The Michigan State Police reports that in 2017, the state had 314,921 car accidents. 57,263 of these accidents caused injuries while 937 ended with a fatality. It’s a good thing that Michigan law requires its citizens to own an automobile insurance policy. But owning an insurance policy does not exempt you from experiencing an accident. Being involved in an accident can be one of the worst things that can happen in your life. What makes such an unfortunate event even more difficult is dealing with the insurance company fighting you every step of the way.
To help you out, here are 5 things that you need to consider when dealing with an insurance company after an accident:
Reject the first settlement offer.
It’s understandable why someone who was involved in an accident would like to settle immediately. There are hospital bills to pay and a car that needs to be repaired. But, insurance companies usually offer the lowest settlement at the first encounter. They take advantage of the vulnerability of an accident victim. The quicker you settle, the lesser the amount of money they need to pay out for repairs, medical bills, and lost wages. Don’t accept this offer and never give a statement to the insurance company before reading this!
Insurance companies employ delaying tactics when you don’t settle at the onset.
If you were successful in rejecting the insurance company’s initial offer, they might start ignoring you. Don’t get disheartened. In some states, you have until two years to settle. In Michigan, the timeline is on a case-to-case basis and will be dependent on several factors affecting your accident.
Some of the delaying tactics employed by insurance companies include: losing your paperwork and ignoring your calls. In the rare occasion that they will take your call, they will most likely transfer you to a different agent. Keep in mind that the longer the insurance company holds your payment, the more time they have to earn money on their investments.
Dealing with insurance companies who disregard you all the time can get tiresome. You may even consider giving up at some point. This is what the insurance company wants you to do. Don’t wait until you’ve reached your tipping point, hire a car accident lawyer to handle communications with your insurance company.
Remember that insurance adjusters are negotiators.
The primary job of an insurance adjuster is to protect the interests of the insurance company. With this in mind, it’s important to understand that the insurance adjuster will try everything to lessen the amount of money that will be paid out to any claim. They are trained to do this. Often, they will deny the claim and disregard the full value of the case.
When it comes to negotiating with an insurance adjuster, it’s best to employ the skills of a personal injury attorney. S/He will make sure you get the payout you deserve.
Insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind.
As mentioned above, insurance adjusters are on the side of the insurance company’s interests. In fact, they are not obligated to treat you fairly nor promptly. It becomes even harder if the other driver is at fault and is trying to file a claim against his/her insurance company. No matter how cooperative the driver can be, the insurance company may still delay or even deny his/her claim. This is also one of the reasons why the initial offer is such a low amount. Meager settlement amount means more profit for the insurance company.
Never sign anything you don’t understand.
Involve a Michigan personal injury lawyer as soon as you have the opportunity. Review your policy together to make sure that everything is in order. They will guide you through the fine print, so it’s best to go through any paperwork with them.
Your lawyer can also take you through the forms that you need to fill out, so you don’t make mistakes. Any mistake can be used against you by your insurance company. They may delay your claim or in some extreme cases, deny your claim altogether. Getting in touch with a personal injury lawyer might be the smartest thing you can do after an accident.
In Need of a Personal Injury Lawyer to Deal with Your Insurance Company?
Dealing with your insurance company is a complicated process. This can make your accident feel worse than it already is. In situations like this, it’s best to get in touch with a reliable personal injury lawyer who will put your best interest in mind. The Clark Law Office should be your choice after an accident. We will fight with you to make sure that you get the compensation you truly deserve. If you want to discuss further, call us today at 347-6900. We provide free consultations and case evaluations. No fees unless you win!