No one hopes or anticipates to be in an accident, but these things can happen.
So what do you do if you are involved in an accident? Obviously, the first thing to do is to take care of yourself if the accident was a serious one. The next thing to do is to set a legal process into motion especially when it comes to dealing with your insurance company. This aspect is very important because you don’t want to make hasty decisions that will cause you to lose money in the long run.
In this article, we will discuss the basic things you need to know when you are in an accident, and what do to afterward.
WHAT TO DO AT THE CAR ACCIDENT SCENE?
If you are not seriously wounded, and you can still move around a bit, you can do the following to ensure that you save lives and also have a solid case to present to your insurance company.
– Check if anyone involved in the accident requires urgent medical attention
– If no one is injured, you can check the extent of the damage on your vehicle
– Call the police so that you can have a legal accident report
– Collect all necessary facts about the accident including important details about the other driver, vehicle identification number, address, phone number, and car plate number.
WHEN DO YOU CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY?
If you have a solid case, and you have proof to show that you weren’t at fault for the accident and that you have endured a lot of pain, you need to contact your car accident attorney first. If you don’t have one, there are car accident lawyer NY that you can always choose from. Your attorney’s recommendations will determine how you present your case to your insurance company.
In a situation such as this, there is a huge chance that your insurance company will contact you first to make a settlement offer. This allows them to reason with you before a lawyer comes into the picture. By doing this, they can avoid paying you as much as you are worth (that is if you accept their terms of course).
So to avoid being shortchanged by your insurance company, you need to contact a competent car accident attorney first. Doing this will put you in the right place to get the correct compensation from your insurance company.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY MAKES A LOW BALL SETTLEMENT OFFER FIRST?
Sometimes it is easy to assume that your insurance company has your best interest at heart. However, this is not always the case because they also have their own interests to cater for. Often times, the initial settlement the company will offer you be a low ball offer. They will also assign an adjuster to stand against you in the case. The adjuster knows that the initial settlement offer does not always cover what the accident damages and injuries cost.
So they’ll hope that you consider the pain you are going through and agree to play along. This why contacting a car accident attorney is the best thing to do after an accident. He/she will help you weigh your options and advise you on what to do. Most times your lawyer will advise that you turn down the initial settlement offer made by your insurance company.
You can turn down the offer by writing to the company, stating your reasons for turning down the offer, what your new demands are, and the evidence to back your new demands up.
HOW TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH YOUR CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENT SHOULD COST
Now that you have turned down the initial settlement offer, you need to have a very good idea of how much your car accident settlement should cost. There are two ways to do this:
– Get proof of liability – The police report should provide you with all the information you need to prove the negligence of the other driver and how much you actually lost and suffered.
– Proof of damages and pain suffered- Medical bills, proof of disability if any, lost wages, injuries, etc.
Once you have all of these, you can present them to your lawyer to help you determine how much you can ask for. According to the rules, your attorney will ask for three to four times the cost of the damages and your medical bills. Note that your case will determine what your lawyer can ask for.
Your insurance company’s adjuster will thoroughly scrutinize the evidence you tender. If they check out, you then be put through the company’s payment/settlement procedure.