How to Handle the Insurance Companies after an Accident
If you were injured in an accident, it is important that you file a report with your insurance provider as soon as you are able.
Although an insurance provider is meant to help you after an accident, it will assign an adjuster to evaluate your claim.
The insurance adjuster will collect any information regarding the accident, including who was involved, details about your injury and any property damage that might have occurred.
However, you should be extremely cautious about any information you provide to an insurance adjust. The adjuster’s job is to save money for the insurance company, and he or she will use every possible tactic to achieve this goal.
The adjuster will take advantage of any opportunity to lower your compensation or have your claim dismissed altogether. This can include downplaying the severity of your injuries or disputing the facts surrounding your accident.
It is always highly recommended that you consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer before cooperating with an insurance company.
What You Should Say to Insurance Companies
The tips below will provide you tips on the best way to handle any conversation with an insurance company.
Be Careful of What You Say
An insurance adjuster has no legal obligation to you. His or her job is to minimize the value of your claim, and he or she will use your own words against you to make this happen.
Whether an adjuster acts friendly towards you or is speaking in a casual manner, remember that everything you say is being evaluated and later applied to decreasing the value of your claim.
You should be direct with an adjuster and never lie about or embellish the events that occurred. The only things you should tell the adjuster are the facts as you remember them.
Never Minimize Your Injuries
Some people naturally downplay the severity of their injuries by saying “I’m fine” or “it is not that serious” without considering the consequences of these statements.
Minimizing the severity of your injuries is detrimental to your claim and will have a serious effect on an insurer’s decision regarding your claim.
The insurer may think that your injuries are not serious and will deny compensation for any medical treatment listed in your claim.
Speak Off the Record
An insurance adjuster may try to record your conversations. While this may seem like part of an official process, it is instead used to analyze your statement for any inconsistencies or reasons to deny your claim.
Although you are obligated to cooperate with your insurance company, you do not have to do anything you are not comfortable with. If you do not want to have your conversation recorded, you can politely refuse. Your conversation can only be recorded with your consent.
Never Submit a Written or Recorded Statement Alone
An insurance company will most likely attempt to recover a written or recorded statement from you concerning your accident.
You are well within your rights to refuse any proposal made by an insurance company regarding a documented statement.
The only time you should ever consent to providing an official statement is after you have consulted with an experienced personal injury attorney.
A skilled attorney will efficiently prepare you for providing a statement. An attorney will know which questions the insurer will ask and will be able to carefully craft a statement that will not affect your claim.
You Can Refuse to Speak with an Insurer
While you will need to speak carefully with your own insurance provider, you are not required to speak with the other party’s insurer.
If you were injured in a serious car accident in Phoenix, AZ and the other driver’s insurance provider attempts to contact you, you may refuse to speak about the incident.
By hiring a personal injury attorney, you are providing a legal barrier between you and the insurance company. An attorney will speak with an insurer on your behalf and while placing your best interests at the front of each conversation or negotiation.
Make Sure You Receive the Compensation You Deserve
It is likely that the insurance company will attempt to settle your claim as quickly as possible.
However, you should never forget that insurance companies work only for their best interests. This means that their initial settlement offer may be low in order to minimize the company’s payout. You should always make sure the full costs of your injuries are covered before accepting any claim offer amount.
That is why you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney immediately following your accident. An attorney will help ensure you receive the compensation you need in a fair settlement that accurately reflects the damages you suffered.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If an insurance company offers you an unfair settlement, or if your claim has been denied, you can choose the option of filing a lawsuit against the other party to obtain the compensation you need.
Arizona follows the rule of comparative negligence when determining compensation and liability in personal injury claims. This means that as long as a court finds you are less than 51 percent responsible for your injuries, you retain the right to seek compensation.
To file a lawsuit in Arizona, you must bring your claim within the two-year statute of limitations. This deadline will begin on the date in which your accident first occurred, or when you first became aware of your injury.
If you are attempting to file a claim, you must do so within the two-year deadline. If you wait until the deadline has passed, you lose the option of filing a claim to bring a lawsuit for compensation.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys
Do not let an insurance company pressure you into accepting an unfair settlement or manipulate you into causing your own claim to be denied.
At Phillips Law Group, we have dedicated our legal practice to helping personal injury victims throughout Arizona for more than two decades.
Our accomplished attorneys will work with you to ensure your rights are protected against the insurance companies. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and determine which options are available for you to proceed on.
If you choose to retain our services, we will not charge you any upfront legal fees. We work only on a contingency fee basis, which means the only time you have to pay us is if we recover damages for your claim.
Do not speak with an insurance company without help. Call 1-800-706-3000 for experienced legal assistance.
My Attorney Sean Davis and his paralegal Hannah Dustin worked on my case. They listened to the problems that I was having with my case and they both got right to work. First they found me a doctor that actually listened to my problems from my car accident and worked quickly to form a plan that was comfortable for me and the doctor. The doctor was the best and after a couple of procedures the pain in my neck was gone. Behind the scenes Sean and Hannah were working hard to get my case settled with the insurance company. They kept in contact with me on all aspects of my case. They settled my case much faster than I expected and for more than I was expecting. If you want two real professional legal people to work on your case, I would highly recommend Sean and Hannah to you. I cannot say enough nice things about these two. Thank you so much, Rickey Hart .
Phillips law group is a great firm! Caroline is great.
They knew exactly how to explain the case to me in a way that I would understand it. They gave me hope that my life wasn’t over.
Great experience! Took care of pretty much everything, and I always felt like I want in good hands. Caroline Fa. was also a great help with everything. She always returned my calls and I never felt unheard. Even after my case she would still help me with my insurance documents.
I want to thank attorneys Tim and Robert and the paralegal Bethany for all they had done on my case. They were all empathetic, knowledgeable and professional. All my questions were answered, emails returned in a timely matter, and promises fulfilled. I recommend Phillips Law Group if you need help with your injury case.
I was recently served court documents that I was being sued from an accident that happened years ago. For someone who has never been through something like this and not familiar with the court lingo or where to even begin, it was very frustrating and stressful. I reached out to a family member who knew Tracy Laskos and the great reputation of Phillips Law Group and within the hours of the initial call for help, I had a direct number to Lead Attorney Nassar. Nassar heard my case and almost instantly put me at ease by explaining the process and how easy it was to handle. Nassar spoke to me like he was a friend, not like I was a client. I am so grateful to Tracy, Nasar and of course my cousin Stephanie for helping out and giving me the direction that I needed to get through this situation. I plan on referring my friends, family and patients that are in need of a personal injury Attorney to Phillips Law Group. Thank you!!
I just wanted to thank Phillips law Group and Vanessa Rodriguez for all the help that she did for my daughter’s case. She was involved in her first accident and she needed the help to deal with these adjusters. Thank you again.
The lawyers here are of top quality. Especially Trey Dayes, who was always respectful and hard-working.
Sophia H is very helpful.
Sophia H. at Phillips Law Group has been an absolute joy to work with -quick, responsive, and professional in every interaction. Her breadth of knowledge, from administration to IT to finance, is nothing short of impressive.