If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident, then chances are your insurance company has already started talking to you about your policy.
Don’t agree to anything until you speak to a lawyer. Even if an insurer offers to settle for less money, it is important to talk to an experienced attorney before accepting any offer. An attorney can help guide you through negotiations that may result in better terms of settlement.
But just like you have a right to representation when you go to court, so does your insurance company.
When you get in an accident, no matter how serious, your first concern is about getting home. Instead of focusing on what damage has been done or what injuries you’ve suffered, a good attorney should be focused on whether you were at fault and what financial help you can receive.
An insurance company has many reasons to fight a claim against their policy.
It’s in its interest to keep claims costs under control by taking care of cases that should have little or no chance of success. One way it can do that is by hiring skilled attorneys such as those at DeSilva & Halloran, who will take your case if you are willing to pay significant fees and expenses for expert assistance.
Try to understand why your insurer is fighting your claim.
Your insurance company will try to settle your case quickly and easily. That’s because winning your case will require extensive legal work, which comes with much higher costs. An experienced attorney can help explain your rights and options and help you decide what action to take in your motor vehicle accident lawsuit.
Ask that all claims be included.
Often in motor vehicle accidents, someone will try to add on additional expenses or injuries such as lost wages or medical bills. Your lawyer’s first step is often to include all claims for both damages and costs within one claim file. This may also allow you to avoid having two people present to testify at trial so you don’t have to repeat everything about your injury from your witness stand.
Ask that any applicable limits be lifted.
This is still one of your rights—even after you’ve accepted a settlement. Your insurance company can only limit liability so much, especially in an injury case where it could matter if you have few resources to pay for medical care or other losses suffered. Talk to your lawyer about requesting a provision in your settlement agreement that prevents this from happening again.
Find out if your policy includes arbitration.
In most cases, you will be required to take your car to an independent shop for repairs or have someone else do the work. But if your insurance company offers a choice between having them repair your vehicle at home or in a garage, they may encourage you to choose the second option so they can avoid paying for the work.