Now, to get to the point of the article.. should you call your insurance company after being in an accident? No. Not right away anyways. Not for any type of personal injury claims. If it were a property damage only claim where your car was the only thing that has been hurt then I would advise you to call your insurance company and report to them what exactly happened.
What about Personal Injury Claims?
No. While it may sound like direct solicitation, you should call an attorney first. When an insurance company receives a call for personal injury claims they send the call to an adjuster. If someone is calling on their own behalf the claim typically goes to a run of the mill adjuster who knows that they can get away with a low ball offer. That does not happen with me. If I make the call it gets sent to a senior adjuster who knows that they are working with someone who deals with car accidents for a living and they know that I won’t let a low ball offer slide.
I’ll give you an example. I just settled a case for 21,000 dollars last week. My client had originally called in and they were offered 1,900 dollars to settle the claim. It was a typical rear-end collision and she had whiplash injuries. She felt like the offer was low and she called me. Her original adjuster, lets call him Steve sent me on to a senior adjuster because he was not allowed to talk to an attorney. When I got to the new senior adjuster everything changed, he upped the amount to 15,000 the second that I spoke with him. I was able to get an additional 6,000 after providing more information and letting him know that I was going to file a lawsuit against their insured if they decided not to accept our settlement offer. While this does not happen with every claim, I would go on a limb and say that it happens often.
Why You Should Not Talk to and Insurance Company Before Talking to Me
There is some information that insurance companies should not be allowed to have. Insurance companies should not have any of your psychological records, or should not be allowed to have any information about pre-existing injuries that weren’t present at the time of the accident. There are medical records they should not receive; there are parts of the accident that should not be spoken about. There are many loopholes and tricks that insurance companies try to use in order to devalue your claim. Remember, I am in the business of getting you more money for your personal injury claim and they are in the business of paying you out less money for your claim.
So, What should you do?
You should call an attorney right away. It doesn’t cost you anything to have me take a look at your claim. I can tell you on the phone if you need an attorney or it is something you should handle yourself. I just helped a former client negotiate his property damage claim free of charge because it took me one phone call, and he didn’t really need me. However, if any injuries are involved you almost always will need an attorney. I’d be more than happy to chat with you about your car accident claim and give you guidance on how to deal with insurance companies.
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Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.