Get a California Car Accident Injury Lawyer to Deal with Your Car Insurance Company
Injured in a car accident? Find out how to secure maximum coverage for your claim and get help from a California car accident injury lawyer 24/7.
If you have been involved in a California car accident, recovering your losses will mean dealing with your insurance company. Unfortunately, not only can this process be time-consuming and frustrating, but it is also easy to make costly mistakes along the way. An experienced California car accident injury lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes and recover maximum compensation.
The best way to deal with your insurance company in California is to hire one of the many California car accident injury lawyers in your area to handle your claim for you. But, regardless of whether you hire a lawyer or you try to handle your claim on your own, it will be important for you to know what you can expect from the process.
In this ultimate guide to how to deal with your car insurance company after an accident, we cover:
- Filing a Claim After a California Car Accident
- Handling Your Claim
- Evaluating Settlement Offers
- If Your Claim is Denied
- 7 Mistakes to Avoid When You Have a California Car Accident Insurance Claim
- Should You Get a Lawyer to Deal with Your Insurance Company For You?
How to Deal with Your Car Insurance Company in California: Filing a Claim After a California Car Accident
You have been involved in a California car accident. Do you need to file an insurance claim? If so, how do you file, and how do you make sure you will be able to receive maximum compensation for your injuries? Here's what you need to know about how to deal with your car insurance company when it comes to filing your claim:
After being injured in a California car accident, it is important to file a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. Not only must you file a claim in order to receive compensation, but you may also have a contractual obligation to file under the terms of your policy. If you fail to file a claim, not only will you lose the ability to recover your losses, but you could also face the issue of having future claims denied (or even having your policy terminated) as well.
In terms of making sure you receive maximum compensation, this is a multi-step process. You can use our guide, Steps to Take After a Car Accident, to learn more about protecting your legal rights after a collision. Ultimately, the keys are (i) to make smart decisions, (ii) to be persistent, and (iii) to rely on your doctor’s and California car accident injury lawyer’s advice to make sure you receive the medical care and financial compensation you deserve.
5 Tips for Filing a California Car Accident Insurance Claim
Here are five tips for filing a claim with your auto insurance company after a California car accident:
Tip #1: Take Care of Your Health First
After a California car accident, it is extremely important to prioritize your medical care. See a doctor you trust, and follow through with your doctor’s treatment recommendations. While you may need to see an insurance company doctor for an Independent Medical Examination (IME) eventually, you should not let your auto insurance company dictate who you see for treatment of your accident-related injuries. When it comes to how to deal with your car insurance company, this will be a general theme. Do not let your insurance company tell you what to do. Instead, rely on the advice of an attorney who has your best interests in mind.
Tip #2: Take Notes and Get Prepared
When you file your car insurance claim, you will need to provide sufficient details about the accident to allow your insurance company to conduct an investigation. However, you must also be careful not to share any information that isn’t required, and you should not answer any questions about who you think was at fault in the accident. Take notes so that you can stick to the facts when you call, and prepare yourself to say, “No,” when your adjuster asks questions you don’t have to answer.
Tip #3: File Your Insurance Claim Promptly
Following a California car accident, it is important to file your insurance claim promptly. While you might not want to deal with your insurance company, this is a necessary part of the process—and waiting could make it harder to recover just compensation. If you have any concerns, consult with a California car accident injury lawyer first, and you can even ask a California car accident injury lawyer to file a claim on your behalf.
Tip #4: Confirm that Your Adjuster the Information He or She Needs
When you file your claim, confirm that your adjuster has the information he or she needs. You do not want to think you have filed a claim when in fact your adjuster is still waiting on more information. When it comes to how to deal with your insurance company, making assumptions is a mistake you cannot afford.
Tip #5: Ask What You Can Expect Next
In addition to confirming that you have adequately filed your claim, you should also ask what you can expect next. When will you hear from your adjuster again? When will the insurance company investigate your accident? How will you be contacted? These are all answers that you have the right to know.
Filing an insurance claim is just the start of the process. Once you file, there are several additional steps you will need to take in order to recover just compensation. Here's what you need to know about how to deal with your car insurance company once you file your claim:
One of the most-important aspects of handing your claim is keeping up with your medical treatment. In terms of what to do after a California car accident, seeing a doctor and following your doctor’s advice should be two of your top priorities. While your claim is pending, your insurance company will be watching to see if you are following your doctor’s treatment recommendations—and if you are not, this could lead to your claim being denied.
Another important factor to consider is that handling your insurance claim will take time. Your insurance company will need to investigate, you should hire a lawyer to investigate, and you will need to have a clear understanding of your accident-related losses before you even think about settling. As a result, while you can handle your insurance claim on your own, your best option is to hire a California car accident injury lawyer, and you have no reason not to seek experienced legal representation.
5 Tips for Handling Your California Car Accident Insurance Claim
Here are five tips for how to deal with your car insurance company—whether you try to handle your claim on your own or you hire one of the many local California car accident injury lawyers to represent you:
Tip #1: Do Not Ignore Communications from Your Adjuster
When you receive calls, texts, or emails from your adjuster, you need to respond as promptly as possible. Even if you don’t have the information he or she is requesting – or if it is not in your best interests to prove the information – still respond so that your insurance company cannot accuse you of ignoring your claim—and potentially deny coverage as a result.
Tip #2: Follow Up if You Don’t Hear from Your Adjuster
If you don’t hear from your adjuster, follow up. While your adjuster should handle your claim diligently, this may or may not actually happen. Your adjuster might be working on your claim, or your claim might just be sitting idle, waiting for you to keep it moving forward. When it comes to how to deal with your car insurance company, you cannot assume that your adjuster is keeping your claim moving forward with your best interests in mind.
Tip #3: Get a California Car Accident Injury Lawyer to Help You
Even if you are diligent about responding to and checking in with your adjuster, this will not be enough to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. There are numerous additional steps involved, many of which require the knowledge and skills of experienced California car accident injury lawyers. The sooner you hire a lawyer to help you, the less chances you will have to make costly mistakes, and the more confident you can feel that you are doing everything necessary to recover maximum compensation.
Tip #4: Keep a File with All Claim-Related Information
It is a good idea to keep all of the documents related to your California car accident insurance claim in one place. This includes documents you receive from your insurance company, as well as medical records, employment records, your notes, and any other records you may have from the accident (i.e. your copy of the police report). Start a folder, and get in the habit of putting relevant documents in your folder as soon as you receive them.
Tip #5: Be Careful about Saying “Yes” to Your Adjuster’s Requests
From giving a recorded statement to attending an Independent Medical Examination (IME), your adjuster will ask you to do several things that you are not required to do—at least not without appropriate protections in place. Be very careful about saying, “Yes,” to your adjuster’s requests; and, when in doubt, seek advice from one of the many experienced local California car accident injury lawyers near you.
When dealing with your California insurance company, you have one goal: To receive a settlement that covers your losses and allows you to move on with your life. However, if you receive a settlement offer, you need to be very careful, and you need to make an informed decision about whether to accept. Here's what you need to know about how to deal with your car insurance company when it comes to evaluating settlement offers:
There are several factors to consider when evaluating a settlement offer from your car insurance company. Among the most important of these factors is the total amount you are entitled to recover. Unless and until you have a clear understanding of your injuries’ financial and non-financial effects, you cannot make an informed decision about what constitutes just compensation.
If your injuries are serious and it is reasonably clear that the other driver was at fault, the insurance companies may offer you a settlement fairly quickly. This offer may even seem like a lot of money. But, if you receive a quick settlement offer without negotiating and without even submitting evidence of your injuries’ effects, you can be almost certain that the offer reflects only a small portion of the total amount you are entitled to recover..
How do you make an informed decision about settlement? Your best option by far is to get a California car accident injury lawyer to help you. If you hire a lawyer to help you with how to deal with your car insurance company, you can feel confident knowing that you are not settling for less than you deserve.
5 Tips for Evaluating Settlement Offers from Your Insurance Company
Here are five tips for evaluating any settlement offers you may receive from your insurance company related to your California car accident:
Tip #1: Make Sure You Know the Long-Term Effects of Your Injuries
Before you settle, you need to make sure you know the long-term effects of your injuries. How much money will you need to cover your future medical bills and prescriptions? Will you suffer from chronic pain? Will this pain prevent you from working? These are critical questions that you need to answer before you accept a settlement and waive your right to additional compensation.
Tip #2: Be Very Wary about Accepting the First Offer
As we mentioned above, you should always be wary of accepting your insurance company’s first offer. This does not mean that you should always reject the first offer, but it does mean that you should think carefully before you make a decision.
Tip #3: Make Sure You Know Your Current and Future Losses
When you have a California car accident insurance claim, you are entitled to just compensation for your current and future losses. This includes current and future:
- Medical bills
- Prescription costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of services, society, and support
Once again, if you do not know how much you are entitled to recover, you have no way of knowing whether a settlement offer reflects just compensation. Learn more about how to calculate California car accident compensation.
Tip #4: Do Not Let Short-Term Financial Strain Influence Your Decision
Many California car accident victims experiences financial strain as a result of their injuries. If you are struggling to pay your bills and at risk of falling behind, you should not let this influence your decision about settlement. There are options available to you (i.e. sending a letter of protection or securing pre-settlement funding), and car accident injury lawyers can help you manage your short-term financial needs while also making sure you take the time to secure a fair settlement.
Tip #5: Rely on the Advice of Experienced Professionals
If you were seriously injured in your California car accident, you could be facing substantial losses and long-term physical (and psychological) effects. As a result, you need to rely on the advice of experienced professionals when seeking to obtain a settlement. Keep seeing your doctor as scheduled, and schedule a free consultation with a California car accident injury lawyer to make sure you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
If you try to deal with your car insurance company on your own, there is a decent chance that your claim will be denied. There are three main reasons why the insurance companies deny accident victims’ claims:
- There is a legitimate dispute over who was at fault in the accident;
- The claimant made mistakes that justify a denial of coverage; and,
- The insurance company wrongfully denied the claim in bad faith.
Regardless of why your claim is denied, if it is denied, you need to speak with a California car accident injury lawyer right away. It might not be too late to obtain coverage, but you could also be running out of time. A lawyer will be able to assess both (i) why your claim was denied, and (ii) what options you still have available. If you have options, your lawyer can take over your claim and fight to recover the compensation you deserve.
5 Tips for Dealing with Your Insurance Company After a Claim Denial
Here are five tips for how to deal with your car insurance company if you receive a denial of coverage after a California car accident:
Tip #1: Do Not Assume Your Claim is Over
As we said above, at this point you should not assume that your claim is over. Depending on why your claim was denied, it may be possible to challenge the denial with your insurance company directly, or it may be possible to challenge your denial in court. Whichever of these may be the case, you owe it to yourself to keep fighting to recover the money you will need in the future.
Tip #2: Gather All Documents You Have from Your Claim
Collect all of the documents that you have related to your insurance claim. This includes documents you sent to your insurance company, as well as letters and other documents you received from your adjuster.
Tip #3: Print, Save, or Download All Texts and Emails from Your Adjuster
You should print, save, or download copies of all emails and text messages you have from your adjuster as well. California car accident injury lawyers will want to review these communications to determine whether you were misled or if your adjuster may have withheld information that you needed in order to prevent your claim from being denied.
Tip #4: Learn More about Why Auto Insurance Companies Deny Claims
There are lots of reasons why auto insurance companies deny claims. Some of these reasons are legitimate, and some are not. Learn more about why auto insurance companies deny accident victims’ claims.
Tip #5: Contact a California Car Accident Injury Lawyer Promptly
At this point, your only practical option is to hire one of the many local California car accident injury lawyers in your area to fight your denial on your behalf. You should not wait any longer than necessary—and you can use the button below to get a free claim assessment online today.
In addition to knowing how to deal with your car insurance company, you need to know how to avoid certain key mistakes as well. If you make these mistakes, you could end up with less than you deserve—and you could even end up without any compensation at all.
So, what mistakes do you need to avoid? Here are seven common mistakes that can cause problems for your insurance claim:
Mistake #1: Giving a Recorded Statement
When you file your insurance claim, your adjuster will ask you to give a statement. This statement will be recorded. You should not give a recorded statement to your insurance company. If you do, it will only be used against you. There is no benefit to providing a recorded statement, you do not have to provide a recorded statement, and therefore you should not do so.
What is a “recorded statement”? When you file your claim, your adjuster will ask you to say what you think happened in the accident. He or she may also ask questions like, “How fast were you going?”, “What were you doing at the time of the crash?”, and “Who do you think was at fault?” These questions are designed to do one thing—to get you to suggest that you could (and should) have avoided the collision. If you admit to this, you could have a very hard time recovering from this mistake, as your insurance company will be able to use your own words to refute anything you say differently in the future.
Mistake #2: Making Assumptions
In this same vein, when it comes to how to deal with your car insurance company, you need to be very careful to avoid making assumptions. This applies when talking to your adjuster, but it applies to other aspects of your claim as well. For example, you should not assume that:
- You were fully or partially at fault in your California car accident;
- There was something you should have done to avoid the collision or mitigate your injuries;
- Your insurance company will treat you fairly;
- You will not be able to secure insurance coverage for your injuries; or,
- There is nothing California car accident injury lawyers can do to help you.
Mistake #3: Making False Statements
In addition to avoiding assumptions, you also need to avoid making false statements. Making false statements is among the most-common reasons for legitimate auto insurance claim denials. If you say something that isn’t true, there is a very good chance that your insurance company will find out; and, if it does, it will almost certainly deny your claim on the basis of “insurance fraud.”
Mistake #4: Posting about Your Accident or Post-Accident Activities Online
When you file an auto insurance claim, your insurance company won’t just investigate the accident—it will investigate you as well. This includes monitoring what you post online.
If you post photos or comments that contradict what you told your insurance adjuster, this could lead to a claim denial. Likewise, if you post pictures of yourself going out, exercising or engaging in other physical activity when you are supposed to be resting and recovering, your insurance company may use your posts to blame you for your own medical treatment needs.
Mistake #5: Going to an Independent Medical Examination (IME) without Seeking Legal Advice
At some point, you might have to submit to an Independent Medical Examination (IME). This is basically an appointment with a doctor who works with your insurance company—and whose job is to help the insurance company determine how much it should pay for your injuries.
Before attending an IME, it is extremely important that you consult with an attorney for California car accidents. Your attorney may be able to save you from having to attend; and, if this is not an option, you will need your attorney to review the IME report and address any statements that present issues for your insurance claim.
Mistake #6: Accepting Your Insurance Company’s Determination of Liability
An important fact you need to keep in mind about how California car accident claims work is that the insurance companies always have their own financial interests in mind. As a result, you should almost never take what your insurance adjuster says at face value. This is particularly true with regard to your insurance company’s determination of liability.
Mistake #7: Trying to Handle Your Car Insurance Claim on Your Own
Trying to handle your car insurance claim on your own is a mistake that can potentially impact the rest of your life. If you have been seriously injured, if your insurance company denies full coverage, and if you cannot afford your medical treatment as a result, your life could truly never be the same.
With this in mind, if you have a California car accident insurance claim, you have no reason not to get help from an experienced California car accident injury lawyer. Hiring a lawyer costs nothing out of pocket; and, even when you factor in your lawyer’s legal fees, you can still expect to recover far more with an experienced attorney on your side.
When it comes to how to deal with your car insurance company, the best decision you can make is to hire a lawyer to represent you. There is simply too much at stake for you not to seek help from an experienced professional. The insurance company is not on your side, and it has a team of lawyers, doctors, investigators, and adjusters on its side who are all getting paid to make sure you receive as little compensation as possible.
Some of the main reasons to get a lawyer to handle your California car accident insurance claim are:
- The insurance companies have their best interests in mind. The insurance companies do not pay unless they are convinced they have no other choice. Your lawyer can convince your insurance company that it needs to pay what you are owed.
- If you make mistakes, you might not be able to recover. If you make any of the mistakes we listed above, you might not be able to recover. Your lawyer can help you avoid costly mistakes, and he or she can promptly address any mistakes you’ve made in order to protect your claim for damages.
- You need to accurately calculate your financial and non-financial losses. In order to secure a fair settlement, you need to determine how much you are entitled to recover. Your lawyer can use his or her experience to accurately calculate your financial and non-financial losses.
- You need to accurately calculate your current and future losses. Hiring a lawyer is essential to ensuring that you receive compensation not only for your losses to date, but for your future losses as well.
- California car accident injury lawyers can help make sure you receive maximum compensation. Since you only get one chance to settle, you need to make sure you receive maximum compensation. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to make sure you receive the full compensation you deserve.