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10 Tips for Dealing with Insurance After a Car Accident

Insurance companies are mostly concerned with minimizing their own expenses

When insurance companies handle car accident claims in Tennessee, their primary goal is minimizing payouts and protecting their bottom line. As such, insurance adjusters often attempt to undervalue or deny valid claims.

This often means they will deny responsibility, reject necessary medical treatments, and exploit the financial pressure facing crash victims who are injured, in pain, and seeking to resolve their claims as quickly as possible. Some insurance companies even go as far as blaming the victim for what happened.

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    Additionally, they may attempt to wear out claimants with repeated questions, intentional delays, and document requests. These tactics are intended to frustrate crash victims, erode their resolve, and ultimately pressure them into accepting lowball settlement offers that don’t come close to covering the damages sustained.

    Crash victims in Tennessee have legal rights, and consulting an experienced car accident lawyer after a crash can help victims avoid common pitfalls and protect their right to fair and full compensation. However, if an insurance adjuster contacts or engages with a crash victim, the following tips can help protect their rights.

    What to know about dealing with insurance adjusters after a crash

    In Tennessee, the at-fault insurance system means the responsible party's insurance company is responsible for compensating victims for their losses. However, initial settlement offers from insurance companies often fail to cover the full extent of damages. Victims can accept or reject these offers, with the option to negotiate for higher amounts. Here are 10 essential tips for dealing with insurance adjusters to navigate this process effectively:

    1. File claims promptly.

    Filing your insurance claim promptly is crucial, particularly in Tennessee, where the statute of limitations for most cases is just one year from the accident date. If you miss this deadline, your claim may be rejected. Unfortunately, insurance companies are aware of this deadline and may attempt to delay victims from filing their claims. Consulting with an attorney can help ensure that you meet all legal deadlines and file your claims with confidence and authority.

    1. Document everything.

    Gathering and preserving all evidence related to the accident and the losses incurred is essential to building a compelling case for the compensation you deserve. Victims should keep medical evaluations, bills, receipts, future treatment plans, vehicle repair estimates, and a daily journal detailing the injury’s impact on their daily lives. Detailed documentation can strengthen the case and help in obtaining fair compensation.

    1. Avoid recorded statements.

    Do not agree to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company without first consulting an attorney. Insurance companies often use recorded statements as a tactic to gather information that may be used against you to diminish or deny your claim. For example, an insurance adjuster may ask leading questions about the severity of your injuries or try to get you to admit fault, even if you are not fully aware of the circumstances surrounding the accident.

    By seeking legal advice before providing any recorded statement, you can ensure that your rights are protected and that you do not inadvertently say anything that could jeopardize your case. Remember, it's your right to have legal representation during interactions with insurance companies, and an experienced attorney can help you navigate these communications effectively while working to maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

    1. Beware of signing documents.

    Insurance companies might present paperwork that could restrict your legal rights, limit your ability to seek full compensation, or grant them broad access to your personal information. For example, signing a medical authorization form without understanding its implications could allow the insurer to access your entire medical history, which they may use to undermine your claim. Always exercise caution and seek legal advice before signing any documents provided by insurance companies.

    1. Watch out for delay tactics.

    Insurance adjusters may use delays to wear out injured victims or push cases past the statute of limitations. For instance, they might request unnecessary documentation or repeatedly ask for additional information, causing unnecessary delays in processing your claim.

    It's essential to stay vigilant and seek legal assistance if you suspect that the insurance company is using delay tactics to undermine your claim. Working with an attorney ensures that legal deadlines are met and that communication with the insurance company is handled effectively.

    1. Address substandard investigations.

    If the insurance company conducts inadequate investigations or ignores evidence to justify a small settlement, an attorney can initiate an independent investigation to gather additional evidence and build a compelling case on your behalf. This may involve gathering witness statements, obtaining expert opinions, or conducting accident reconstruction if necessary. By uncovering overlooked evidence and presenting a thorough case, you can strengthen your position and pursue the full compensation you deserve.

    1. Challenge wrongful denials.

    Challenge wrongful denials effectively by meticulously reviewing insurance policies to understand the terms and coverage details. Collect compelling evidence that contradicts the insurer's assertions and supports the validity of your claim.

    A skilled attorney can advocate assertively for fair compensation, leveraging their legal knowledge to challenge the wrongful denial and negotiate on your behalf.

    1. Understand comparative negligence.

    Understanding comparative negligence is crucial in personal injury cases. This legal principle is applied when determining each party's degree of fault in an accident. In states that follow comparative negligence laws, including Tennessee, damages awarded to the plaintiff are reduced by their percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 20% at fault for an accident and awarded $100,000 in damages, your compensation will be reduced by 20% to $80,000. It's essential to comprehend how comparative negligence may impact your case outcome and seek legal guidance to navigate its complexities effectively.

    1. Resist pressure tactics for lowball settlements.

    Resisting pressure tactics for lowball settlements is critical to ensure fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Insurance adjusters often employ aggressive tactics to persuade injury victims to accept settlements far below their claims' true value. These tactics may include intimidating language, quick settlement offers, or downplaying the extent of your injuries. It's crucial to recognize these tactics and not succumb to the pressure. Instead, seek guidance from an experienced attorney who can advocate for your rights and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to secure a fair and just settlement.

    1. Seek legal guidance.

    Crash victims can benefit from the guidance of experienced attorneys who know how to counter insurance company tactics effectively. Again, insurance adjusters often employ delay tactics, make lowball settlement offers, and use other strategies that can leave crash victims feeling helpless. By consulting a lawyer, crash victims can regain control over their situation, knowing that they have someone fighting for their best interests.

    Having legal representation after a crash is essential

    Facing insurance companies alone can be intimidating, especially when dealing with complex legal procedures and aggressive tactics. A lawyer can serve as a dedicated advocate for car accident victims, handling all communications and negotiations with the insurance company on their behalf. This ensures that the individual's rights are protected and that they are not taken advantage of by adjusters. Here are some other reasons to consider legal representation for an injury claim:

    • Experience. Personal injury lawyers who focus on car accidents have a deep understanding of relevant statutes, regulations, and case law. Their knowledge and skills help protect their clients’ rights and maximize the likelihood of a favorable outcome.
    • Evidence collection. Attorneys conduct thorough investigations to gather and preserve important claim evidence, which may include accident reports, medical records, witness statements, and other documentation.
    • Negotiation skills. Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can effectively counter insurance company tactics aimed at minimizing payouts. They can assess the full extent of the individual's damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future costs, and negotiate a fair settlement.
    • Resources. Lawyers have access to a network of resources, including medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and investigators, who can provide valuable support in building a strong case. These resources can strengthen clients' claims and enhance their chances of securing a desirable settlement or verdict.

    Sometimes, insurance companies take an unreasonable position and won’t budge. If negotiations with the insurance company fail to yield satisfactory results, lawyers can escalate the matter into a lawsuit and represent the individual’s interests in court.

    Contact the Law Office of Eric Beasley to protect your rights

    Understanding insurance company tactics can reduce a crash victim’s chances of making mistakes that may jeopardize their claim. However, you don’t have to navigate these uncharted waters alone.

    At the Law Office of Eric Beasley, we know the tricks insurance companies use to shortchange injured crash victims, and we don’t tolerate them. For example, our case results include a $98,000 jury verdict for the victim of a hit-and-run for whom the insurance company had offered just $3,000. If you were injured or a loved one died in a car accident in Middle Tennessee, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.

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