Dealing With The Insurance Company After a Car Accident
Attorney John Williams explains everything you need to know
Being involved in a car accident can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when you’re trying to deal with the insurance company and insurance adjusters. A lot of people have no idea what their rights are or how to even talk to an insurance company when trying to handle their own insurance claim.
Unfortunately, some insurance companies prey on this. They’ll make you a lowball settlement offer to get rid of you as quickly and cheaply as possible, even if they know the money is nothing but a quick payment disguised as a fair offer. They may question the extent of your injuries, or, worse yet, argue the accident was your fault and deny your claim altogether.
At The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC, we don’t think you should have to pay out of pocket for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Attorney John S. Williams is a passionate car accident lawyer who has experience dealing with car insurance companies and managing insurance claims for his clients. If you need help getting the compensation you’re entitled to, call our law firm in New Orleans right away. John can handle every aspect of your claim and fight for what’s right, what’s fair, and what’s just.
How do you deal with car insurance adjusters?
Before you talk to an insurance adjuster, it’s helpful to understand what role they will play in your insurance claim. Generally speaking, an insurance adjuster will be responsible for investigating your accident, determining liability (who is at fault), calculating your accident-related expenses, negotiating a settlement and finalizing your payment (if any) from the insurance company. Of course, they work for the insurance company, not you, and their goal is to protect the company’s bottom line – which means paying you as little as possible.
Once you begin the claims process by notifying the at-fault driver’s insurance company about your accident, you will typically be contacted by the insurance adjuster who has been assigned to handle your claim. Whether the adjuster is a staff member or was hired as an independent adjuster by the insurance company, use caution when communicating with them about your accident.
Some insurance adjusters will try to get you to immediately give them a recorded statement and sign a medical release form to give them access to your medical records. You are not legally required to do either of those things and have the right to consult with an attorney before you make any statements or sign any forms. Again, the adjuster isn’t on your side. Their job is to look out for the insurance company’s interests. The benefit of hiring a lawyer for car insurance claims is that you have someone who knows the system on your side, advocating for your interests.
What do I say to the insurance company about my car accident?
While you certainly want to be polite and courteous, in most cases it’s best not to say too much to the insurance company or the adjuster handling your claim.
If you’ve been injured, you can tell the insurance adjuster that you are going to continue getting medical treatment and that you will keep them informed about your progress. Politely but firmly let them know that you do not want to negotiate a settlement or request compensation until you’ve been medically released from treatment by your doctor or fully recovered from your injury.
You should request a letter from the insurance adjuster that confirms you filed a claim and then obtain your claim number. Soon after, you may receive a letter from the insurance company that states they are not accepting liability for your accident or damages but are in discussion with you about your claim.
Whether you receive paperless documents via email or hard-copy letters from the insurance company, keep them all in a file together for your records. You can also keep any doctor bills, invoices, paperwork that indicates your lost wages, and any other documents that show your accident-related expenses in the file as well.
Above all, remember that you don’t have to go through this alone. The Louisiana car insurance system is complex and the insurance adjusters deal with it every day. On your own, you’re always going to be at a disadvantage. With an attorney working for you, you will have a level playing field.
Let a New Orleans accident lawyer be your voice
No matter what part of the claims process you are in, you should let an experienced car accident lawyer review the details of your case during a free consultation. An attorney can accurately calculate the true cost of your accident related expenses – everything from your medical expenses and lost wages to pain and suffering – and then negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement that meets your needs and keeps your best interests at heart.
Attorney John Williams is known for being an aggressive advocate for the injured and someone who always puts his clients’ needs first. John treats clients like family and will fight for you throughout the whole process, even if that means taking your case to court and filing a personal injury lawsuit. He has the knowledge and experience to get a positive outcome in your case and will leave no stone unturned to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
The Law Offices of John S. Williams serves clients in New Orleans and offers legal representation on a contingency fee basis. That means you pay nothing unless we win your case. Contact us today to find out more.