While you have your car insurance company to report the accident, it’s inadvisable to speak with the other person’s insurance company. Automobile accidents can already be stressful enough, and including difficult insurance adjusters can make the situation worse and even hurt your settlement if you’re not careful.
Insurance adjusters aren’t looking out for you as they keep you in the dark. Here are some essential things you need to know, but they hid from you.
Claim Adjusters Are Not Your Friends
Insurance adjusters are usually lovely people, but they also need to pay the bills. They can be exceptionally friendly during negotiations. Some might ask about your family or other unrelated personal issues that make it seem as if they’re on your side in the hopes that you will let your guard down when the negotiations for the settlement of your claim begins.
It’s easy to be lulled to a false sense of security with insurance adjusters not just because of this simple tactic but because you might believe that your insurance company is obligated to represent your best interests, or they’re at least working hard to do the right thing and uncover the truth regarding the auto accident. In reality, a lot of them don’t – or they just won’t.
Claim adjusters have the same goal as the insurance companies they work for, and it’s to settle your claim for the lowest amount possible, even if that means you are not made whole after the settlement. If they can find a way to pay you less than you intend to have or nothing at all, they’ll take it in a heartbeat.
Insurance companies are for-profit corporations. At the end of the day, they are less sympathetic you’re your situation and more concerned would be more about their shareholders.
However, this doesn’t mean that they have no obligations at all. Just don’t mistake their responsibilities with a duty to work towards your best benefit.
Admitting Liability Does Not Finish the Job
Every claim comes in two parts. The first one is liability. Once the defendant admitted responsibility for the accident, it doesn’t mean you have to start celebrating immediately. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to collect even a nickel unless you prove your damages.
Damages, in this case, refer to both economic and non-economic elements. Economic damages are indicated by the monetary losses caused by the accident which includes medical bills, lost wages, property damage, vocational rehabilitation, household services, and out-of-pocket costs.
Defendants can attack your economic damages in many ways especially when it comes to medical treatment. Overtreating your injuries, for instance, would get yourself out of a reasonable settlement.
Don’t just go with the flow with the health care provider as treatment isn’t automatically reasonable just because they suggested it.
Non-economic damages are much more challenging as it’s less concrete than economic damages and will be evaluated by the jury subjectively. Defendants know that non-economic damages have more “wiggle room” than economic damages because there is no hard evidence or formula a jury can use to determine a fair award.
They will always contest the amount of these damages, even in cases where they challenge nothing else.
Take Pictures for Evidence
It is essential to preserve evidence in an auto accident settlement to support your legal claims and provide proof of fault and damages. However, it cannot be preserved, or you don’t have a piece of physical evidence to begin with, taking a photograph would be the next best thing.
Photographs show actual proof of the events that happened, and that the other person was negligent or liable for the damages that occurred during the accident.
While you can take various pictures, some are going to be more useful in proving your claim. Some of these photos include all the vehicles involved and the damages on your car such as broken glasses, window, scratches. Get pictures of any interior damages as well.
Taking pictures of the scene is also essential as well. Get multiple shots of the scene from different angles including the traffic lights and signs, the conditions of the road such as the stationary objects damaged in the accident, skid marks, and road debris.
In addition to documenting the damage to your vehicle and the conditions surrounding the accident, you should also include pictures of your injuries. Any lacerations, bruises, breaks, wounds, and others that you may have and continue to take photos during the recovery process as well.
Take the photos as soon as possible to accurately represent the condition of the evidence immediately after the accident. It should also be taken from different angles so you can pick out later the ones that most clearly show the things you want to highlight to the insurance company. A video might also help.
Don’t expect the insurance company to save any pictures for you. These days, most people have cell phones with digital cameras of sufficient quality to use to gather evidence.
Use your Health Insurance
Injuries after a car accident can be unavoidable, but the damage can range from a few minor cuts and bruises to serious injuries such as paralysis or other permanent disabilities. However, injuries come with medical expenses. Hopefully, victims have health insurance provider to cover the costs for treating their injuries.
Health insurance would be able to help you ensure that more of the settlement money goes to you. When you file a lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries, the health insurance company can demand you pay it back the costs it spent on your treatment. Even if you have to repay your health insurance, you wouldn’t have to pay up the full face value.
There’s More to Property Damage Besides Car Damage
The damages after a car accident are beyond more than most drivers might believe. There are apparent damages to your car or medical bills, but any damages can also include things such as the items that you’re wearing.
Eyeglasses, for instance, can get damaged in the accident which can be expensive to repair. Clothes can also get ripped or destroyed during the crash. Other items in your car may also be included in the non-auto property damage claim such as:
- Gadgets that aren’t part of the vehicle including GPS System, Laptops, or a Camera
- Items in the glove compartment, rear, and trunk.
- Child Safety Seats
Victims are allowed to ask for reimbursement from either for their insurance company or the other party for these personal damages. Make sure to document what you lost and estimate their value for its replacement as quickly as possible. It’s better to have the information and proof for your loss.
The best way to deal with an insurance adjuster is to consult with a personal injury attorney.
Contact Georgia’s Best Car Accident Lawyers at The Brown Firm at www.harrybrownlaw.com or call 800-529-1441 to subject the owners to financial liability for your injuries.