According to a study by National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), more than 1,400 car accidents occur within a day. With their ubiquity, you’d assume that people would have a deeper understanding of car accident claims by now. Unfortunately, it’s actually the opposite.
Most people only have a shallow understanding of the ins and outs of a car accident claim. As a result, they’re often dumbfounded when pursuing a claim, which often leads to bad decisions.
For example, rather than waiting until they have enough evidence, victims typically accept the first offer they receive from the defendant’s insurance company. It might be tempting, but it’s by no means an excellent deal. The worst part is that they’re not even aware of their blunder. If you don’t want to be one of these unsuspecting individuals, here are five things you need to know:
1. Legal Representation Is Valuable When Pursuing A Claim
People often make the mistake of relying on themselves rather than hiring an attorney in cases like this. After all, once you win the claim, 25% to 40% of the settlement money will be paid to your attorney as a contingency fee, and many people aren’t comfortable giving money away. However, while it’s true that lawyers aren’t necessary to resolve a car accident claim, the value they can bring to your case with their expertise can easily exceed the amount you’ll have to pay.
Below are a few benefits of getting a car accident attorney:
- Dealing with the pressure of the insurance companies
- Proving your innocence or other party’s liability
- Providing helpful knowledge to support the case
- Collecting and presenting evidence
- Evaluating the value of your claim
If you’re in Colorado, you may even be lucky to stumble upon a car accident attorney serving Denver with low contingency fees. Regardless, it’s best not to take the risk by resolving the case by yourself. Consider hiring an attorney to make the process go more smoothly. Besides, you’re bound to face numerous challenges along the way, especially when it comes to valuing your car accident claim.
2.Car Accident Claims May Vary In Settlement Amount
Usually, when evaluating the value of your car accident claim, you have to get the sum total of the cost from your car repairs and your medical bills. It may sound simple, but it’s not.
As far as property damage is concerned, you can quickly evaluate the cost by considering the market price. On the other hand, there’s no market price for injuries, so it’ll be a lot harder to evaluate. Moreover, the repercussions of injuries may differ from one person to another. For example, if an athlete sustains a limp, their livelihood will be in jeopardy, leading to a much higher settlement. But for a remote worker, a limp is as good as any other injury.
In short, there’s no way of knowing the value of your claim without first assessing your injuries. So, if the insurance company provided you with an offer right away, it’s most likely not the accurate value of your claim. Chances are, they’re only taking advantage of your shock.
3.Insurance Companies Often Take Advantage Of Your Shock
Insurance companies aren’t typically your friend. Sometimes, they’ll be taking advantage of your trauma from the accident and offer a seemingly great deal. For that reason, make sure you decline their offers if you still haven’t gathered enough evidence. Be that as it may, you should still refrain from making them your enemy. Make sure you cooperate with them when needed.
Otherwise, the claim may go to court, prolonging the settlement negotiation process. You must also remember that they’ll continue doing this until the very end to keep their expenses low.
4.Insurance Companies Will Keep Their Expenses Low
Even after you’ve won the claim, insurance companies might not stop taking advantage of you to keep their expenses low. One of the most common ways they do this is by recommending a body shop where you can repair your car. Since you already got the settlement money, you’d assume that doing this won’t have any demerits, but that’s where you’d have made your mistake.
Insurance companies are sometimes in collusion with repair shops. Here’s how it goes:
- The insurance company suggests a particular shop.
- You send your car to the shop for repairs.
- You pay them with what you think is the actual cost.
- The repair shop uses cheap replacement parts.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to all insurance companies. Still, it’s best if you don’t take your car to their recommendation. When you’re ready to repair your car, you can choose a shop you genuinely think provides good repair services.
5. Social Media Posts Can Turn Your Evidence Invalid
While it might be tempting to update your friends or followers about your current situation via social media platforms, it’s not advisable, especially if your car accident claim is still ongoing.
For one, posting on social media may indicate you’re in better shape than you make yourself out to be in court. Furthermore, insurance companies are likely to monitor your social media profiles to look for something they can use to turn your evidence invalid. Hence, it’s best if you refrain from using social media platforms, much less posting on your timeline.
Car accidents can be devastating financially, mentally, and physically. You’ll suffer from the trauma, injuries, and you’re often left with a lot of expenses. While it might not be possible to recover from the trauma or injuries immediately, you can recover your financial losses by winning your car accident claim. Of course, it won’t be easy, but it should be a lot easier now that you have a deeper understanding of car accident claims.