If you’ve been in an auto accident, your natural response is probably to call your insurance company. After all, you pay premiums to help cover any losses you sustain in an accident and your insurer is there to protect you, right?
Maybe. It’s not at all unusual for policyholders to find themselves fighting with insurance companies to get damages covered. This is especially true if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist. In those situations, you’ll need to apply to your own insurance company to help pay for damages – and the insurers don’t always want to pay up.
You Are at a Disadvantage from the Start
The biggest thing to keep in mind when dealing with an insurance company is that they are a business and businesses like to keep their profits. While that business may offer protections to help you, they don’t always provide those protections if it might affect their bottom line.
Insurance companies will often do everything they can to avoid having to pay a claim, even if the claim is made by one of their own policyholders. They have entire staffs of claims managers and attorneys on hand to investigate every claim and possibly find reasons not to pay it. No individual has those same resources available to argue their side of the case, which puts policyholders at a distinct disadvantage. An attorney can help to even the playing field for the victim of an accident.
Be Careful When Speaking With an Insurance Company
If you’ve been in an accident, your insurer or the other party’s insurer may try to get a statement from you. Know that you may or may not have an obligation to provide this statement. In fact, if you are working with an attorney, they will likely advise you not to provide a statement until knowing what you’re up against. While an attorney cannot tell you what to say, they can help prepare you. It is too easy for insurers to frame questions in a way that the answers can be used against you and negatively impact your claims case.
Don’t Take Action Without Legal Representation
An attorney can help you determine whether or not it is worthwhile to speak to your insurance company to try to get a claim paid. Attorneys who are experienced with auto accident claims know many of the most common tricks and arguments used by insurers and can use that knowledge to help secure a settlement. They understand the issues involved in such situations and can ascertain what a fair settlement offer is and what isn’t. Try to get an attorney involved early on, so he or she has as much time to collect and review evidence and interview witnesses as the insurance company.
Ventura, Ribeiro & Smith has been helping accident victims throughout the state of Connecticut for more than 55 years. With its main office locations in Danbury and Bridgeport, Connecticut, Ventura, Ribeiro & Smith focuses on personal injury claims, motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents and workers’ compensation, mass torts and complex pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.