You’re driving along I-285, enjoying the sunny day and thinking about the great afternoon you had at work. Suddenly, someone swerves into your lane. Before you have time to react, you’re involved in a car accident. Your great day just took a turn for the worse.
This is an unfortunate situation for anybody. However, if you keep three important points in mind, it can make your bad situation more manageable – so you can get on with your life as quickly as possible.
1. Insurance Companies Will Try to Trick You
There is no way to avoid an insurance company. The thing is, insurance companies want your money. They definitely do not want to pay out in the event that you have an accident. For this reason, they will find ways to turn things around so you are left high and dry at an already stressful time.
- Recorded Statements – Oftentimes, an insurance company will ask you for a recorded statement, even claiming it is mandatory. It isn’t mandatory and you probably shouldn’t do it as it is not hard for a big company to twist words (even in the recording) to fit their own agenda.
- The Value of Your Claim – Most people do not know the value of their claim and insurance companies bank on this. Of course, you don’t want to ask for less than you deserve but if you ask for more, the company soon realizes you have no idea what your claim’s actual value is. Once they realize you aren’t sure what you’re entitled to, they will find a way to lowball you into taking less than you deserve.
- The First Offer is not Final – Many people are under the impression that the insurance company’s first offer is their only offer, so they accept it without question. This is not true. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to counter the insurance company’s offer. Without an attorney, they know you can’t fight back and win.
Although not all insurance companies abide by such shady practices, it is always a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney to deal with your insurance company, just in case.
2. You Should Do Several Things after the Accident
If you are in a car accident, don’t rely on the other person to do the right thing. A simple exchange of information on a scrap of paper is not enough for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Get as much information about the accident as possible, including photos of all vehicles, names of witnesses and police at the scene. Often getting all that information is difficult for someone who has just been in a car crash.
If you speak with any insurance company, be sure you only state the bare facts. If they ask for more information, tell them you will have to contact your attorney first. Never try to determine who was at fault and definitely never admit that you were at fault. Even if you believe you were at fault, this information should be discussed with your attorney first. An attorney can point out mitigating circumstances you may not be aware of.
Never tell an insurance company that you are not injured. Even if you feel fine immediately after an accident, problems could arise hours or even days after an accident. Additionally, never share your medical history with an insurance company. Also, never estimate the cost of damages. Leave the estimation to a professional or you could end up shortchanging yourself.
3. Your Personal Injury Lawyer Works for You
Even the safest driver on the road can be the victim of an accident. For this reason, it is always important to have the contact information for an experienced personal injury lawyer readily available. That’s because:
- A Personal Injury Attorney Understands the Law – Unless you are an attorney yourself, you are very unlikely to Georgia personal injury law as well as a professional who has represented hundreds or thousands of clients.
- Your Attorney Will Deal With Your Insurance Company – As stated above, your insurance company is likely to try to get away with paying you as little as possible. A personal injury lawyer can prevent your insurance provider from underpaying you. Your attorney will be able to dispute any unfair settlement in court, if necessary.
- Personal Injury Attorneys Often Offer Free Consultations – Most personal injury lawyers will be happy to meet with you at no fee to discuss your claim. Many works on contingency, meaning you are not charged any attorney’s fees unless you win your claim.
If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t know who was at fault, or are being pressured into a quick settlement or under-compensated for your accident, talk to a personal injury attorney for help getting the compensation you deserve.