When an insurance company approaches you to settle a claim, answer only with the necessary information, then refer them to your lawyer for further details. After an accident, an insurance representative may contact you soon after with a settlement offer. When they contact you, it is best to be brief and only answer the questions you are sure about.
What Not to Share with the Insurance Company
When speaking with an insurance representative, the first thing to remember is that they are typically not on your side. An insurance representative's job is to ensure the company's payout stays at a minimum.
Do not discuss liability with the insurance representative. Insurance representatives are aware that you are emotionally vulnerable after an accident. They also know that you are likely inexperienced in proper legal procedures in personal injury claims. For this reason, they exploit your naivety in the matter to implicate you in the accident's liability.
You could unknowingly accept liability for an accident when discussing the details with an adjuster. In that case, the insurance company will use this information to offer low settlement offers or deny any liability for the accident.
What Information Should I Share with the Insurance Company?
If you speak with an insurance adjuster after an accident, give only the information below:
- Your full name and contact information
- The name of your insurance company
- Your driver's license information and license plate number
- The liable driver's car model and color
- The accident's location
Your only legal obligation to an insurer after an accident is to alert them. The insurance company has to find information regarding liability. It is not your duty as the victim. If the insurance representative insists on more details, refer them to your personal injury attorney.
How Can I Protect My Right to Compensation?
If an insurance representative approaches you after an accident, you want to have the evidence ready to prove the other party's liability and protect your right to fair compensation. The insurance company may take advantage of any information gaps to deny responsibility for the accident and consequently refuse to compensate you for injuries sustained in the accident.
Having solid supporting documents is the only way to prevent insurance companies from denying you your rights. Some of the necessary documents to have when dealing with an insurance company in a claims process include:
Photographs are a great way to protect your compensation rights when dealing with an insurance company. For example, in case of an accident, take photos of the accident scene, your vehicle and the liable driver's car, including road conditions and signs.
Also, take photos of your injuries and their progress after the accident.
An accident report contains the accident's perspective details like the cause of the accident, the number of victims, and the accident scene. In car accidents, the responding police officer writes an accident report. Request a copy of the report to have one ready if your lawyer asks for it.
An accident report is critical to filing a claim and negotiating with the insurance company as it links your injuries to the accident.
A medical report is one of the essential documents to have in any accident claim. Medical records are especially critical because they indicate the extent of your injuries, cost of treatment, and descriptions of expenses like therapy or rehabilitation. Additionally, medical expenses usually make up a significant portion of the settlement amount.
Request and keep records of all health care providers you visit.
Evidence of Lost Income
Depending on the doctor's recommendation, you may not resume work for weeks or months after an accident. If this is the case, ask your employer for a written statement on the months you are absent from work and the income you would have received during this time. If an accident results in permanent job loss, include records that show a loss of future earning capability.
Like medical expenses, loss of income will also make up a signification portion of the compensation amount.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help My Case?
Having a lawyer take the lead in all your claim negotiations with an insurance company is the best way to settle your case quickly and successfully. A personal injury attorney can quickly spot any exploitation attempts by the insurance company and respond accordingly. Your lawyer has adequate experience negotiating with insurance companies for similar claims and knows what your claim is worth. They will decline any offer that is less than you deserve and provide the necessary evidence to justify the proposed amount.
Contact Our Office for Help Dealing with the Insurance Company Involved with Your Claim
If you are a victim of an accident and do not know how to deal with the insurance company, contact the Dolman Law Group for legal guidance. We provide responsive legal care, give frequent updates on the status of your claim, and will address all your legal concerns.
Receive a free case consultation and learn the best strategies to deal with insurance companies after an accident.