7 Important Things to Know When Filing a Car Accident Claim
After a crash occurs, there are several things to think about, such as how much you may have to pay for the damages you sustain. Unfortunately, when filing a claim, it can seem like a challenging process. When it comes to pursuing compensation, it helps to know some very important factors that can help your claim.
Before moving forward, we suggest you read through the below and understand the most effective ways to move forward. When you have a clear understanding of what to expect, it can give you peace of mind and confidence through the process.
Here are 7 critical things to know when filing a car crash claim:
- Never agree to settle a claim without insurance being involved.
- Be aware of insurance adjusters and their tactics.
- Hiring a lawyer is the most effective way to obtain compensation.
- Contingency fees allow you to file a claim without financial concern.
- Four factors go into proving liability.
- It’s essential to meet a time limit to file a claim.
- There’s more than one way to get the money you need.
For a free consultation to discuss your case, call our firm today at (503) 543-1114.
1. Never Agree to Settle a Claim Without Insurance Being Involved
While it’s always a good idea to be wary of insurance companies, it’s even more concerning to try and handle a claim with just the negligent party. The other driver may fear the increased cost of their insurance premium, so they’ll offer to pay for your damages out of pocket. However, you may not know the full extent of your damages on your own.
You may have underlying problems with your vehicle that the other driver refuses to pay for after a crash. You may also deal with latency issues, unaware of your injuries at the time of the crash, leading to you saying that you didn’t suffer harm. The other party may not factor medical expenses and you may be unable to get the compensation you need for these losses.
2. Be Aware of Insurance Adjusters and Their Tactics
While you want to go through your insurance and that of the negligent driver to obtain compensation, you should still be cautious and keep your best interests in mind. Insurance companies often use tactics that take advantage of a vulnerable situation, making it difficult to obtain the full amount of compensation you deserve.
When you know what insurance companies do to limit compensation, you can protect yourself. Some of the tactics that insurance adjusters use include:
- Delaying your claim in hopes that you’ll accept whatever they offer
- Devaluing how much your losses equal
- Claiming you were the at-fault party
- Claiming your damages do not fall under your policy’s coverage
It’s crucial to avoid speaking with insurance adjusters whenever possible and having legal counsel on your side.
3. Hiring a Lawyer Is the Most Effective Way to Obtain Compensation
Getting a lawyer means leveling the playing field against insurance adjusters. You can receive help from a legal professional who can explain your rights and options, but even more importantly, can protect you from insurance companies who try to take advantage of those rights.
A lawyer has resources you may not have access to on your own, allowing you to focus on your recovery. Working with a lawyer puts the insurance company on notice that you’re ready to pursue maximum compensation for your damages.
4. Contingency Fees Allow You to File a Claim Without Financial Concern
After a crash, many people avoid hiring legal counsel because they feel they can’t afford it. However, it’s important to know that you can have your personal injury claim handled on a contingency fee basis. This type of agreement means you only pay legal fees if and when you recover the compensation you deserve. The fees you pay come out of your recovery, so you never have to worry about finances.
5. Four Factors Go Into Proving Liability
When proving someone else was responsible for your damages, keep these four factors in mind:
- The other driver must have had a duty of care.
- The other driver must have breached that duty of care.
- The breach in the duty of care led to an accident.
- The accident resulted in significant injuries.
Proving liability is an integral part of obtaining compensation. Work with a lawyer to understand your rights and options moving forward.
6. It’s Essential to Meet a Time Limit to File Your Claim
Whenever you suffer injuries in a car accident, time is of the essence. There are specific time limits that you must meet, such as the two-year statute of limitations that gives you two years from the accident date to take legal action.
However, even though there is a legal statute of limitations, the sooner you begin the process, the better. Some insurance companies look at any delay on your part as a chance to minimize or deny your claim. You should seek medical care quickly to build your case and receive a proper diagnosis for your injuries.
In many cases, after your report the accident to the local authorities, you want to call a lawyer before speaking with insurance companies. Getting legal help fast allows you to protect your rights from the moment you need to file a claim through the resolution of your case.
7. There’s More Than One Way to Get the Money You Need
When you need to obtain compensation for your damages, you have options. You can obtain compensation for your medical bills, lost income (past and future), property damage, emotional distress, and more. However, you can seek compensation in more than one way:
- A settlement: Many insurance companies will offer settlements for your losses. While the first settlement offer may not be what you need, you can work with your lawyer to negotiate and seek the maximum compensation available to you.
- A verdict: If your case goes to trial, the fate of your compensation may rely on a jury. A verdict will determine how much you may recover, but your lawyer’s ability to position your case is the strongest factor in seeking the most favorable outcome possible.
We know that the aftermath of a crash can feel overwhelming. You may encounter a lot of issues along the way, especially when insurance companies feel as though your claim threatens their profits. To combat some of the ways insurance adjusters take advantage of claimants, you should get a legal professional to help you through the process.
At The Gatti Law Firm, we put your needs first. Our Oregon car accident attorneys go to great lengths to protect your rights when insurance companies try to take advantage of them. We take on the burdens of your legal matters, so you can focus on your recovery from your injuries.
Throughout the entire process, we aim to be a beacon of hope during a very difficult time. We prioritize your rights, taking on insurance adjusters who may try to protect their profits over people. When you need compensation, we’ll build a strong case strategy and hold negligence accountable. From start to finish, you are our top priority.
Call our firm today at (503) 543-1114 and speak with someone on our team about your options. We offer free consultations to help you get the answers you deserve during this challenging situation.