Should I Notify My Insurance Company About An Auto Accident?
You should contact a lawyer before contacting the insurance company about an auto accident. Once you hire a lawyer to handle your case, they will set up a claim and speak to the insurance companies for you. If you decide not to hire a lawyer, then you will be required to report the accident to your own insurance company. You will not be required to report it to the other person’s insurance company, but it’s usually a good idea. For example, if you don’t have collision coverage on your own policy and the other driver is at fault, then you may have to go through that driver’s insurance company in order to get your car repaired.
It is important to know that if you do report the accident to the other driver’s insurance company, you are not required to give a statement. In fact, I would recommend that you do not provide a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. You will probably be required to provide your own insurance company with a statement. If you hire a qualified personal injury attorney, then they will be able to handle all of this for you so that you can focus on recovering physically, emotionally, and financially.
What Defenses Do Insurance Companies Use To Avoid Paying Out On Claims?
Insurance adjusters may sound friendly and helpful, but know that their objective is contrary to yours and that they are not your friends. A common defense used by insurance adjusters is to point to a lack of physical damage to your vehicle as evidence of a lack of physical injury to you. In reality, just because there isn’t significant visible property damage, does not necessarily mean that there wasn’t a big impact. I once handled a case in which there wasn’t a lot of visible property damage, but the structural damage to the vehicle was tremendous. One can only imagine what an impact strong enough to damage the structural integrity of a steel motor vehicle could do to a human spine. This defense feeds into the overarching defense used by insurance adjusters, which is to claim that the injured party is malingering, or making up their injury for the purposes of getting money.
Another defense is to claim that the injury was not due to the accident, but to age degeneration or the normal aging process. Defense attorneys and insurance adjusters like to argue that it is only coincidental that the pain or injury emerged after a crash.
In trip-and-fall cases and other premises liability cases, the main defense is to claim that the property owner didn’t know or couldn’t have reasonably known that there was a dangerous condition on the property. For example, if you were to slip on a spill in an aisle that occurred a minute prior, then the store owner probably couldn’t have reasonably been made aware of the spill within that very short period of time. If, on the other hand, there is evidence that the spill had been there for some time (such as by multiple streak marks from other carts going through the substance), then it could be argued that the store owner knew or should have known about the spill. As lawyers, it is our job to prove the existence of the dangerous condition and provide an evidence-backed estimate for how long the dangerous condition existed prior to the accident in question.
I once handled a case in which there was a mat that was placed near a leaking cooler at a grocery store; the mere presence of the mat showed that they had known about the leak, and placed the mat there in an attempt to dry the water. In another case, a dangerous condition was located right next to the store clerk’s post that the clerk had walked by several times throughout the day. These are just a couple of examples of defenses and ways to beat them, but there are many more.
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