If you have suffered injury in a car crash, you probably want to get paid as quickly as you can for the amount you deserve. Medical bills, lost wages, damages to your car, etc. can quickly become overwhelming. But you may be unsure about how to effectively deal with insurance companies.
If you want to want to get paid after a car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help to fight for your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff today to find out how we can help you.
What to Know About Dealing With Insurance Companies
You should remember two things about insurance companies as you try settling your claim:
- The insurance company does not want to pay you. They may tell you and your insurance company that you are fully or partially at-fault so you are entitled to no payment or less than you have claimed. They could also argue that you have not provided sufficient documentation supporting your claim. The insurance company may even tell you to sue them for what you think you deserve. However, insurance companies know it’s less costly to pay you for your loss than to pay lawyers. Thus, there is an incentive for them to settle.
- Insurance companies will require a lot of information from you. Be prepared at the scene of the accident to both gather and provide information and documents. The more you provide, the better your chances at successfully settling your claim fairly for all you deserve.
What Information Should I Gather?
As you file your claim, make sure you have gathered three types of information at the scene of the accident:
- Names and Contact Information. Gather the name and contact information for the other driver and their insurance company, any witnesses, and the police officers that arrive at the scene;
- Police Report. You should call law enforcement so that they can make a report, which you should gather once it is completed; and
- Pictures. Take photos with your phone of the locations of the cars, any damage on each vehicle, and license plates for your and the other driver’s cars.
What Should I Expect to Get Paid?
The amount of damages you can request the other driver’s insurance company pay you through your claim depends on two things:
- What you have spent in the past; and
- What you will continue to spend in the future because of the accident.
If you or your passengers are not injured, you can make a claim for property damage. Your claim will ask for payment of damages to your car and personal property (for example, computers, bicycles, car seats) in or on the car at the time of the accident, along with out-of-pocket costs you incurred because of the accident (for example, costs of car rental or taxi/Uber/Lyft trips while your car is being repaired).
If you or your passengers are injured in the crash, you could claim these same damages. You could also receive compensation for:
- medical costs,
- lost wages, and
- mental and physical pain and suffering due to the accident.
Your claim could also ask for payment of future medical treatment for more severe injuries with symptoms that may not show up immediately after the accident.
Do I Need to Hire an Attorney?
Whatever the nature and amount of your claim, the other driver’s insurance company will make a settlement offer to you. You can either accept or negotiate this offer. Hiring an attorney who is experienced in negotiating claims with insurance companies is highly recommended. This is especially true if you have injuries and need compensation for treatment of your injuries. If you go it alone, you might enter into a settlement with an insurance company that does not fully compensate you for your losses.
To Learn More About How to Get Paid After a Car Accident
Dealing with insurance companies and getting paid after a car accident can be a frustrating, lengthy ordeal. The Law Offices of Loren Scott Etengoff can help you settle your claim. Contact us today.