This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.
Being in a car accident can be one of the most traumatic experiences in a person’s life. Whether or not you are seriously injured, you should seek advice from some key professionals before you enter into any kind of settlement agreement with an insurance company. Going through the legal process after a car accident can be stressful without some help.
The Insurance Company Does Not Represent Your Best Interests
Many people who have been involved in a car accident for the first time are often impressed with the speed of the insurance company. Do not make this mistake of believing they know what is best for you. The insurance company wants to process your claim as quickly as possible to avoid you having ample time to retain counsel. Also, the quicker the insurance company settles your claim, the less time you have to complete a medical exam.
Remember that in many cases the extent of the injuries caused by a car accident may not even be apparent until a few weeks have passed. Be sure that you allow yourself sufficient time to be examined by your general practitioner.
This is another trick that the insurance company will try to get away with. Whenever your automobile has been involved in a wreck, there will be diminished value to the property. You will have to address this issue prior to agreeing to a settlement. If you fail to bring it up, the insurance company will not address diminished value with you until you have already settled the claim. After the fact, you might get a letter stating a Supreme Court case that they claim lets them off the hook.
Negligence of the Other Driver
Make sure you are talking to the police officers and other emergency responders at the scene of the accident to find out if the other driver is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and other distractions. Was there something in the road that caused the accident, or was the other driver distracted by a cell phone or another passenger? Also be sure you follow up and obtain a copy of the police report. Many jurisdictions have these reports available online within just a few days for a nominal fee.
Depending on the extent of the injuries, and whether or not your children were involved in the car accident, you may benefit from counseling. You will know in a few days how severe the emotional toll of the accident is on your life. Many people have trouble sleeping and experience severe anxiety after a car accident. There is no shame in seeking professional help so you can adjust back to your normal daily life.
Please consider these tips before you enter into a settlement agreement with an insurance company.
Informational Credit to The Law Office of Lawrence A. Puritz.