Being injured in a car accident and then needing a car accident lawyer can be a traumatic, stressful, and scary experience. Unfortunately, the battle doesn’t end there. Car accident victims will oftentimes have to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to recover compensation for damages resulting from the accident, including medical expenses and lost wages.
One of the most important pieces of information we can give you is that insurance companies are businesses. What this means is that their primary goal is to maximize profits, which they do by going to any means necessary to deny or devalue even legitimate claims. Arm yourself with the information below to ensure that your case is protected from sneaky insurance adjusters.
Be Honest, But Be Wary of Their Goals
Immediately after the accident, an insurance adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurance company will call you in order to ask you about the accident. Don’t lie to insurance adjusters, but ensure that you are aware of their motivations. Essentially, they want you to say something that could be used against your claim.
While the adjuster may seem helpful on the phone, they are not on your side. Their loyalty is to the insurance company, not claimants. With this in mind, ensure that you don’t give up any details regarding the accident, such as who was at fault or the extent of your injuries. Only provide basic personal information, such as your name, contact information, and vehicle details.
Refuse to Give Any Recorded Statements
When the at-fault driver’s insurance company first contacts you after the accident, they will most likely ask for a recorded statement. Remember that you are under no legal obligation to provide a recorded statement to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. In fact, it’s recommended that you refuse to do so.
Instead, you should hire a car accident attorney who can speak on your behalf to ensure that you don’t say anything in a statement that could be detrimental to your claim. Under no circumstances should you ever admit fault, even if you believe that you had something to do with the crash.
Keep Detailed Notes of Your Correspondence
Taking good notes after any sort of correspondence with the insurance company will help boost your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your claim. It can also protect you from having your statement twisted by the insurance adjuster. Have either a physical or electronic file that includes the insurance company name, the adjuster’s name, the adjuster’s contact information, and the insurance claim number.
Write down every date and time that you speak with the adjuster on the phone or in person. These documents should include who initiated the call, the content of the conversation, any settlement amounts that were discussed, and any other information regarding the claim, the crash, or your injuries.
Resist the Urge to Settle Immediately
Many claimants believe that the insurance company will provide an honest evaluation and fair settlement offer, however, this is rarely the case. One of the most common mistakes that claimants make is to take the first settlement offer from the insurance company. This is often because insurance adjusters trick injured people into believing that:
- Their claim is not worth that much
- They’re not going to get a better offer than the one on the table
- The offer only stands for a certain period of time
Never accept any type of settlement without speaking with a seasoned car accident attorney first. If you do, you may be left with out-of-pocket expenses when the award money runs out.
Hire an Experienced Car Accident attorney
Remember that Denver car accident attorneys deal with insurance companies on a daily basis. This person will be able to accurately calculate the full extent of your damages and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Oftentimes, just having an attorney on your side during this process will deter the insurance company from offering you a lowball settlement.