After being hit by another driver, we often wonder “How do I deal with an insurance company after this wreck?” Naturally, most people immediately call their insurance company to report the wreck. However, few people stop to think about what they should say or how speaking to an insurance company may affect any claim they need to bring for property damage or personal injuries. Following these simple steps will save car wreck victims a lot of time and money.
Call a Car Wreck Attorney
If you have been injured in a car wreck, call a car wreck attorney first. A vast majority of our first time clients come to us frustrated and upset after attempting to manage the aftermath of a wreck themselves. They often feel jerked around with bills to pay, subjected to delay tactics and little support from the insurance companies.
In our experience, people aren’t litigious or “sue happy,” and don’t want to get a lawyer involved if it seems unnecessary at the time. However, a quick phone call to a trustworthy attorney can help you get clear on how to proceed after you’ve been injured in a wreck. A free consultation offers you a road map on how to move forward and an honest attorney will tell you if you really need to hire someone at that point in time.
There are a lot of excellent personal injury attorneys that help car wreck victims but there are some bad apples too. Before you call an attorney, you may want to check out this video to get a good idea of what you should expect from a personal injury attorney:
Be Careful What You Tell the Insurance Company
After you’ve been in injured in a wreck, you will have a minimum of at least two claims with the insurance company — a property damage claim and a bodily injury claim. Both will be assigned to different adjustors and handled separately. Be careful what you say to any adjustor. Every conversation you have is likely going to be recorded and can be used against you to minimize other claims. For example, if you tell the property damage adjuster “I’m fine but I need my car fixed,” the insurance companies records will reflect that you are not injured. Worse, if the statement is recorded, the insurance company will use your statement against you if need to bring a personal injury claim at a later time.
Let the Insurance Company Move Your Vehicle
With property damage claims, it is important to communicate where the wrecked vehicle is and let the insurance company inspect and move the vehicle as soon as possible. This mitigates the damages and expenses that can accrue the longer your vehicle sits at a tow yard.
If your vehicle is likely a total loss, you should also start shopping around for a replacement vehicle pretty quickly. As soon as you are paid for your property damage claim, the insurance company will no longer pay for a rental vehicle (if you have and are using rental coverage).
Do Not Minimize Your Injuries
Keep in mind, some injuries can take time to manifest. You do not want to settle your case until you know the full extent of your injuries. It’s best to consult your doctor(s) in terms of your diagnosis, prognosis, and plan of treatment. Once you settle your claim with the insurance company, it is done. You can never go back and get more money if you end up needing additional medical care or procedures related to your injuries from the wreck.
Keep in mind, insurance companies are for-profit corporations that maximize their profits by collecting premiums and paying out as little as possible on claims. You will likely receive a quick settlement offer in hopes you’ll take it and be done, but these offers are typically less than the fair value of your case. Your best bet is to call an attorney first, to help you deal with the insurance company after you’ve been in a wreck.
If you have been injured in a wreck, call Williams Elleby today for a free consultation at 833-LEGAL-GA or (833-534-2542).