If one day you find yourself the victim of an automobile accident, there are number of critical steps you should take to ensure you receive a fair and complete settlement for the injuries and damages you have suffered.
While you are still at the site of the accident you should take as many photographs of the damaged vehicles and of any injuries you may have suffered. Obtaining the personal information of any witnesses is also extremely useful. Proving damage, injury and loss is essential to build a relevant accident claim.
If the damage caused in your automobile accident is minimal and you suffered few, if any, injuries, then it is possible the insurance adjuster will simply request your medical bills and an estimate of property damage in order to send you a check. However, keep in mind that the job of an insurance adjuster is to protect the company’s bottom line. They may fight your automobile accident claim to the bitter end in order to pay as little compensation as possible. This is why hiring an experienced attorney to negotiate for your best interests may likely be your best possible way forward.
Investigation of Your Automobile Accident Claim
One of the most important jobs of an adjuster is to investigate your claim. Adjusters do this by combing through your medical history, interviewing witnesses of your accident, and reviewing medical records and automotive repair invoices. Keeping a log of your medical providers, accident scene photographs, and any relevant invoices and bills will help your case in the long run.
First Settlement Offer
After the investigation is complete, if the adjuster determines the insurance company is liable, they will likely make a settlement offer to you. Nine out of ten times this offer will be the bare minimum since the adjuster is looking out for the insurance company’s interests above all. It is the adjuster’s job to save their company money. If you are unhappy with the settlement offered to you, the next step would be to negotiate a fairer amount.
Negotiating with an adjuster is a tricky task. Adjusters have years of experience and training on how to negotiate settlements in their favor. This is why it is so very important to have documented proof to back up your automobile accident claim. Oftentimes, all the proof in the world will not help in negotiations and your claim will simply be denied. Hiring an experienced attorney to negotiate for your best interests is almost always your best option.
If your claim is denied, your only remaining choice is to file a lawsuit. You should be mindful of your state’s statute of limitations since waiting too long to file a lawsuit will forfeit your right to sue. Hiring an experienced attorney is your best option if you decide to press your case into litigation. Call The Advocates today for a free evaluation of your case.