When you are involved in a car accident, there is much you need to consider and much you need to know and do. Things move quickly after an accident. Quite often you will need to make decisions without delay. Unfortunately, however, in the immediate aftermath of any accident, you are shaken and upset. You may even be injured. There could hardly be a time less conducive to clear thinking and careful decision-making. Which is why we always recommend that the first thing you do after an accident is to seek out and hire experienced car accident counsel.
Car Accidents and Insurance Companies.
One of the most important things you need to understand if you are involved in any kind of car accident is what the role of the insurance company is. Whether it is your insurance company or that of the “at-fault” other driver you are dealing with, you need to understand how insurance companies work and what you should and should not do when dealing with an insurance adjuster or insurance company.
First, you must understand that insurance companies make their money by either not paying out at all on claims or paying as little as possible on any insurance claim. That means that despite how righteous your claim may be (let’s say that other than being on the road, you were not at fault for the accident), the insurance company is going to look for a way not to pay it. If they cannot find a reason not to pay, then they are going to do their utmost to pay as little as possible on your claim.
When you do not understand the role of the insurance company, you may make the mistake of thinking the insurance adjuster is looking out for you. Or that the settlement offer the insurance company makes is the fullest amount of compensation recoverable in your situation. You may not understand that an adjuster, no matter how friendly he or she may seem, is not looking out for your best interests – he (or she) is trying to save the insurance company money.
It is due to a lack of understanding of the insurance company’s role that many people make the mistake of agreeing to give a recorded statement, or to accept the offer an insurance company makes.
Are we saying that you should never cooperate with an insurance company, either your own or the other guy’s? No. Absolutely not. While you do not have to cooperate with the other driver’s insurance company, you may have a legal duty to cooperate with your own insurance company. No, what we are saying is,
Think Carefully and Proceed With Caution.
How much you should cooperate with an insurance company depends in large part on the claims you are making. If, for example, you are making only property damage claims (i.e., all you want is to have your car repair bills paid) you may be able to handle the situation on your own.
If, however, you are making personal injury claims, you really should hire car accident counsel to represent you. It is best not to sign any authorizations requested by the adjuster until after you talk with your attorney. Also, you should also not agree to make a formal “video” or audio recording about the accident unless you have consulted with counsel first. If not, you could very well be signing away rights without knowing it or making statements in response to “loaded” questions that will hurt your claim.
Instead, let your counsel guide you and handle all necessary communications and negotiations with the insurance company.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumming, Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in a number of counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.