When you’ve been in a car accident — and especially if you or a loved one has been injured — one of the last things you want to do is spend hours on the phone talking with car insurance companies to try to make sure you’re compensated fairly. That’s where a Dunwoody car accident attorney can help.
Remember These Tips to Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
The insurance claims process can be incredibly frustrating, but there are certain things you can do to make the experience less stressful and help increase your chances of receiving the best possible compensation.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the insurance claims process in Georgia and share some practical tips for navigating it more effectively.
From hiring a car accident attorney to talking to insurance adjusters to keeping your records organized, this article is full of vital information.
Initial Contact with Insurance Companies
Once a car accident has occurred, it’s important to notify your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company as soon as possible.
You can typically do this by calling the number listed on your insurance card or by submitting a form online.
It can be tempting to put this task off, but the sooner you can file, the better. If you wait too long, car insurance companies will sometimes use that as a reason to deny your claim.
When submitting your claim, keep in mind that you should not report everything you know about the accident. Insurance companies are looking for any reason to deny or reduce your compensation, so don’t give them more ammunition than you need to.
Never speculate about what might have happened, and instead stick to reporting basic, verifiable facts.
Don’t admit fault, even if you believe the accident was your responsibility. And if you don’t know how to answer a question, use the magic words, “I’d like to consult with my lawyer, first.”
Should You Give a Recorded Statement?
During the initial filing process, the insurance companies might ask you to provide a recorded statement, where they ask you questions about who you are and what happened during the accident.
Keep in mind, there is no law in Georgia requiring you to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company.
In some cases, you may need to give the statement to your own insurance company, but a lawyer can help you determine if this is necessary.
If an insurance company asks you for a recorded statement, don’t be afraid to push back.
Tell them you don’t want to give a statement without your car accident attorney present, or that you’d like to consult your lawyer before proceeding any further.
Claims Investigation Process
Once you’ve filed a claim, the insurance company will often ask you to provide further documentation. This could include:
- Medical bills
- Medical records
- Photos of the damages to your car
- Photos of your injuries
- The accident police report
- Your notes from the scene of the accident
Make sure all information you submit is accurate and remember to only provide information the company explicitly asks for.
Once you’ve filled out all the necessary forms and records, most insurance companies will then bring in an insurance adjuster to assess your reports and determine how much the company owes you in damages.
These insurance adjusters do not have your best interests at heart. They’re looking for reasons to reduce the amount of money owed to you, so make sure to approach all interactions with caution. During this stage of the process, it’s extremely helpful to have a lawyer on your side who can help you prepare for interviews with the adjusters, know what questions to answer, and even negotiate with the company on your behalf.
Determining Damages and Compensation
Depending on the circumstances around your accident, you may qualify for damages beyond just the cost of getting your car fixed. In the state of Georgia, car accident victims can receive compensation for:
- All past and future medical bills relating to the accident
- Lost wages due to injury or lack of transportation
- Pain and suffering
- Vehicle rental while your car is damaged
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Some of these numbers can be difficult to quantify, so it’s hard to know how much money you should accept from the insurance company. This is another place where a Dunwoody car accident attorney can help you; they can examine the details of your claim and the offer you’ve been given and determine if you should accept, negotiate for more money, or even pursue legal action if needed.
You should never accept an insurance company’s first offer without first consulting your lawyer. A Dunwoody accident attorney can help you determine if the amount they’re offering you is fair or if you should ask for more.
Even if you haven’t been working with an attorney from the beginning of your case, it’s not too late to bring someone in!
Dealing with Delay Tactics or Denial of Claims
Insurance companies are businesses looking to make a profit, so naturally they’ll look for reasons to pay you the smallest possible amount, or to deny your claim completely.
Maybe they decide you were partially or completely at fault for the accident. Or maybe you didn’t receive a medical evaluation, so you can’t prove you have a diagnosed injury. Sometimes, even small things like failing to notify the company quickly enough after the accident can lead to a claim denial.
Without a law degree and years of experience, it can be hard to know the difference between a frustrating but legal outcome and unethical or illegal behavior. An attorney can help you determine if the insurance company is acting unethically, and if so, they’ll know the next steps to take to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Legal Options for Challenging Unfair Claims Denials
If at all possible, your car accident attorney is going to try to get you the compensation you deserve without taking legal action. But sometimes, insurance companies can’t be reasoned with, and you’ll need to fight for your compensation in court.
When this happens, the major insurance companies are already at an advantage, because they deal with car accidents every day. This is why it’s so important to work with a lawyer who’s just as experienced with car accidents and personal injury.
Find a Georgia Accident Attorney Who’s on Your Side
From start to finish, the process of filing and negotiating an insurance claim is incredibly complex. But you don’t have to navigate it alone! By hiring a car accident attorney, you gain an advocate and a supporter who can help make sure all the details are taken care of.
Car accidents are a traumatic experience. And whether you’ve been injured or you’re dealing with the emotional aftermath of the incident, you deserve to spend time focusing on getting better, not on wading through red tape.
When you work with Nick Martin, you can trust that all the details are being taken care of, and that you have someone in your corner working to help you get what you deserve. Whether the accident just happened or you’re in the middle of the claims process, today’s a great day to reach out and find out how Nick can help. Give him a call at (770) 450-6155, or fill out this form to receive a free consultation.
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