Auto Accident Claims Are All About Insurance
In the aftermath of a car accident, we look to our car insurance companies to compensate us for our damages. But unfortunately, insurance companies are not always willing to offer fair compensation.
Despite the perception that insurance companies must protect your bottom line in the event of an accident, the true goal of every insurance company is to retain as much money as possible. Unfortunately, in pursuit of this goal, they may attempt to lowball you with an inappropriate offer in response to your claim. In these situations, an experienced car accident attorney can negotiate with insurance companies to ensure fair compensation.
Insurance Claims Are All About Documentation
When you submit an insurance claim, your insurance company must assign a value to the damages you have incurred before making an offer. This valuation process is based on thorough documentation provided by the claimant and an assessment by an insurance assessor.
Unfortunately, these assessments are not always comprehensive. This means that just compensation for your damages may depend in part on the extent of documentation that you submit.
If you have been in a car accident, you should begin documenting the resulting expenses immediately. These expenses may include medical bills to treat injuries sustained during the accident, lost income from missed work, transportation costs, and the value of the car repairs. Even though an insurance assessor may take pictures of your vehicle, you should retain photographic evidence of the damages.
You should also document and describe the extent of any injuries that resulted from the accident. If you can, include an assessment from a medical professional to support your claim. This will increase the likelihood that these injuries will be considered in your valuation.
File An Insurance Claim As Soon As You Can
If you have been in a car accident, file a claim as soon as possible. The Missouri statute of limitations dictates that you have five years from the accident date to make a claim or file a suit. In Illinois, you have two years to do so.
Know When To Call A Lawyer
Contacting an attorney does not necessarily mean that you plan to sue. Most insurance claims settle without formal litigation.
If the insurance company refuses to give you the compensation you deserve, you and your attorney can initiate a civil lawsuit. These suits are also typically settled in mediation with the insurance company. Still, a skilled car accident attorney will be prepared to go to trial and fight for just compensation if mediation is unsuccessful.