Getting into a car accident can be traumatic. The process of getting compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage can leave you shaken, as well. Fortunately, there are steps you can take in the aftermath of an accident that can greatly enhance the chances of you getting a good settlement from an insurance company. Following these tips will also make the process of dealing with insurance companies after an accident less stressful.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, do not hesitate in contacting a Wisconsin car accident lawyer at Studinski Law, LLC. Call (715) 343-2850 today for a free case consultation.
You should call the police any time you get into an accident, even if it’s just a fender bender. Insurance claims usually stall when there are disputed facts. The police report of the wreck is one of the most important pieces of evidence for your claim, and it presents a reliable account of what happened. So make sure that you get a copy of the report, and familiarize yourself with its contents.
The photos you take can be important evidence in demonstrating your need for compensation. Accident scene photos show the extent of the damage to your car and your injuries. Photos can also document your injuries, and if/how they evolved over time. If you can show that it took an extended period of time for your wounds to heal, you could get more compensation. Photos can often show the extent of an injury in a more effective way than descriptions and medical records alone.
You can also use accident scene photos to establish fault and to refute claims made against you. You should photograph the other cars involved in the accident, and any other property that may have been damaged. The position of the vehicles after the collision, the condition of the road, the weather, and the time of day could yield clues as to how the accident occurred, so it is helpful to document as much of the scene as possible.
Insurance companies are businesses, and as such they have to keep an eye on their bottom line. This means that their goal is to give you the smallest settlement possible. This is especially true when you deal with another driver’s insurance company. A lawyer can effectively push back against the insurance company’s attempts at reducing your payout. That is why it is important to hire a skilled personal injury lawyer who has experience in dealing with insurance companies and their tactics.
Anything you say can be used against you. We all know this applies to criminal cases, but it may come as a surprise that the same holds true for insurance claims. An insurance company representative may call you and ask to record the conversation. Do not consent to this. Claims adjusters are trained to get you to say things that they can use to minimize your settlement. As a general rule, you should only talk to the insurance company about the facts of your case with a lawyer present.
If you have collision coverage and get into an accident, you have two options: you could file a first-party claim with your own insurance company, or file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
Whenever possible, you should file a first-party claim. Your own insurance company will pay for your repairs or replacement vehicle much faster than the insurance company of another driver would. Furthermore, you can expect your own insurance company to be more accommodating. You are their client, and they have an interest in meeting your needs.
An insurance company’s first settlement offer is probably not going to be their last. They may be willing to negotiate for a higher value. But an even more important reason not to settle early is to give you time to discover the extent of your injuries. You may feel recovered a week after the accident, only to find that months later, you’ve developed chronic neck or back pain requiring additional treatment.
The insurance claims process isn’t easy. In difficult situations, a lawyer can help you take the steps that will result in the optimal outcome for you and your family. At Studinski Law, LLC, we have a proven track record of helping auto accident victims get the compensation they need and deserve. If you or a loved one have been injured in a collision and need assistance in dealing with insurance companies after an accident, contact us today at (715) 343-2850 for your free consultation.