Fighting the Insurance Company After a Car Accident

Posted on February 23, 2024 in Car Accidents

Hearing personal injury attorneys talk about fighting for you may conjure up the image of a boxer or gladiator. While your attorney will not physically fight anyone, they will battle for you during the legal process. You must go through the insurance companies before getting one dollar in your bank account after a car accident. Your lawyer, especially a car accident attorney, will have to put legal pressure on them to pay you what they owe you after their policyholder has injured you in a car accident.

Theoretically, the claims process should not be adversarial. Insurance companies have a legal obligation to pay your damage up to the amount of the coverage limits on the policy. They should assess your evidence and compensate you for the total value of your claim.

When Do You Need an Insurance Settlement After a Car Accident?

Fighting the Insurance Company After a Car AccidentIf another driver is at fault for the accident, you have the right to file a third-party claim against their insurance company. This allows you to seek compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It’s essential to file a claim promptly and gather as much evidence as possible to support your case.

In some cases, you might also need to file UM/UIM (uninsured/underinsured motorist) claims or PIP (personal injury protection) claims. UM/UIM claims come into play when the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance coverage to fully compensate you for your losses. PIP claims, on the other hand, are filed in no-fault states to cover medical expenses and other accident-related costs, regardless of fault.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted lawyer to handle every step of your car accident claims—they can provide the experience and support you need during this challenging time.

The Insurance Company’s Mission Is to Make Your Life Much Harder

In practice, the claims process never goes that smoothly because the insurance company wants to build a wall or red tape to make your life harder. Only one thing can keep the claims process moving toward a full settlement check: An experienced car accident lawyer who will go toe-to-toe with the insurance company to secure fair compensation for your injuries.

The claims process will not be a walk in any park for a claimant. Insurance companies want things to be as difficult as possible and tire you out so you will not fight them. They try to set you up, so you are more than grateful to accept their low settlement offer that does not even come close to fully compensating you for your injuries.

Insurance Companies Do Not Have the Advantage They Think

Insurance companies believe they have a home-field advantage over you during the legal process. After all, the adjusters are their employees and have built an entire infrastructure to assert some power over you. Insurance companies like to act all-powerful, but they are nothing more than your equal and must negotiate with you because you have legal rights.

Unless you hire a car accident lawyer, insurance companies will have the advantage over you and may only respond to pressure. You will have to order them to pay on the threat of a potential lawsuit, and when insurance companies go to court, they lose control over the legal process. They surrender it to a jury, who can decide the ultimate issue.

An Attorney Is Your Show of Force to the Insurance Company

If you do not have an experienced attorney, insurance companies will know you cannot force them to do the right thing. They know that you may struggle to make a compelling case to a jury on your own or even to get your case far enough where it can reach a jury. Thus, they can act without restraint, knowing they can likely get away with whatever tricks they use to cost you money.

Now, imagine if you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in your car accident case. Right after you suffer an injury in an accident, you should reach out to an attorney, who will do everything in their power to make it easy for you to get legal help, no matter your condition. If you can not contact an attorney, a friend or family member will contact them.

How Your Attorney Investigates Your Case to Prove Fault

The first thing that your attorney will do is speak to you and hear about what happened in your own words. They will ask you questions and take time to learn more about your case. Then, they will get to work investigating your case accident, gathering evidence along the way that can include:

  • Statements from witnesses who saw what caused your accident
  • Pictures from the scene of the accident or of the damage to the cars
  • Dashboard or traffic camera footage that shows your accident
  • Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert who will recreate the accident
  • The police report written by the officer who showed up at the scene of the accident

You do not have the experience to conduct your investigation or at least do it to the insurance company’s satisfaction. An attorney knows what they are looking for and how to get the evidence quickly before it disappears.

Your Lawyer Lets You Know the Value of Your Claim So You Can Fight

Your lawyer will then put you in a position to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the responsible driver. Before you can even do that, you need to know how much your claim is worth. When you file a claim, you must include a figure for your damages in the claim or the demand letter that your lawyer will write.

In a settlement negotiation, information is your edge. Insurance companies already have extensive data that lets them know exactly what your claim is worth, and they are counting on your ignorance in the process. Everything changes the minute you hire a car accident lawyer. Suddenly, you are on equal footing with the insurance companies and ready to battle with them.

The Car Accident Compensation You Should Expect

Your car accident settlement should compensate you for the following:

  • All of your medical expenses, including hospital stays, doctor’s fees, prescriptions, and medical equipment
  • Lost income for the time that you can not work or any reduction in your earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering for what you had to endure since the accident, both physically and mentally
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Your claim will pay you for the past and future damages that you will suffer.

The True Battleground Is Over the Amount of Money You Should Get

Once your attorney files the claim, the real fight begins. Hopefully, the insurance companies will at least admit liability in your claim. Even if they do, this is just the start of their tactics. They may try to blame you or say that you contributed to the crash. Your lawyer will then need to defend your actions as much as they point the finger at the other driver.

If the insurance company concedes liability, you are still at the beginning of the process, and there will be a battle about the amount of money you ultimately get for your claim. Insurance companies do not realistically expect you to accept their initial settlement offer but are certainly more than happy if you do. The initial settlement offer is just a placeholder and a sign that they are opening settlement negotiations.

You Need to Reject Inadequate Settlement Offers and Fight

Your initial move will always be to reject the initial settlement offer, and the crucial steps of the process are what happens next. If your attorney has not already sent a demand letter to the insurance company, they will draft one at that point. You will include the figure you seek, which may be lower than the amount of your initial claim.

The insurance companies may continue to raise their offer to you, knowing they need to keep negotiating to keep you from taking your case to court. You may have opened your case with a lawsuit, and if you filed a claim, they want to keep you at the table. Both you and the insurance companies may move closer together in your figure to justify continuing to speak with them. Neither of you wants to end up in court because you each have risks.

Your Lawyer Demands and Earns Respect on Your Behalf

Insurance companies will give your lawyer a certain amount of respect. Chances are that they are familiar with your attorney because there is already an existing track record and history. When they see that you have brought an experienced lawyer who knows how to fight, they may view your claim differently. The insurance companies may see that they have to do more to settle the case, or they can quickly find themselves defending against a lawsuit and paying their attorneys to represent them in court.

You May Have to Fight the Insurance Company in Court

Fighting the Insurance Company in CourtYou may have no choice but to take your case to court. Your attorney has experience in the courtroom, and they should advise you on taking the next steps in your case. They may force the matter so that the insurance company will need to get serious about settling your case.

Then, your attorney will shepherd your case through the court system. They will continue to build proof of the other driver’s liability during the discovery process while presenting evidence about your injuries and damages.

You Will Continue to Negotiate While Your Case Is in Court

As your case approaches trial, you may continue negotiating a possible settlement with the insurance company. Just because you are in court does not mean all communications between you and the insurance company will cease. The stronger the case, the more the insurance companies realize they may be in jeopardy and may take the final steps toward coming closer to meeting your demands. You need the show of force that is apparent when you have a strong lawyer fighting for you during the legal process. Insurance companies know they will face a reckoning if they continue resisting when you deserve more money.

The Insurance Is Trying to Make Money, So You Need to Fight

Insurance companies do whatever it takes to put their profits before you and only see or hear you if you make them sit up and take notice. They will start to view you as an equal and a threat when you approach them with an attorney. If you do not have a lawyer, the insurance companies will use their usual tactics to compromise your legal rights as best as possible. They may entrap you into making a compromising statement, or they may take your words out of context. Either way, there may be a time when it can be too late to hire an attorney, and you may have lost all the crucial evidence or sunk your case by making mistakes.

It Costs Nothing Out of Your Pocket to Hire a Lawyer

You might think that having someone who can battle the insurance company on your behalf will cost you significant money. However, you do not have to pay anything out of pocket. There is still something in it for your lawyer, but their financial reward only comes when you receive money in your case, either in the form of a settlement or a lawsuit verdict. If you do not win, your lawyer has worked for you for free.

Never worry about money, and do not ever let these fears get in the way of you getting legal help.

Seek Your Free Consultation With a Car Accident Attorney Today

Matt Boatman Attorney for Car Accident

Matthew R. Boatman, Car Accident Lawyer

After a car accident, seek legal representation as soon as possible. A car accident attorney can guide you through the complex process of filing a personal injury claim and help you get the compensation you deserve.

During a free consultation, an experienced attorney will listen to your story, evaluate the strength of your case, and provide expert advice on the best course of action. They will explain your rights and options, and help you understand the potential outcomes of your case.

Don’t wait to seek legal help. Contact a personal injury attorney today to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to personal injury claims, so don’t delay in seeking the justice you deserve.