Car accidents are not easy to deal with. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you might have to take several days off work, go to numerous doctors’ visits, therapies, and perhaps even rehabilitation. In some extreme cases, you may not be able to go back to your regular duties, which can be devastating.
Apart from dealing with the injuries and the aftermath of the accident, you still have to deal with insurance companies, make claims and agree on a fair settlement. This is never easy, especially if you have to handle it on your own. You may need to speak to experts over at Stoneroselaw.com or somewhere else, depending on your location, if you really don’t know where to start when it comes to making a claim.
Without the right legal guidance, you can easily make a mistake that can negatively affect your claim, and the at-fault insurance company will use it to their advantage. This is why you should always hire an experienced lawyer to help you when dealing with insurance after a car wreck. Therefore, here is what you need to know about handling insurance companies after a car accident.
Read the Fine Print
Insurance companies or adjusters will want to quickly settle and move on to the next claim. They can make an offer very fast or have you sign some documents. If you are not careful, you might sign away your rights and maybe get a very low settlement.
If you have not yet obtained legal counsel, try not to sign or agree to anything that the insurer offers you. If you have to, take your time and go through the documents carefully and ask for clarifications.
Do Your Research
After you have made a claim, the claims adjuster will look at the damages and estimate the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle, your medical costs, pain, and suffering. They will then make you an offer from their estimates.
To know if the offer is good, you should consult, conduct some research, and get other estimates. Also, talk to trusted sources and compare the findings. If their offer is too low and it cannot cover your damages, you can respectfully decline and ask them to make another offer. To help you get the best possible outcome, you can get the help of a Tampa car accident lawyer (or one closer to where you live) they will help you gather the evidence to really get the best possible compensation.
Negotiate Your Settlement
Negotiating with insurance companies is never easy. You will need a lot of patience and expertise to get a fair settlement. It is a job best left to car accident attorneys. Remember, the first offer may not always be the best. However, it would help if you had a reason why you are not accepting the offer.
This is where your research, the cost of the hospital expenses, and lost wages come in. Use this to justify your estimate and also ask the adjuster to justify their offer. This way, you can understand the factors affecting each estimate and agree on a settlement amount.
Should you agree and wrap up the negotiations, you will have to confirm the offer and the terms in writing. This document includes the amount of settlement the insurer has paid and the damages covered. It is also a safety net for the insurance because it will prevent you from using them.
Remember, there are several ways to settle a claim. If you fail to agree with the insurer, you will have to file a lawsuit against them, and the court or jury will look into the accident, and come up with an award that the insurer has to pay to you.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Your Area
If you have been injured in a car accident, do not let the at-fault insurance company deny you your rights to fair compensation. You have the right to make a claim, negotiate, and agree only to the compensation that you deserve.
If they are not ready to settle, you also have the right to take them to court. Talk to an experienced car accident attorney in your area and let them take on the insurance agents on your behalf.