You were just in a car accident. The person who hit you may have been driving distracted, speeding or behaving recklessly. You may think that all you have to do is report your crash to your insurance company and you will be completely compensated for your losses. You'd be wrong.
No matter how friendly insurance companies seem, they are not your friend. They're more concerned with making your claim disappear and saving money on their end than they are with compensating you.
That's why it's critical to be aware of the rights available to you when dealing with insurance companies and avoid falling for the myths outlined below. If you have any legal questions regarding your crash, always speak to an experienced car accident attorney before taking any other course of action.
Myth 1: You must speak to the at-fault driver's insurance company
The only insurance company you're required to speak to is your own. You must report your crash within a timely manner and provide only the essential details. There is no need to tell your insurance company anything else.
You are under no obligation to speak to the other driver's insurance company. After reporting your crash, you may be contacted by the at-fault driver's insurance company. Be aware that anything you tell them will be recorded and can later be used to downplay or deny your claim.
To save yourself a great deal of frustration and legal complications, it's best to refrain from speaking to the at-fault driver's insurance company. If they have any questions, your attorney can answer for you.
Myth 2: Insurance companies will reimburse me for all of my car accident expenses
Insurance companies don't care if you get adequate medical care and reimbursement for medical expenses after your crash. They don't care if you needed to take time off from work while recovering. If they're generous enough, they may offer you a meager settlement that covers only a fraction of your car accident expenses. If you accept a settlement, you could find yourself paying the remaining expenses out-of-pocket.
Myth 3: Insurance companies can assess how much my claim is worth
When assessing the value of your claim, insurance companies often leave out crucial losses. This may be done on purpose to avoid having to compensate you to the fullest extent.
If your crash wasn't your fault, there is no reason why you should have to pay for any crash-related expenses out of your own pocket.
In order to ensure that you are fully compensated, your attorney will need to compile the following to place an accurate value on your claim:
- Your current and future medical expenses
- Wages lost from time away from work
- Losses from car damage or property damage
- Non-economic damages caused by pain, suffering, loss of life enjoyment, or loss of future earnings
- Punitive damages (if they apply), which punish reckless drivers rather than compensate for losses
If you were involved in a crash, don't hesitate to seek legal help. Call an experienced Lexington, South Carolina attorney at Johnson + Johnson Attorneys at Law. Contact us online or call us at 803-667-4810 to schedule your free case evaluation.