After an accident, the victim will want to get as much as possible from the auto insurance settlement. In turn, the insurance companies want to get out as cheaply as possible so they make an offer, which at first looks good until you think of possible future expenses, which could end up costing, much more than the offer made to you by the insurance agent. Call your insurance agent and let them know the other company made an unacceptable offer. Your agent will direct you to the company’s claims adjuster who will assist you in filling out an accident claim. In the paragraphs below, you will find some tips for getting the biggest auto insurance settlement possible.
One of the best car insurance tips is to comprehend the liability laws of your state specifically bound by the auto insurance company. This will help define if you have a legitimate complaint against the company or if you have a unique case that may take extra details and specifications that you and your attorney would need to be prepared to fight for. This may take extra care to define recommendations of improvement for the insurance company to ensure this does not happen to other people. There are cases every day that fall outside of the typical liability laws that would set precedence for other insurers.
You will want copies of the police report, the specific auto insurance policy, and any other documents that you have received or sent in this case. It is also vital for you to document and store all written communications, telephone calls made and received (recorded and transcribed if possible) and any electronic mail. Getting the best possible documentation of the scene is going to provide important evidence for your adjuster to back up your claim. Have an accident kit that includes a camera and take plenty of pictures. Get as much information as possible from witnesses and take notes so that you can remember the scene as well as possible
Mediation is your first step. Mediation is less official but is also nonbinding where a mediator makes suggestions to help settle the claims dispute. Most insurance companies are willing to go into mediation to prevent the more serious arbitration, which is official. Most policies tell who to call for mediation or arbitration then fill out the arbitration form and specify whether you want mediation or arbitration.
Never make a statement about the accident before you’ve talked to your adjuster and never talk to the other company’s representative without consulting with your insurance company’s representative first. Your adjuster knows all the tricks of the trade and they are going to give you pointers on what to say. Never make a recorded statement about the accident with the other adjuster without talking to your adjuster first. Remember that the other company’s adjuster is mostly concerned with saving their company money and they may try to draw you into saying something that could hurt your claim.
If mediation does not work, the next step is arbitration. Fill out another arbitration form and send it to the dispute-resolution organization shown on the policy. If this organization is not on your policy, submit the demand to your state’s insurance department. If you are unable to find a demand for arbitration form, the American Arbitration Association has forms as well as your state’s insurance department. Arbitration is more serious than mediation and binding; both parties have to agree to arbitrate. Speak with a lawyer before you decide to go into arbitration.
If you are the victim of a rear-end collision and cannot settle with the insurance company, you have the right to hire a lawyer and sue the company or the wrongdoer. You have to sue before any settlement is met. Once you agree to a settlement there is no filing a lawsuit. In some cases, it is possible to bring legal action against your insurance company after settlement due to an error, the language of the settlement, or the process itself.
If you are under financial constraints then you could find an attorney that will file the appeal for an auto insurance settlement and will only take payment from you if you win the case. One tip when working with your attorney is that you should not limit your communication to only verbal conversations. Demand that they place directives and your requests in writing.
These experts will be able to recreate the accident to prove that you were not at fault and that the insurance company should pay you an auto accident settlement.
Between your attorney and the accident reconstruction expert you should have enough protection against the car insurance company and their legal team. Keep in mind that you want to make sure that you are well educated about the liability laws and your own policy.
Try to reach a settlement that both parties are happy with without going through mediation, arbitration, or having to hire a lawyer would be ideal. Taking the wrongdoer or an insurance company to court would be a last resort as this can be very costly and time consuming.
One of the most common mistakes people have is refusing medical attention if they are hurt in a collision. Insist that paramedics come to the scene if you are hurt in any way; responding to accidents is a paramedic’s job. If you refuse medical attention at the scene, the other adjuster may try to use that to say that you weren’t injured as severely and you may be.
Remember that this is a game of what you can prove. It’s important to get as much documentation as possible of your injuries so that the other company can’t claim that your injuries were insignificant or a result of preexisting conditions. By having an impartial third party document your injuries, you’re making sure that you can prove what happened to you as a result of the accident. There’s nothing worse than having an injury at the time of an accident that may not seem like a big deal only to find out later on that it’s worse than you thought.