The average motor vehicle insurance expenditure climbed to $1,056.55 in 2018, according to data provided by the National Association of Insurance Commission. Understandably, following car crashes, accident victims want to maintain the maximum amount of compensation possible.
If you were injured in a car crash in Missouri (which is a fault-based state) and another party is responsible, you can pursue compensation through a claim with an insurance provider. Unfortunately, however, you can jeopardize the amount of compensation that you receive from an insurance carrier in various ways. This article reviews some of the most common ways that people unintentionally end up negatively impacting the amount of compensation they are legally entitled to receive.
Avoid Speculating About Who Caused an Accident or How an Accident Occurred
It is never a good idea to converse directly with the other party’s insurance provider. After all, this insurance carrier does not work for you. The insurance adjuster has one objective (this is true for first-party adjusters as well), which is to minimize the payout to you so they can maximize their profits. You have no obligation to speak with the other driver’s insurance company. If an insurance carrier manages to contact you, you do not have to speak with them and you can hire an attorney to do that for you. There are times you do have an obligation to speak with your own insurance company under the policy of insurance you have with them.
Never Accept the Insurance Carrier’s Initial Settlement Offer
If an insurance carrier provides an offer, avoid accepting this offer on the spot. Instead, you should speak with an attorney concerning the settlement amount. A lawyer can help you determine if the offer is reasonable. Sometimes, insurance companies will leave an injured person with the impression that they are offering all applicable policy limits, and this is not always the case. For example, sometimes policies can be stacked. Also, an attorney should review the release the insurance company requires to make sure it is not a general release that could be used to release all other potential parties and first-party insurance coverage (for example, underinsured motorist benefits).
Obtain Medical Treatment as Soon as You Can
Provided you did not receive medical care at the scene of an accident, if you have been hurt, you should make sure to do so as soon as possible after an accident. There are several reasons why it is a good idea to receive medical treatment right away, which include:
• If you wait too long to receive treatment, an insurance carrier might claim that your injury occurred after your accident and was not caused by your accident;
• Not pursuing the level of care appropriate to the degree of your injury could lead to undervaluing the cost of your future medical care;
• Pursuing medical care establishes an official document of your injuries for an insurance claim; and
• You might have injuries that are not immediately apparent at the time of your accident.
Contact an Experienced Car Crash Attorney Today
Obtaining the assistance of a car accident attorney will help you receive the greatest amount of compensation possible for your claim. A lawyer can help you avoid some of the biggest mistakes that can end up jeopardizing the amount of insurance payout you end up receiving. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.