After a car accident, insurance companies will try to decrease your compensation any way they can. According to the Federal Reserve, four in ten American adults said they would have trouble covering a $400 emergency expense in 2018. it’s important to understand what questions companies will ask you so you can get the most compensation you can.
Unless you get help from a car accident attorney, you will need to take steps to protect your own rights. A car accident lawyer knows what to expect and how to get you the best settlement possible.
Common Questions Insurance Companies Always Ask
Some of the most common questions insurance companies ask following an accident involve the basic facts of what happened, including:
- Who was involved in the accident?
- Was anyone else in the vehicle?
- Who was in the other vehicle?
- What led to the accident?
- What happened, and why?
- When did the accident occur?
- Where did the accident occur?
- Where were you going?
- Where were you coming from?
You may get these questions from your own insurance company or the company representing the at-fault driver who hit you. You need to be mindful of what you say regarding the accident, even with your own insurance company. Otherwise, you could jeopardize your right to recover compensation for the damages you suffered in the accident.
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What to Expect When an Insurance Adjuster Contacts You
Just as your insurance company will try to ascertain what damages occurred in your accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance provider will want to know what happened, as well. Not long after your accident, you’ll most likely receive a call from the other party’s insurance adjuster asking about your damages and the events leading up to the crash.
We don’t advise talking to an insurance adjuster without first consulting a lawyer. If you do, only tell them about the damages to your property, and do not describe your injuries at all. In the event that you downplay your injuries or discover that they are worse than you thought, you may receive a smaller settlement. This is just one of the settlement tactics insurers use.
Questions You Should Ask Your Insurance Adjuster
Your insurance company isn’t the only one that needs information after your accident. You also need to know what to expect from your provider.
What does My Insurance Cover?
Past your state’s minimum required insurance coverage, it’s important to understand what is and is not covered by your insurance policy. This includes underinsured motorist coverage. Check with your provider to see what you’re already afforded and what you might need to recover from the other party.
Will My Insurance Rate Go Up After My Accident?
Usually, if you’re not at fault for an accident, your rates will not go up. If you are even partially at fault, however, they may. Talk with your insurance adjuster and a lawyer in your state to understand if you committed any moving violations and if you will receive points on your license.
What Are My Next Steps?
Your insurance agent will be able to give you a rough timetable for the next steps in the process of your insurance claim. The insurance company may also have specific body shops or other resources for you to go to for repairs and other services.
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Don’t Tell the Insurance Company More Than You Need to
While you may need to speak with your own insurance company to notify them of the accident, you should be careful what you say. Beware of questions that ask about fault. Do not give details beyond the basics of time and place and the people involved because they can get more information from the police report and other sources.
If the insurance adjuster in your case has reason to believe you were to blame for the collision, they may lower how much they pay out or refuse your claim entirely. Louisiana Civil Code Article 2323 states that the percentage that you are at fault dictates how much you can get for damage done to you.
Of course, the insurance company representing the at-fault driver has even more reason to try to gather any information to reduce the potential value of your claim. An attorney can help you by serving as your representation and communicating with the insurance company on your behalf.
The Insurance Company May Offer Less than You Deserve
Determining what questions insurance companies ask after a car wreck may not be the end of your worries when it comes to protecting your rights after a car accident. They will likely look for ways to settle your claim as soon as possible, which may result in a lower offer than you deserve.
In some cases, a liability car insurance carrier will immediately offer an accident victim thousands of dollars in a cash settlement. Unless you have a good understanding of your current and future medical bills, time away from work, and the value of your case, accepting this offer may not be your best option.
We recommend not signing anything until you have an attorney look over the settlement. When you get in contact with Morris Bart, LLC, we’ll help you negotiate with the insurance company so you get the most compensation you can.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Will Prove the Other Driver Is at Fault
Before you can understand what a fair settlement range might look like, you will need to have a better idea of the value of your case. Your attorney can help you gather the evidence necessary to document your losses and uncover your recoverable damages. This could include:
- Current and future medical care costs
- Current and future lost income
- Lost earning capacity if you do not return to your previous work
- Property damage and car repairs
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
Only once you know what a fair settlement will look like in your case should you begin negotiating with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company.
Working with a Car Accident Attorney on Your Case
If you suffered injuries in a car accident case in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Arkansas, you can get a free case evaluation from a member of the team at the Morris Bart law firm. We will review your case at no cost to you a provide the following services:
We Will Gather Evidence and Calculate Damages
A car accident attorney will look at your police report, evidence at the scene of the crash, and the records of any drivers involved. That way, we can make your insurance case as strong as possible based on negligence and liability.
The damage done to your person, your car, and your quality of life should be compensated. We’ll look at the condition of your property and the cost of your treatments so the insurance company doesn’t short you.
We Will Negotiate With Your Insurance Adjuster
Insurance agents don’t want you to get as much money as you can. That’s why you should have an experienced lawyer by your side. Our car accident attorneys know the tricks that insurance providers play to reduce how much you receive for damage someone else did to you.
We Will Represent You in Court If Necessary
Many personal injury cases don’t go to trial at all. Sometimes, though, if providers don’t agree on a settlement, you have to go in front of a judge. Our accident lawyers will be by your side during your lawsuit.
Our team works based on a contingency fee, so we receive no attorney fees unless we recover a settlement or court-awarded compensation for you. Our fees come from your car accident settlement.
Discuss Your Case with a Member of the Morris Bart, LLC, Car Accident Team
The members of our car accident team from the Morris Bart law firm have years of experience helping drivers who were in an accident. We can review your case, explain your legal options, and determine the steps we may be able to take to help you protect your rights and manage your case.
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