How to Deal With Insurance Companies After an Accident
Dealing with an automobile accident is one of the most difficult experiences you can have. The victims of car accidents generally have a long physical recovery while simultaneously incurring significant medical expenses and losing precious income. Due to their injuries from the accident, they also may miss out with spending personal time with family and friends. Remember, even when you are not responsible for the accident, you must prove all your damages. When you have a valid accident claim, you could sue the defendant but litigation is expensive and takes a long time to resolve. Insurance companies will likely be involved so here’s a brief overview of how to deal with insurance companies after an accident.
Should You Talk to Insurance After an Accident?
Once the accident occurs, more often than not, the insurance company will try to contact you and if you’re not represented by a car accident attorney, will make a lowball offer. The insurance companies are notorious for making this initial offer at a time when you are most vulnerable in hopes that you settle any potential accident lawsuits for less than they are worth. Nonetheless, in a personal injury case, dealing with an insurance company is inevitable. Thus having an experienced personal injury attorney assisting you in this process will lift a heavy burden and allow you to focus on recovery.
When dealing with fault based jurisdictions, the person who causes the accident is typically the one responsible for all your damages and these losses are sometimes covered by that person’s automobile insurance company. The victim of the car accident needs to present their claim including all documentation to the insurance adjuster. Victims should understand, however, that the adjuster’s job is to pay as little as possible to maximize profits for the insurance company. If the final offer is too low, then the claim is denied and a lawsuit would have to be filed. In that case, the insurance company will provide an attorney to defend the claim. At this point, it is vital that you obtain an accident attorney to assist you in recovery.
No Fault Jurisdictions
This is different under no-fault jurisdictions such ad Michigan. Insurance law varies by state. Generally, some states are fault-based while others use a no fault scheme. In addition different insurance laws will apply depending on the location of the accident and the residency of the parties. In no-fault jurisdictions, dealing with the insurance company typically means they our own insurance company which is obligated to pay certain benefits.
Other Insurance Involved
Additionally, other insurance such as health insurance will be involved. Finally, if there isn’t any insurance or limited insurance, your own automobile insurance may be used. It is essential that you determine all potential insurance policies that may apply to your situation.
The bottom line is for insurance companies not to pay on claims unless they are convinced that you were hurt. It is a for-profit business. They rely on monthly premiums and anticipate that these amounts will exceed the payout of approved claims. That is why they will reach out to you as early as possible to attempt a quick settlement. A personal injury attorney can locate all applicable insurance policies, provide you with guidance in negotiations, and if necessary guide you through litigation.
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Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan