Government data places the number of Americans injured in car accidents at 2.3 million every year. All injured car accident victims have the right to compensation. Generally, those victims will have to deal with insurance companies to get that compensation. Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be a stress inducing process. Here are four important tips to keep in mind:
Know Your Obligations
You may have to give a brief statement of facts to your own insurance company. But, you will never be required to give a statement to an opposing insurance company. Simply, you will need to notify any opposing insurance company that an auto accident took place. You always have the right to be represented by a qualified attorney and in cases with serious injuries, it is highly advisable that you exercise your right to an attorney.
You do not have a legal requirement to give a statement to an opposing insurance company, and the company knows this. But, the insurance company also knows that many auto accident victims are not aware of that fact. For this reason, insurance companies often train their claim adjusters to sound extremely friendly and disarming over the phone. They want to get you to talk about the accident as much as possible because they believe that if you say enough, something will come out of your mouth that they can use against you in the settlement process. The best policy after an auto accident is to simply deal with the insurance company through your attorney. When it comes to dealing with an opposing insurance company, you should never do any of the following things without an attorney:
- Give any verbal or written statement;
- Attempt to negotiate a settlement;
- Allow the release of your medical records; or
- Sign anything.
The company does not have your interest in mind, and they will try to use the information they get against you.
Be Skeptical of Quick Settlement Offers
All accident auto victims want a smooth, painless and speedy settlement. Ironically, in cases with serious injuries, the opposing insurance company wants that as well. Unfortunately, they want a quick settlement because they believe that they can use your desire for a quick settlement to push you into a settlement that is very unfair for you. Never agree to a settlement without letting an experienced car accident attorney review it first.
Contact An Experienced Car Accident Attorney
The fourth, and most important tip, is to contact a qualified car accident attorney. Unfortunately, recovering fair compensation after an auto accident is never an easy process. Big insurance companies understand how to work the system in their favor and they will prey on your lack of experience if they can. The goal of the company is to make a profit, and making a profit requires limiting your settlement offer. An experienced car accident attorney can help level the playing field and make sure that you get what you rightfully deserve. If you have been injured in an auto accident, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced Chicago Car Accident Lawyer today.