When you are involved in a car accident, you think that everything will be fine after contacting the car insurance company. You are led to believe they will cover you because that is what you pay for. However, there are a few things to beware of when it comes to dealing with any car insurance company. Regardless of how fast you want to move past the accident, it is always best to keep a level head. Make sure you watch for red flags and never be afraid to contact a lawyer who specializes in car accidents.
Red Flag #1 – Watch Negotiations
Insurance agents are skilled in negotiating with you to the benefit of the company they work for. Adjusters will look for ways to reduce the amount the claim will pay you. This means they may try to claim you are at fault or they may downplay the severity of the damage. They may also make you feel like the vehicle can still be driven, causing more damage to the car. Be careful with doing anything until you have had your auto evaluated because any further damage can cause the claim to be thrown out.
Red Flag #2 – Unfair Settlement
Agents are not all the same, and some will not treat you fairly. This means the first settlement they offer you is likely to be in the best interest of their company. Before accepting any agreement, converse with an attorney to make sure that it will cover your needs. You have the right to have lost wages, medical bills, car rentals, and all repairs covered due to an accident.
Red Flag #3 – Medical Expenses Downplayed
If you have suffered an injury in an accident, make sure you document everything. When you visit with a physician, ask for everything to be recorded and ask for a copy. You do not have to be transported to a hospital to get medical expenses covered from an accident. Without proper documentation, auto insurance companies will try to show the injuries you have sustained are not related to the accident. Finally, do not sign any agreements until you have had a lawyer look over them.
Red Flag #4 – Forced Auto Shop
Regardless of what your auto insurance company says, you have the right to select which shop performs the repairs on your vehicle. However, you will want to make sure you take the documents the adjusters give you when you have your car repaired. Also, make sure that the repairs you have done are only directly related to the accident, even if you have other work that you want to be done at the same time. You have the right to appeal any determination the insurance company makes when it comes to your vehicle.
You may be leery of hiring a lawyer when it comes to simple car accidents due to the cost. However, in the long run, you will see more benefits. Attorneys are skilled in working with insurance companies, and many will offer free consultations to give you a good start. They will be the only people who are on your side and make sure you get through the stress of an accident without losing any of your benefits.
Talk to a car accident attorney for more information.