You have a basic idea of how to handle yourself after a car accident. You know to call the police, make sure that you get the other party’s contact and insurance information and seek prompt medical attention for your injuries.
But do you know how to deal with the other driver’s insurance company? People only get into car accidents about once every 17.9 years, which means that they’re usually very unprepared to actually deal with the insurance company or its adjuster. Here are some tips that might help:
1. No law forces you to talk to the other party’s insurer
You need to report your accident to your insurance company, but what about the other party’s insurer? If they’re at fault for the accident, you naturally want their insurance company to step up and take responsibility for your losses.
However, speaking to their insurance company’s adjuster on your own is dangerous. No matter how personable they may be or how sincere they sound when they offer their sympathies for your situation, an insurance adjuster has a job to do – and that’s to save their employer as much money as possible.
You should generally expect the other party’s insurer to reach out to you fairly quickly. They may hope to get you to agree to a recorded statement so they can have you on record saying something like, “I feel better than I did,” or “I’m okay,” which can then be twisted into “evidence” that your injuries weren’t serious as a way to devalue your claim.
2. No insurance company offers your money out of altruism
If the insurance company makes a quick settlement offer, you can rest assured of one thing: Your claim is probably worth a lot more.
Again, insurance companies are in the business of making money, not settling claims. They aren’t interested in their responsibilities or your actual pain. They don’t particularly care if you have injuries that haven’t healed, or what long-term complications you may have. They’re solely concerned with getting you to sign a release form that absolves them from all further financial obligations over the accident.
If you’ve been injured in a crash due to another driver’s mistakes, legal guidance can make it much easier to get fair compensation for your losses.