an accident, recordkeeping will most likely not be the first thing on your mind. However, the need to keep proper records is one of the best things you can do to protect your interests. While formal medical records from your treatment providers will cover the bulk of the technical medical issues, your records should focus on the details you may not remember months after the accident.
Simple notes detailing what kinds of over-the-counter medications you took, when you started to feel symptoms after the accident, as well as any other detail your lawyer recommends, can make a huge difference when it comes to settling your case. Additionally, you should keep a list of when you went to each doctor, how you felt on those days and the outcome of the appointment.
You should also keep note of all communication you have with the insurance adjuster. Note the times and dates that he or she contacts you, as well as details about what was discussed. Email communication is a great way to ensure you have a record of every communication with the adjuster.
Even if you think you'll remember everything, you will be amazed at how quickly these details mesh together in your mind.
3. Make Sure the Settlement Covers Your Expenses
When a settlement offer comes in, take time to review it carefully and compare it to the expenses you have incurred because of your injury.
The settlement must be enough to cover all of your expenses including legal fees, medical treatment or therapy not covered by insurance, lost wages, and any other cost. Once you sign a release, there is no going back for more money later, even if you incur additional expenses or need additional medical treatment. It is crucial to think very carefully about the long-term implications of a settlement before signing on the dotted line.
4. Consult a Lawyer
A skilled lawyer can help you throughout the insurance claims process. After filing a claim, contact a trusted insurance claim lawyer from Greg Monforton & Partners. We can handle the details of your claim for you so you can focus on your recovery after an accident.
To help ensure your best interests are represented in your claim, we can conduct a thorough investigation of the accident, gather the evidence needed to support your claim, communicate with the insurance adjuster on your behalf and work to negotiate a fair settlement for your claim.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation today. When working with our firm, there are no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation in your case.