The Insurance Claims Process
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
If you've been injured in an auto, motorcycle, or other accident, you know it can be a chaotic, painful, and upsetting experience. The experience is made worse by the fact that you've now got to deal with insurance companies, police, car repairs, car rental, etc. This is a critical time when you should be focusing on getting medical attention, not filling out claim forms. This is also a critical time for the insurance companies who know that they have a small window of opportunity to try to settle your case for pennies on the dollar before you realize how badly hurt you may be.
Do NOT be victimized by big insurance companies who value their profits over your health. Do NOT fall prey to big insurance company lies and slimy tactics. You need a highly skilled San Diego auto accident lawyer who is committed to defending your rights and getting you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
The following list of "DO's and DON'T's" will help you navigate the insurance claims process and will strengthen your case so that you can receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
- Document everything. Do NOT rely on the police to write a report. In most cases, the police will NOT file a report and will tell you to exchange information with the other driver. BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE SCENE, make certain you have name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, and insurance information for everyone involved in the accident and all witnesses. You also should obtain the license plate number or VIN number of every vehicle involved in the accident. Take pictures of the accident scene BEFORE YOU MOVE THE VEHICLES. These photos will allow me to see your vehicle's position on the roadway, which is important in determining who or what caused the accident. Remember, even though the other driver may be cooperative and tell you he/she will take care of everything, they rarely do, so make sure you have all the information you will need to file a claim before you leave the scene of the accident.
Protect your rights -- consult an experienced injury attorney right away. Insurance company representatives are trained to talk to you sympathetically and tell you that they will take care of everything. The representative may tell you that you don't need a lawyer, that the insurance company will take care of everything. Don't believe it! The big insurance companies are only interested in their profit. They don't care about you. An aggressive, experienced accident lawyer on your side increases your chances of receiving maximum compensation for your injury. It is impossible to
protect your rights if you've been in an accident if you do not know what they are. Find out about your rights by talking with an injury lawyer today.
- Don't apologize. It's natural to apologize after an accident, even if it wasn't your fault. However, an apology will be construed as an admission of guilt.
- Don't sign anything without first consulting an attorney. Many accident victims mistakenly believe that signing a statement for the insurance company is in their best interest. Many times, it is not.
- Don't believe anything the insurance companies tell you. Insurance adjusters work for the insurance company and, remember, the insurance company wants to maximize their profits at your expense. Often, insurance adjusters will try to get you to admit the accident was your fault when it wasn't, or they may try to minimize your injuries. A skilled attorney will ensure your rights and your interests protected.
Don't accept a "low ball" settlement offer. Insurance companies often try to get accident victims to settle their claims early by offering
low ball offers before victims are fully aware of their rights and the extent of their injuries. You should have your case evaluated by an experienced professional who is on your side to ensure that you receive all the compensation you deserve.
If you have sustained injury in an auto accident, contact The Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. to hire a San Diego car accident lawyer who will protect your rights during the insurance claims process and get your the most compensation for your injuries.