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. It’s 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.
You are at a disadvantage from the start
The 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 what they can to avoid having to pay a claim, even if the claim is made by one of their policyholders. They have entire staffs of claims managers and attorneys on hand to investigate every claim and find reasons not to pay it. Individuals don’t have those same resources available to argue their side of the case, which puts policyholders at a disadvantage.
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 are under no obligation to provide this statement. If you are working with an attorney, they may advise you not to provide a statement. It is too easy for insurers to frame questions in a way that the answers can be used against you and that may negatively impact your claim.
Don’t act 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. Experienced accident attorneys know the most common tactics 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 they have as much time to collect and review evidence and interview witnesses as the insurance company.
Ventura Law has provided its clients with compassionate legal service and a strong voice in the legal process since 1957, with four offices in Connecticut and one in New York City. We are a full-service practice, serving clients who have been injured in cases ranging from motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents, premises liability and pharmaceutical/medical device claims in state and federal courts. To learn more about Ventura Law, please visit us online at http://www.venturalaw.com.