If you've been involved in an accident, such as a slip-and-fall or car crash, you're probably wondering what to do next. Insurance companies have a particular way of doing things, but allowing them to take control of the situation may not work in your favor. Here's some helpful information about why insurance companies want to settle instead of going to court, your options when you've been involved in an accident, and what you should and shouldn't do when dealing with insurance companies.
After you've been involved in an accident, there are a few things you should do:
- Get medical attention immediately, even if you don't think you're injured. Injuries from accidents often don't reveal themselves until days or weeks later.
- Gather evidence from the scene of the accident if you're able to do so safely. This includes taking pictures of any injuries as well as photos of any damage to vehicles or property. The evidence will be helpful in court later.
- Get contact information from witnesses who saw what happened; their testimony could be crucial if you decide to take your case to court.
- Keep meticulous records of all your expenses related to the accident; this includes medical bills, prescriptions, property damage repairs, lost wages from missed work, etc.
- Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible; they will be able to advise you on how to proceed and help ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your case.
What You Should Not Do After an Accident
There are also a few things you shouldn't do after an accident, for example:
- Don't sign anything without consulting with a lawyer first. Insurance companies will often try to get accident victims to sign away their rights by offering quick settlements that are much lower than what the victim is owed.
- Don't give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster without first consulting with a lawyer. Remember, anything you say could be used against you later on down the line.
- Don't post anything about your accident on social media. Anything you post could potentially be used against you by the insurance company.
Why Insurance Companies Want You to Settle Outside of Court
There are a few reasons why insurance companies would rather settle a case outside of court. For one, it costs less money. Insurance companies have billions of dollars, but they don't want to waste money on unnecessarily long and expensive court cases.
Another reason is that insurance companies know that juries are unpredictable. Even if the facts of the case are clear, there's no guarantee that a jury will rule in the insurance company's favor. Lastly, insurance companies don't want the bad publicity of losing a court case.
Your Legal Options When You’ve Been Involved in an Accident
You have a few options if you've been involved in an accident. You can negotiate with the insurance company on your own, hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf or take the insurance company to court. Negotiating on your own is usually not recommended because insurance companies have experienced adjusters who know how to lowball victims.
Hiring a lawyer is usually a better option because lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies and will fight for the best possible settlement for their clients. Taking the insurance company to court should be your last resort because it's costly and time-consuming.
Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be confusing and frustrating. It's essential to know your rights and options before proceeding to ensure you get the best possible outcome for your case.
At The Shellist Law Firm, PLLC, we are prepared to help you get the results you deserve. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have the knowledge and experience to go up against even the biggest insurance companies, and they won't stop until you get what you deserve. Give us a call and let us know how we can help you. (713) 999-6855