Dealing with the insurance company after a car accident can be a daunting experience. It’s important to understand why you might find yourself in a battle with the insurer. Insurance companies often prioritize their own profits by minimizing payouts to injured claimants. This can leave you, the injured party, facing significant financial burdens.
When faced with the challenge of fighting the insurance company after a car accident, hiring an Augusta car accident lawyer is the best way to fight, and win against a big insurance company.
Typically, attorneys with experience in accident and injury law fight on your behalf, refusing to back down until they secure a fair agreement with the responsible party. With the right skill set, car accident attorneys can prove the extent of your damages and ensure you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve. Additionally, they will protect you from any bad-faith insurance practices aimed at devaluing your case.
The following guide will help you understand why you need to stand up to the insurance company after a car accident and how an Augusta car accident lawyer can be your strongest ally in this fight.
Why You Might Have to Fight With the Insurance Company After a Car Accident
Any time you feel like the insurance company has treated you unfairly after a car accident, you could dispute the issue. Typical issues you might face with the insurance company include liability and monetary awards. The insurance company may do everything possible to provide as little compensation as possible.
If you have a strong attorney, not only can they promote your best interests, but they can advocate for you if:
The Insurer Won’t Take Responsibility
Your case isn’t over just because the insurer denies liability. Sometimes, an insurer may deny a claim if it doesn’t have the full picture of what happened. Then, an attorney can step in, present compelling evidence, and negotiate a fair settlement.
To resolve your case with the insurer, your attorney may:
- Learn the reason for your claim’s denial. An insurance company must give a written reason outlining why it has denied a claim. Your lawyer can zero in on this reason and address it.
- Respond to the insurer’s denial. Your lawyer can connect with the claims adjuster and explain why they don’t agree with the denial. They may do this over the phone or via email. This may prompt negotiations or further discussions about your case’s resolution.
- Investigate the collision further. If possible, your lawyer can visit the accident scene and document physical evidence. Also, they can look around to see if any surveillance cameras caught the accident on camera. If so, they can speak to the owner of the camera and review the footage.
Car accident attorneys sometimes partner with third-party investigators who can offer another set of eyes when gathering evidence. Regardless, if an insurer denies your claim, you don’t have to walk away empty-handed. Your lawyer can fight for the settlement you need.
The Insurance Company Isn’t Offering Fair Compensation
If the insurance company’s first offer doesn’t match the losses you incurred, you can deny it and start negotiating. If you hire a car accident attorney, they can take on these negotiations for you.
This may involve:
- Presenting further evidence of your losses. Your lawyer can present bills, invoices, and estimates to the insurer to support the amount you’re requesting. They may also consult with actuaries and use their testimony to further bolster your claim.
- Proving liability. The insurance company may offer a low settlement because it doesn’t truly believe that it’s responsible for your losses. As mentioned, your lawyer can gather evidence to demonstrate the policyholder’s negligence and your right to damages.
Fighting with the insurance company on your own after a car accident could add to your stress during an already challenging time. You deserve to focus on your well-being—not endlessly communicating with claims adjusters. Having a lawyer take on your case could offer much-needed relief.
The Insurer Employs Bad Faith Insurance Practices
Most states have laws on the books prohibiting bad-faith insurance practices. All insurers must treat claimants with respect and honor the terms of the policies they sell. How your lawyer combats these tactics depends largely on your case’s details.
For instance, if the insurance adjuster bullies you, your lawyer may file a lawsuit based on breach of contract. This may compel the insurer to take your claim seriously and process it in good faith.
The Insurer Claims You Missed a Filing Deadline
Some insurance representatives are misinformed about how their companies operate. For instance, after filing your claim, the insurer might assert that you missed the filing deadline. This can put your case in serious jeopardy. Partnering with a lawyer can ensure the insurer keeps its facts straight and honors the liable policy’s details.
The Insurer Says the Liable Policy Lapsed
Each month, policyholders must pay to maintain their insurance policies. If they don’t, then they are essentially driving while uninsured. This could spell trouble if you get into an accident and file a claim, only to learn that the at-fault party didn’t maintain their coverage.
Yet, even in this situation, you have options for seeking the compensation you deserve. If you hire a lawyer, they can explore whether another insured party has liability for your losses. They can also file a lawsuit against the negligent party and take your case to trial. Here, you could get compensated at a judge’s and jury’s discretion.
Your Claim Gets Passed Around From Adjuster to Adjuster
Some insurance companies have high turnover rates. This means, one week, you could deal with one representative, and then the next, start at square one with someone else. Not only can this prove frustrating, but it can drag out your claim.
Regardless of an insurance company’s turnover rates, you have the right to have your claim processed on time and in good faith. Some insurance companies are less likely to play games when they know a claimant has legal help.
How to Deal With the Insurance Company After a Car Accident
If you find yourself in a fight with the insurance company after a car accident, there are many things you can do to change the tide. You should:
Keep All Information Related to Your Case
Proving fault, liability, and the cost of your damages is critical to your case’s outcome.
You can help your lawyer accomplish this by:
- Gathering evidence. If possible, take pictures of your car’s damage and your injuries throughout your recovery. Your lawyer could use these items to demonstrate the accident’s toll on your life.
- Keeping all damage-related records. You should keep any record, such as medical records or work release forms, in a secure location. Organize this information so if disputes come up, you can readily present it. Other examples of records you should keep include estimates for the costs to repair your vehicle, the police report, and doctor recommendation notes.
Insurance companies are businesses that aim to promote their bottom lines. So, they don’t necessarily have your best interests in mind when negotiating or otherwise going through the claims process. Yet, when you hire a car accident attorney, they won’t back down in the face of complications. They can use their insights, skills, and knowledge to advocate for what you need.
Refuse to Give a Recorded Statement
The insurance company may assert that before it can award compensation, it needs a recorded statement. Here, you and a claims adjuster talk about your accident and injuries. They ask questions, and you answer.
You shouldn’t give a recorded statement, even if you’re confident in your ability to answer questions.
- You want to protect your privacy. The insurance company may ask questions about injuries you suffered years ago, hoping to assert that you’re suffering from a pre-existing condition. You don’t have to disclose any information about unrelated medical details. You’re entitled to your privacy.
- The insurer may accuse you of causing the accident. The insurer likely won’t accuse you of causing the collision outright. Instead, it may ask loaded questions that twist your words around. Even if the insurer thinks you’re partially responsible for the crash, this could compel the adjuster to offer less compensation than you need.
- You don’t have to give one. You don’t have to offer anything aside from basic information about the collision, your injuries, and the liable party. You don’t have to spend your recovery period juggling communications in a seemingly endless process.
What Does a Fair Settlement Offer Include?
A fair settlement offer from the liable insurer depends on your situation. What may cover your losses in full might not even cover a fraction of someone else’s. This is yet another reason why you may consider entrusting your case to a personal injury lawyer. They can assess your situation and advocate for a settlement that encapsulates the full cost of your damages, including:
First, your lawyer will use your medical bills, receipts, proof-of-payment statements, and other documents to assert the cost of your healthcare expenses.
These may include:
- Surgeries and outpatient procedures
- Medications, including IV fluids
- Doctors’ visits
- Physical therapy
- Mental health services
- Ambulance transportation
The insurance company’s first offer might not account for the full scope of your healthcare costs—especially if your condition is still evolving. Your lawyer can consult with your healthcare team and other field experts to assign an appropriate value to your treatment-related expenses.
Your lawyer could use your previous tax returns, pay stubs, or other information to demonstrate the cost of your lost income. Compensation could account for hourly rates, tips, commissions, bonuses, and benefits. It can also account for any future harm to your earning power.
Pain and Suffering
Like other non-economic damages, pain and suffering don’t come with an inherent monetary value. Instead of relying on receipts, your lawyer may consider various aspects of your life to arrive at a fair figure.
These factors may include:
- The severity of your condition
- Your missed time from work
- The financial losses you suffered
- Your estimated recovery period
- Your mobility and independence
- Your quality of life
Many states do not cap how much car accident claimants can seek for pain and suffering. So, this expense could comprise a generous portion of your claim’s value.
You can seek compensation if the collision negatively affected your mental health. Compensable conditions include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Information from a mental health specialist can demonstrate how much you can recover from this damage.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
You could recover loss of enjoyment if you can’t participate in activities you could before the accident. To prove these damages, you can provide evidence of your participation in the activity by showing pictures or videos. You could also have a medical professional state why your injuries no longer allow you to participate.
As noted, an ideal settlement offer will primarily depend on your situation. Other compensable losses in your accident case could include funeral costs, out-of-pocket expenses, and property damage costs.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Augusta
An Augusta Injury Attorney Can Fight the Insurance Company for You
You’re not alone in your fight for a fair settlement from the insurance company. You can entrust your case to an injury lawyer in Augusta who can handle the insurance company on your behalf.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Augusta today to have a skilled legal professional by your side throughout the entire process. At The Hawk Firm, we are dedicated to fighting on behalf of our clients and ensuring they receive the fair compensation they need and deserve. Don’t face the insurance company alone – let us advocate for you and handle the complexities of your case. Schedule a consultation with our experienced team today.