With more people than ever driving on the roads, the chances of getting into an accident are on the rise. Even if you are incredibly cautious and a defensive driver, you have no control over other people. Thus, when you least expect it, you may get into an accident.
When that occurs, you will have to file a claim with your insurance company. You should also consider talking to a personal injury lawyer. Many people think that talking to a lawyer is intimidating or unnecessary, so they decide to deal with the insurance company on their own. While this is totally within your right, below are some of the mistakes you’ll want to avoid when making a claim.
Mistake #1: Providing a Written or Recorded Statement
When filing a claim after a car accident, your insurance company may ask you to supply a written or recorded statement about what happened. While this may seem faultless on the surface, it could actually be used against you down the road. Just because they ask for this, it doesn’t mean you have to provide it. There is no law that says you have to allow your insurance provider to record your conversations.
Mistake #2: Signing Documents When You Aren’t Exactly Sure What They Say
If you’re like most people, then you probably trust your agent—and you are sure they are working in your best interest. For many, this is true—to a point. You need to keep in mind that insurance companies are for-profit businesses, which means they are working to make as much money as possible. They don’t accomplish this by paying out claims. Thus, they will try to get out of paying as much as possible when it comes to your car accident.
They accomplish this by having you sign documents that are convoluted and confusing. Once your signature is on that document, your chances of getting more money for future or long-term injuries are significantly reduced. Thus, before you sign anything, you need to read through every word. If you don’t understand what it says, talking to a personal injury lawyer might be in your best interest.
Mistake #3: Taking the Insurance Company’s First Offer
This one ties into #2 listed above. Again, the insurance company will try to pay as little as possible when it comes to your accident. They will offer you an amount that may be generous and look good, but before you accept, you need to consider all aspects of the accident. If you were injured, will you continue to need medical care or physical therapy? If so, for how long? Will the amount they are offering cover your current bills and any that might arise in the future?
Avoiding These Common Mistakes
Being in an accident can be incredibly stressful and life-changing. If you’re like most people, then your focus is on feeling better and getting back to your life. Dealing with insurance companies can be just as awful as the accident, and many people will make the mistakes listed above so that they don’t have to drag this situation out longer than necessary.
This doesn’t always work to your benefit. No matter how intimidating or unnecessary you might think it is, talking to a personal injury lawyer might be in your best interest. Finding one that has a client-first attitude and offers hands-on attention will ensure that the lawyer has your best interests in mind.
Taking the time to talk to a lawyer is the best way to avoid the mistakes listed above, as well as do what’s best for your health and well-being.