Although an experienced attorney is the best way to get the most out of your insurance claim, there are some practical things you can do to improve your odds of getting the amount you’re entitled to:
1. Keep your cool
Dealing with the shenanigans of an insurance company can push anyone to the limit, but you need to resist the temptation to go ballistic on them and keep your communications as civil as possible. If you get branded as a “psycho,” it will become even easier for them to devalue your claim and endlessly string you along.
2. Know the full value of your claim by documenting all your expenses
You can’t go into the claims process without knowing exactly what you’re asking for. You need to keep records of all the expenses you’ve incurred since your accident—hospital bills, chiropractic treatment, out-of-pocket purchases of bandages and Acetaminophen, travel expenses to and from doctor appointments and lost income from being unable to work. You can also document the pain and suffering the accident has cost you with photos of your injuries, any pain medications you’ve been prescribed, and statements from your physician or physical therapist.
3. Don’t deny yourself needed medical care
If you need medical care, get it. Often, chiropractic care and physical therapy are usually needed after an accident, too. Don’t worry about what it’s going to cost. You have every right to get the medical care you need and your insurance company has an obligation to cover it. While you’re worrying about a stack of unpaid medical bills, the insurance company is earning interest on the settlement amount they haven’t paid you yet.
4. Take advantage of a free law consultations
Before you take on the claims process by yourself, get some input from an experienced attorney. Virtually every personal injury law firm offers a free initial consultation, Warshafsky Law included. At Warshafsky, you’ll meet with an experienced attorney, not a paralegal, and you’ll get our take on what kind of settlement the insurance company should be offering you. Then you can decide whether to retain an attorney or continue handling the claim yourself.
5. Hire an experienced personal injury lawyer
To be sure you get everything owed to you, hire an attorney. Besides having the legal expertise it takes to beat insurance companies at their own game, an attorney handles all the communication with your insurance company. From the day you retain an attorney, the insurance company is legally obligated to only communicate with your attorney.