Insurance is one of those necessary headaches. We need it to help keep us protected from financial burdens caused by unexpected situations. We pay our car insurance each month, believing that our insurance company is on our side and that they will help if we find ourselves in a car accident. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
If your insurance company or another person’s insurance is giving you a hard time over a claim, you’ve got to be frustrated. Most of us are not equipped to go into battle against an insurance company and that is when we need more help.
Insurance companies don’t want to lose money or make major payouts from car accidents and will not give you the benefit of the doubt. This is what you want to know about the insurance process and what you should do.
Of course, after you have experienced a car accident, you need to file a claim with the insurance company to get the ball rolling. Luckily, filing the claim is typically the easiest part of the process. It is intended to be easy for anyone to do, though there are always natural complications or bits of the process that are confusing.
The first thing you should do is call your car insurance agent after you have been in an accident. Your agent will handle most of the headache for you, guiding you through the claims process. Insurance companies have insurance adjusters who will then look at the report and open an investigation. They will look through the causes of the accident and determine who is at fault.
They will not always rule on your side and you might even disagree about the report. Your insurance company might also disagree with the result and dispute it. At this point, both you and the other driver’s insurance companies will need to negotiate and work out who really is at fault and deserves a payment.
Because insurance companies are not working to help give you money, this is when you will want a lawyer to advocate for you. A lawyer can be your voice in the negotiation, helping to make sure that you are being treated fairly. Insurance companies say that they are acting in good faith, but it is better to be safe on this than find out that your insurance company is paying out thousands of dollars to another driver.
There are situations where the insurance companies simply can’t come to any sort of agreement. They then have to move to arbitration and look for guidance there. There is something called an arbitration panel that will look at all of the information and evidence that has been collected by both insurance companies and make a final, impartial decision. But, if the panel makes this decision, it can’t be undone once it has been made. This is kind of extreme and really the last result in more complicated insurance claims.
What we talked about above is almost wishful thinking. It sounds very smooth, transitioning from one stage of the process to another. And, it assumes that the insurance companies are acting in good faith, but they might not be. Sadly, even though you pay your insurance company to protect you, they still like to make money instead of paying money. When you have an especially greedy company, you might see that the idea of good faith, or honesty, isn’t happening.
Assuming that your insurance company has your best interest in mind could put you on a path of losing out on a deserved payout. That is why you should always contact a lawyer to help you work through the process. Your lawyer will be able to argue on your behalf. For insurance claims that have lower-end payouts, the insurance companies might assume that you wouldn’t get a lawyer to help you because of the added cost. But, with a bigger payout, the added cost is worth it.
When you get an experienced lawyer who works with car accidents, you will find that he/she can argue any claims that are made without evidence by the insurance company. The company might try to downplay the severity of the injury or your part in the accident. Mostly, insurance companies hope that you will just take whatever they offer you and walk away without another glance.
It is rare that an insurance company will pay exactly what you are owed because they don’t often work in good faith. This is why calling a lawyer for a consultation to review your case might save you money in the long run. For example, let’s pretend that you’re in a car accident that was caused by someone else. Your car is damaged, but repairable, and you get about $10,000 worth of injuries. As you recover, you might lose out on $5,000 in wages. The insurance company might offer you the $10,000 for the injuries, ignoring the lost wages. They are betting that you will just take the money that they are giving you and walk away, not putting up an argument. They would certainly not expect you to hire a lawyer about it. This is exactly why you should. You deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering as well as your lost wages. You deserve to get paid for what you have lost as a result of someone else’s behavior. The insurance company wants you to take as little as possible and be satisfied. You deserve to be treated better than that.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the process. So many people experience car accidents every year, and there is a system in place. Insurance companies make plenty of money, and your premium is there to make sure that you get what you deserve if an accident happens.
Don’t worry. You can always get help from a lawyer and make sure your claim is being processed to your advantage instead of against it.
a year ago