4 Things to Consider While Trying to Settle Your Car Accident Claim
Nobody likes a fender bender, let alone an accident involving serious injuries. But car wrecks happen all the time and car insurance is supposed to pay for any damages to the vehicles as well as your medical expenses.
Insurance companies are in business to earn a profit from the money you pay to them in insurance premiums. Obviously, they want to hold onto their cash as long as possible. This is true regardless of whether or not you are not to blame for the accident. Whether it is your insurance company or the person who caused the wreck, they will do everything in their power to pay as little as possible.
But there are things you should consider while trying to settle your car accident claim that can help you recover the largest possible settlement.
1) Ask for a police report
Obviously, the first thing you want to do is get medical attention if you are injured. However, if you are able to remain at the scene, it is always better to wait for the police and make sure they create a report of the incident. The insurance company will do everything it can to try to blame you for the accident if that can help it avoid liability. A police report may not be conclusive, but it could be strong evidence in your favor. If you are physically able to do so without harming yourself, try to get statements from witnesses as well as names and contact information. In addition, it is helpful if you have photos of the scene including skid marks, damage to the vehicles, where the vehicles stopped after the crash, etc.
2) Don’t trust the adjuster
The adjuster works for the insurance company. While he may seem like a nice person who wants to help, his ultimate loyalty is to ensure the insurance company pays you as little money as possible.
3) Assume all your communications with the insurance adjuster will be recorded
Insurance companies often try to take recorded statements from the parties involved. If your statement is recorded, they may try to twist pieces of your statement against you. In general, other than reporting the accident to the insurance company on a timely basis, it is always best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer and have the lawyer negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf.
4) Don’t be afraid to go to court
Again, this is where your lawyer comes in. A good lawyer is not afraid to take any case to trial. While nobody wants to do it because of the stress, you should know that most personal injury cases are handled on a contingent fee basis, which means that you won’t incur any up-front costs by going to court. In addition, the threat of a jury trial sometimes can loosen the insurance company’s purse strings and make it more willing to settle for a reasonable amount.
This article was submitted by the Boise car accident lawyers at Hansen Injury Law Firm.