Many people injured in an auto accident tend to contact the other driver's insurance carrier right away to file a claim. While this may seem like the right thing to do, you should actually avoid any contact with the insurance company until after you have contacted an auto accident attorney. This is true even if you aren't fully sure you will need an attorney to settle your claim. Keep reading to learn more about why it is so important to contact an auto accident attorney first.
Avoid Making Statements That Could Be Used Against You
Insurance agents are trained to make you feel as though they are on your side and genuinely want to help you get this resolved quickly so that you can move on with your life. It is important to remember that these agents work for the insurance company, not for you. It is their job to protect the best interest of their employer, not you. The reason they want to settle so quickly has nothing to do with avoiding inconvenience on your part and everything to do with paying as little as possible to settle your claim.
When you make a statement to the insurance company after being involved in an accident you could potentially provide them with information that they can then use to try and limit their legal liability. For instance, admitting to going even a single mile over the speed limit can result in a percentage of the fault being placed on you. By contacting an auto insurance attorney before having any contact with the insurance company you can avoid making these types of statements since all communication will go directly through your attorney.
Avoid Leaving Money On The Table
You may be able to collect compensation from more than one source when settling your claim. For example, while you may only be able to collect a certain amount from the other driver's insurance company due to policy limits, you may also be eligible to receive compensation through your own insurance carrier if you have underinsured motorist coverage. The problem is, if you agree to accept a settlement from the one insurance company in the amount of the policy limits, you may actually be giving away your legal right to also collect from your own insurance company as well.
Contacting an auto accident attorney right after an accident can help them examine all possible sources of compensation and to review the terms of each insurance policy. With this information in hand, you will be far better equipped to negotiate a settlement that does not leave any money on the table.