If you’ve been in an accident, you’re probably going to have to deal with the insurance company. Even if the other driver was clearly negligent, the insurance company will try to get off with as small a settlement as you will accept. We hope this article gives you some useful guidance as you go through this difficult time.
Before you talk to the insurer, go over your policy and make sure you understand what you’re entitled to. Give the insurer the facts of your case. Don’t tell them any more than they need to know. It’s a good idea to talk to an experienced attorney who can tell you exactly what you should say (and not say) in your own case.
The point is that when you speak with the insurer, you should have a case ready. You should know what you’re going to say, and you should know how to present it as strongly as possible.
An attorney has experience dealing with insurance company representatives. He or she will know the process, the insurance company’s tactics, the way to deal with the claims adjusters, and will understand the finer details of your insurance agreement.
If you’re one hundred percent confident that you can get the best possible offer out of the insurance company, you may not need an attorney. But if there’s even the slightest doubt in your mind, it can be a tremendous benefit to have an attorney on your side.
You don’t have to accept your first offer. Even if the insurance company sends you a check, you don’t have to cash it. If the insurance company is trying to quickly settle your claim, they will offer you less than you’re entitled to, and they may try to pressure you to take that offer. Just remember: you are not bound to accept what the insurance company offers. Give them the important facts, and you’ll incentivize them to make a more reasonable offer.
The short answer is: no, not if you don’t want to.
The long answer is: you want to. If you don’t talk to a representative, you won’t get the kind of settlement you’re entitled to. Let’s face it: dealing with the insurance company is not a fun process. But if you handle the process well and meet the insurance company on their own terms, you can get the settlement you’re entitled to. The insurance company will do all it can to seem intimidating. If you’re too cowed to deal with them, they’ve already won.
The insurance company is interested in maximizing their profit. This can be a hassle when you have to deal with it, but it may help to remember that there wouldn’t be any insurance company in the first place if they couldn’t make a profit in the process.
The insurance company will try to give you the smallest settlement you’ll accept. If they think they can get away with paying you less than your case is worth, you can bet they’ll do it.
If you want a better offer, you can consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. This will either force the insurance company to pay your claim or encourage them to make a more reasonable settlement. If you are considering legal action, you should find an experienced attorney who can help you with the process.
You may feel hesitant to file a lawsuit. If that’s the case, remember that this may be the only way for you to get the settlement you deserve.
We at Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC have been serving the people of Louisiana from our Alexandria office since 1989. We handle a variety of cases and look forward to addressing your legal needs. For almost three decades, the seasoned personal injury lawyers of our firm have been defending and filing claims for individuals hurt in accidents, and we have the knowledge, experience and resources to help you. If you have questions or would like to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us at 318.487.9537.