When you’ve survived a major car accident, you may still be left with a range of injuries both big and small. These injuries cost a significant amount of time and money to treat. Additionally, you may be dealing with ongoing emotional trauma and chronic pain after your crash.
While most people assume that a car insurance settlement is the only way they can pay for these injuries, you may also be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit if the other driver was at fault for your accident. In some cases, you may need to turn the insurance settlement offer down, as these payments do not always cover the cost of catastrophic injuries.
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we can help you navigate the often-confusing world of car insurance claims. Whether you need someone to help you negotiate or assistance with filing a legal claim, our team can apply decades of specific experience to your case – and seek to maximize your compensation.
Settling a Car Insurance Claim
First and foremost, it’s important to understand that an auto insurance provider is always looking to reduce the cost of paying out your claim – no matter how serious and life-changing your injuries may be. From the minute you contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company to seek appropriate compensation, the insurance claims adjuster will be actively trying to negotiate you down to a lower number, using every skill in their tool belt to accomplish this goal.
In order to get a fair settlement, you will need to be extremely thorough when working with an insurance provider. If you are still unable to get the settlement you need, it’s important to consider walking away and pursuing other options, as this will give you more leverage. Because Louisiana is a “pure comparative fault” state, you can still pursue a personal injury lawsuit even if you were partially responsible for your crash. Your total damages will simply be lowered by your own percentage of fault.
Here are a few things you should do when attempting to settle your claim:
- Document everything. From filing a police report after your accident to taking photographic evidence of your property damage, it’s crucial to document everything before filing a claim – even if you don’t think it will be necessary. Without strong evidence to build up your case, the insurance claims adjuster will be unlikely to pay enough for your injuries.
- Don’t assume the adjuster is on your side. Insurance adjusters are skilled at presenting a friendly face to their claimants: After all, gaining your trust makes it easier for them to protect the company’s assets and maintain leverage during negotiations. During the claims process, it’s far better to assume that the adjuster is not on your side.
- Stay persistent. The insurance company is not required to return your calls promptly, or to treat you fairly. In some cases, they may start to dodge your calls or ignore your emails. However, it’s important to continue pushing for what you need, even if the company is stonewalling you.
- Keep copies of medical records. Under HIPAA, your healthcare providers are required to give patients their own medical records when asked. As soon as you complete your final doctor’s visit after the crash, ask for copies of your medical record from every healthcare provider, and take meticulous notes on the dates and times of visits.
- Ask a lawyer to help review your settlement. Even if you ultimately decide not to pursue a personal injury claim, a skilled lawyer can help you determine if the settlement is fair, and give you advice on how to proceed. Make sure that an attorney sees your settlement before you sign anything binding.
Comprehensive Assistance for Your Car Accident Injuries
At Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers, we represent injury victims across Texas and Louisiana, and we’re committed to fighting for your rights. You are never required to take the insurance company’s first offer in a settlement, and in some cases, you could have grounds to pursue stronger legal action against an at-fault driver. It’s our goal to help you discover the right course for your needs, and get the results that you deserve after a tragic crash.
Call (888) 492-5532 for a free consultation today.