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How to handle insurance companies after an accident

Getting into a car accident, especially when your children are in the car, is probably a very scary thought. A car accident is an awful experience for anyone and, in addition to the emotional shock, it can bring huge financial burdens if people are injured and/or the car is damaged.

Insurance companies like to lead everyone to believe that they will receive complete and fair coverage for every accident, but this sadly isn't true. Insurance companies usually try to offer as little compensation as they can get away with. Here is what you should do when dealing with insurance companies to make sure you receive fair payment.

1. Never accept an offer without legal advice.

In a lot of cases, insurance companies make an offer quickly after an accident to speed the process along and save themselves money. Because they are first and foremost a company whose goal is to make profit, they usually offer less than you really deserve.

It may seem tempting to take the money right away, since car accidents can cause financial burden, but never accept an offer immediately. If you do, you probably cannot accept any future payment as compensation and the offer may be far less than you deserve or, frankly, need for your situation. You have the right to consider your options, and an attorney can be crucial in advising you on your situation and how to negotiate with the insurance company.

2. Take notes when speaking to the insurance company.

When you are speaking with an insurance company after an accident, take detailed notes of all important information. Write down the name of the person you spoke to, their position, what time you spoke to them, what you discussed, and anything they told you about coverage or what they could offer. This can be very important info for seeking fair compensation, especially for an attorney who is working on your case.

3. Request copies of police reports.

After an accident, you should always contact the police about what happened, even if the accident seems minor. When you contact the police about a car accident, they can file a police report. This is a crucial piece of evidence when seeking coverage from an insurer. You can ask an attorney about requesting police reports if you are unsure of the process or have any questions.

4. Keep records of doctor's visits and any medical treatment.

Coverage for medical expenses may be the most important part of the post-accident process for many people. No one wants to deal with the financial hardship of medical bills during the emotional hardship of making sure they and their loved ones are safe and fully cared for.

Keep all medical records after an accident, as well as recording all the dates you went to the doctor and any important information you received during those visits. Some injuries don't appear until days or weeks after an accident, so an ongoing process of tracking your medical records is important.

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