Dealing with insurance companies or an insurance adjuster after a car accident can be extremely frustrating and even intimidating — but it doesn’t have to be.
Insurance claims have become more complicated and tougher to handle. Insurers try to lowball payouts, or even outright deny them to consumers who have faithfully paid premiums for years. After a traffic accident, however, the last thing you want to deal with is bureaucracy.
The hard truth that might shock many Washington car accident victims is that insurance companies are tough to deal with. Quite often, the victim’s own insurance provider does not want to pay their claims by always coming up with ways to claim you are owed less than what you deserve. Immediately after the accident, insurers will question the victim’s injuries along with the length and type of medical treatment they received. After that, the insurer will argue the extent and value of the victim’s property damage or loss. Because these companies process claims every day, they are skilled at this game. If you find yourself as the victim in a car accident in Washington, keep reading to learn step by step what you should do to deal with your insurance following your accident.
1. Insurers work with one goal in mind – to reduce the value of your claim so keep tabs on the evidence.
Adjusters receive promotions and bonuses when they limit or eliminate claim payments. They train for that very purpose. The insurance company, like any corporation, has one goal, making a profit. If you want to ensure you recover in full and that you are financially compensated for your pain and suffering, keep tabs on all of the evidence pertaining to your case.
Take as many pictures of the scene as possible, talk to as many witnesses and gather their contact information, document every aspect of your crash, and save every medical treatment receipt. With this evidence at hand, you will have a stronger personal injury case.
2. Do not sign anything following the accident.
Following a traffic collision, your insurer will likely ask you to make a recorded statement or sign documents pertaining to the crash. They will tell you this is routine. It is not.
Unfortunately, many of these documents can end up limiting or even restricting your legal actions in the future, so be cautious. If possible, seek the legal counsel of a professional in Washington with years of experience with this type of case before deciding whether you should sign anything.
3. Avoid discussing your injuries with the insurer after the crash.
Quite often, insurance companies ask details regarding the victim’s injuries with seemingly harmless questions such as, “What are the nature and extent of your injuries?” Instead of a detailed account of how you’ve suffered following a crash, decline to answer. This is one area in which an experienced attorney might come in handy as injuries can lead to serious and even long lasting effects. If you leave something out when answering the insurer or the injury worsen, you might have a harder time having your rights upheld.
4. If you were injured but don’t want to hire an attorney right away, tell the other driver’s insurance company this.
After a car accident that caused you physical harm, you might decide to forego hiring an attorney right away. If that is the case, you should only talk to the other driver’s insurance company to provide the claim report or confirm that a claim has been opened. After that, the only details you should provide are accident date, place, and time. Do not discuss any details regarding your injuries and only talk to them again after you have finished your treatment or after your doctor has confirmed you have chronic condition.
5. Seek legal counsel if you believe you’re being wronged.
Countless Washington accident victims are unable to obtain justice simply because they believe that they cannot afford an attorney. The reality is that personal injury attorneys will often only charge you after they have recovered you the money you are owed. And in many cases, initial consultations are free, so seeking the attention of a professional car accident attorney can help you identify whether your case will require this type of services.
The reality is that injurers might offer to cover property repair, medical bills, and the loss of income due to injuries but might ignore some important details regarding the victim’s psychological state. Attorneys who are familiar with this type of case will be able to accurately determine the real value of your case.
Who is on your side in dealing with insurance companies in Washington State?
Our experienced and skilled auto accident lawyers are here to represent your interests. Things change when an insurance company sees that you have legal representation. They immediately treat you with greater respect. A lawyer will shield you from complicated paperwork and convoluted procedures so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
Never make statements to insurance adjusters or attorneys involved in the claim until you consult with your own lawyer. During litigation, your legal representative is the only person who will protect your rights and safeguard your best interests.
And remember to never sign any papers or enter into premature agreements.
Once you sign an agreement, your case cannot proceed. Even if you believe the terms of the settlement are unsatisfactory. Also, do not make any statements without your attorney present. Insurance companies use anything you say against you.
If you have sustained injuries in an auto accident, do not delay hiring an attorney. It is your right to seek compensation. When received, restitution covers things like medical expenses, loss of wages, hospital costs, physical therapy, and pain and suffering.
Insurance companies will try to take advantage of you. Hire a law firm with the knowledge and experience to represent your interests properly and effectively.
The legal professionals at the Bernard Law Group have decades of experience dealing with large insurance companies. Our proven track record of success negotiating favorable settlements is undeniable. Contact us for a free, comprehensive consultation.