After you’ve been in a car accident, it’s easy to just assume that your claim is being handled fairly by the insurance companies. You should be very careful, however, not to fall victim to these 4 myths when it comes to getting fairly compensated for your injuries. The insurance companies are not on your side, and believing these myths could jeopardize your chances at the money damages you deserve. Read on to avoid these myths.
Myth One: Since the other driver is obviously at fault, their insurance company will take care of my claim properly.
Make sure that your trust in the insurance company, even your own, is not misplaced. All insurance companies are “for profit” and have an obligation to pay out as little as possible on claims. Insurance adjusters are not your friends. They are employees of the insurance company, and their job success is riding on finding ways to pay you less than you might deserve. Don’t make the mistake of accepting their first offer to settle.
Myth Two: The other driver seems like a good, honest person who is just as rattled by this accident as you are, so it’s only natural to discuss the accident with them.
It’s perfectly normal that you and the other driver want to be friendly, after all, you both share a common trauma and kinship because of the accident. You may even attempt to ease the other driver’s guilt about causing the accident by minimizing your injuries or admitting that you may have been partially at fault. Be very cautious when speaking with the other driver, no matter how nice they seem. Everything you say could be used to lessen your settlement amount.
Myth Three: The accident report speaks for itself; fault has been determined.
No doubt the accident report contains valuable information about the event, such as the names and contact info for all parties and sometimes even the officer’s opinion of the accident’s cause and who was at fault. While these reports are part of a complete evidence package, it does not stand alone. It’s important to note that accident reports are, surprisingly, not admissible in court. So don’t rely too much on the accident report alone. Make sure that you gather every bit of evidence you can.
Myth Four: The accident was too long ago, and it’s too late to file a personal injury claim.
Sometimes, the full extent of injuries from an accident take longer to become apparent. If it’s months later and you are suffering from the effects of the accident, you must act quickly. While every state does use a statute of limitation, you often have several years after the event to file suit. Don’t waste any time before contacting an attorney for assistance once you realize that your injuries are far more serious than you previously thought.
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