Auto Accident Settlement and Insurance Company Tactics
Insurance companies know an auto accident claim that takes a long time favors them the most. If you have medical bills and repair costs that have already been paid or you need to pay, you will want to settle as soon as possible. If the insurer can drag on longer and keep asking for more information to stall the process, they may outlast you.
Without good paperwork, the insurance company will cast doubt on your auto accident insurance claim and attempt to discredit you. Truth and fantasy can become intermingled so they have you looking like the guilty party.
Low rate insurance companies are difficult to deal with in an auto accident settlement because they want to keep premiums low. When they pay out for an accident, they get that money back from all their insurers, and their rates climb causing some of their clients to get insurance coverage elsewhere.
Cash Up Front–many insurers know that a big lump of cash can cloud the judgment of accident victims. They count on your response of “think of what I can do with that money,” to keep you from really tallying up all your costs from the accident.
Settle All Bills at Once–one of the ways insurance companies try to reduce their costs is by getting you to settle your medical claim the same time you settle your auto claim. But if you suffered a serious injury as a result of your accident, the chances are that your medical bills are not all in, yet. It is easy to tell what’s wrong with a car–it’s a lot harder to tell what’s wrong with a human being.
You to Take Blame–Insurance reps from the other driver
will call you to try and get you to say something that will magnify your fault in the accident. Not talking to them can damage your claim, but make sure you discuss only the bare, truthful facts of the accident.
Denying Coverage–Auto insurance companies will sometimes try to get you to take injuries on your own health insurance, rather than their coverage. However, they should pay first and only then should the payment be applied to your health insurance.
Discounting Your Pain–Don’t forget the pain and suffering you incurred as a result of the accident. You are entitled to compensation for what you went through, above and beyond the mere cost of medical treatment. This includes loss of time with your family, and any recreational activities you missed as a result of your accident. Insurance companies may also politely ignore the fact that you missed work while recovering. Don’t let them. Take account of lost time in terms of not only wages but vacation / sick leave days lost.
If you suffered any injuries in your accident, even just pain and stiffness, you should see a doctor. And if you see a doctor, you should see a lawyer to make sure you are getting full compensation from the insurance company. The main weapon insurance companies have in their arsenal for lowballing claims is your presumed ignorance of what compensation you deserve. An experienced lawyer, on the other hand, knows how much you deserve and can do their utmost to get every penny for you.
If you are unsure about the settlement you are being offered, seek legal advice from an auto accident attorney, and don’t be intimated into accepting less than what you deserve.