Even if it wasn’t your fault, dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be quite stressful. After a severe accident, you’re usually forced into dealing with your insurance company and the disputant’s insurance company in addition to recovering from your injuries. This blog post looks at four suggestions that can help you navigate the aftermath of a car accident.
1. Stick To The Facts When Speaking With The Insurance Companies
During a car accident claim, the insurance company’s primary objective is to find a resolution for as little money as possible. You need to be prepared for the insurance company to make any and every argument to hold you at fault. It’s important to limit the number of holes in your story when giving your report.
The best way to give a foolproof report is sticking to the facts. A lot of people don’t remember small details after an accident, and you usually end up forgetting them by the time the case is ready for trial. Including these small details that are ancillary to the main facts give insurance companies the opportunity to poke holes in your story.
2. Come Prepared To Prove Your Side Of The Events, Even If It Was Obvious
One of the best things you can do heading into a car accident claim is get familiar with your insurance policy. Your policy may include a clause that requires you to give a recorded statement to the insurance company about the events. Giving a recorded statement while you’re still shaken up from the accident paints you into a corner and may impede your ability to get a fair settlement.
Preparing ahead of time can help you give an accurate statement of the events. You should include as many photos, reports, expenses and other forms of evidence as you can when submitting your claim. Make sure you include all your related medical bills that resulted from the accident. The more official document you can provide, the easier it is to prove your side of the story.
3. Make Sure You Understand Your Policy Before Repairing Your Car
Before making any drastic repairs to your car, make sure you understand what your insurance policy is able to offer. Usually, your insurance company will recommend you repair your vehicle at one of their preferred shops. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you also have the option of having the insurance company conduct an estimate and give you the repair costs in cash. If your insurance policy allows for the cash option, you can take your car to any shop you want; you just have to pay the difference and your deductible.
One issue you may have to car accident claim on is using original equipment from the manufacturer (OEM) or after work parts (non-OEM). In most cases, non-OEM parts are fine for repairing damaged cars. However, if you own a high-end vehicle or a new car you can make the argument that your insurance should cover the cost of OEM parts.
4. Don’t Be Hasty In Negotiating Your Settlement
One of the most frequent errors people make is rushing the settlement process. If you’re entitled to damages, it’s worth your time to consult with a car accident lawyer so you can get a fair settlement. Negotiating on your own puts you at risk for making rookie mistakes or accepting offers too early.
One of the best benefits of working with a car accident lawyer is they create a buffer between you and the insurance company. If you negotiate on your own, you’ll usually be pressured into settling early. Working with a car accident lawyer shields you from this stress and helps you build a strong case for getting a large settlement.