After you’ve been in a car accident, life becomes complicated. To begin with, you’re likely dealing with the injuries caused by the accident. This means that you’re in pain. You’re also dealing with the limited mobility that an injury often brings. You can’t do what you’re normally able to do and even the simplest of tasks now seems impossible.
You’re also having to deal with the damage to your property that was caused by the accident. Your car has been damaged, perhaps seriously enough so that it’s not drivable. While you’re waiting for it to be repaired or replaced, you have to figure out how to get around. This means that you have to rely on friends, family or public transportation for a ride. Alternatively, you may find yourself having to rent a car which can be expensive.
Finally, you’re dealing with the stress of the unknown. You may not be able to work as a result of your injuries. You find yourself wondering who is going to pay for the bills that keep piling up. You worry about how you’re going to take care of yourself and your loved ones in the weeks or even months that it may take you to recover.
On top of everything else that you’re experiencing, you now also have to begin dealing with your insurance company and the insurance company of the driver who caused the accident that injured you. Both companies want information about the accident. You might not know how to answer the questions that are being posed to you. This feeling of uncertainty can increase the amount of stress that your feeling, which only makes the whole situation worse.
The last thing that you need at this point is more stress. Therefore, here are 3 things to keep in mind when communicating with any insurer. Using these tips will allow you to give the insurer the information they require to process your claim while, at the same time, protecting your interests.
Insurance protects against loss. For a small fee paid on a regular basis, you are shielded financially from the potential of a large, catastrophic loss in the future. The concept makes sense. This is the reason why the insurance industry is able to collect over a trillion dollars in premiums every year.
That level of income means that insurance is a big business. Like any big business, the insurance industry in the United States needs profits to survive. So, while you protect yourself from loss by purchasing insurance, the company that sells you that policy protects itself from loss, in part, by doing what it can to reduce the amount of money that it pays out in claims.
After a car accident, the communications that you have with the representatives of any insurance company will generally be helpful and friendly. After all, the industry likes to market itself in terms of neighborliness and protection, However, never forget that anything you say to any representative of an insurance company has the potential to be used against you to devalue or deny the claim that you’ve made against the policy they’ve issued. Which brings us to the second thing you need keep in mind when dealing with an insurance company.
Facts are powerful things. They can be used to establish truth, find guilt and determine liability. In a car accident case, facts will be used to determine the value of a settlement or the amount of a judgment award. This means that in order to obtain an amount of money that adequately compensates you for your damages, you have to use solid and verifiable information. Conjecture, estimates and guesses will not help you to achieve the result you need.
This is why it is imperative that all of the information that you provide to an insurer in regard to your auto accident is factual. Your opinions will not take the place of verifiable proof. Therefore, in all communications with the representatives of an insurance company, stick to the facts as you understand them and nothing but the facts.
A great place to start is by giving the insurer all of the official documents that pertain to your claim. Police reports, witness statements and photographs are objective and based in fact. They establish what happened right before an accident and the subsequent results.
Medical records are another excellent source of factual information. Your medical records provide verifiable details of the nature of your injuries, the treatments your received and your general prognosis. They give the insurer an accurate snapshot of the pain, suffering and inconvenience that was a result of the accident. They also give an accurate count of how much your medical treatment cost.
An insurer may ask you to give them a statement about the accident. If this happens, it is imperative that you stick closely to the facts as you understand them. This is not the time to get emotional or advocate your claim. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. You are not being scored on how many questions you answered correctly. Saying “I don’t know” is infinitely better than guessing at something that you don’t remember clearly. When you make a statement based on a guess, you turn something that’s non-factual into the truth. The insurer will then use this non-factual fact against you to devalue or deny your claim.
The representatives of an insurer that you talk to are pros. Every day, they deal with people just like you who are making claims against insurance policies that have been issued by representative’s employer. They do not get paid to facilitate those claims. They are instructed and rewarded to do everything possible to “deny, delay and defend against” the claims that cross their desks. They know more about the insurance industry than you can ever hope to know. They will use this knowledge against you in an attempt to get you to settle your claim for less than it is worth.
Know when you’re in over your head and get help. An experienced car accident lawyer has the knowledge and skills necessary to advocate on your behalf to the insurer. They will present the facts of your case in the best possible light so that you are able to obtain the compensation that you deserve. An experienced attorney also knows the law. If the insurer refuses a reasonable settlement demand, your attorney will bring a lawsuit on your behalf and get you the compensation that you need in a court of law.
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