Each year, there are over ten million car accidents in the US alone. Those accidents can range from bumps in parking lots to huge pileups on the freeway. The outcome of that huge number is over 40,000 deaths, as well as hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of injuries. When someone is injured in a car accident, they often require a significant amount of medical treatment. And not only do they have to deal with those bills, but their injury may leave them unable to work for an extended period of time. This combination can quickly put a major financial strain on anyone.
Most people are aware that insurance companies are supposed to cover these costs. What they don’t realize is trying to get the compensation that’s owed from an insurance company can be a nightmare. Not realizing how difficult this task can be results in people making some significant mistakes when it comes to negotiating. To see exactly where people mess up, let’s look at five different mistakes right now:
Not Estimating Their Settlement Amount
A lot of people make the assumption that the insurance company they go to is going to take care of estimating how much they owe. While it is true that an insurer is likely to make this calculation, they’re almost always going to keep that estimate as low as possible. So if someone doesn’t take the time to actually figure out what they need in order to cover their costs, they may end up settling for far too low of an amount.
Taking the First Offer They’re Given
This ties into the previous mistake. Getting a settlement from an insurer isn’t the same thing as getting a paycheck. There’s no need to simply walk in and take what’s offered. Unfortunately, a lot of people think that’s what they’re supposed to do. And once they accept an offer that’s too low, they end up in the unfavorable position of still being unable to cover all the costs associated with their accident.
Being Afraid to Push Back About How Much is Offered
Not only is there no need to accept the first offer that’s made, but it’s also not necessary to play along with what an adjuster is saying. If someone feels like an adjuster is trying to screw them over, they should say just that. Doing so puts the adjuster in the position of actually having to justify what they’re proposing.
Forgetting to Utilize Emotion
Insurance negotiations and settlements aren’t just about the facts. More abstract concepts like emotion and pain also play a role. While these are very powerful negotiating tools, far too many people fail to utilize them.
The Single Biggest Mistake Someone Can Make
Since you’ve already seen that there are quite a few mistakes someone can make in this situation, you may be wondering how one can stand out above the rest. Well, the reason that’s possible is because it’s actually related to all the mistakes we’ve covered. By far, the biggest mistake someone can make is not working with Philly injury lawyers or experienced attorneys in their own city. Why does that mistake stand above all the rest? Because when someone does hire a lawyer to represent them, they don’t have to worry about all the other mistakes. Instead, they can depend on their lawyer to fight on their behalf and do everything possible to secure the absolute best outcome.
A lawyer’s representation isn’t just valuable because they’re willing to fight hard for their clients. It’s also useful because lawyers actually have experience dealing with insurance companies. As a result, they already know how to avoid all the common mistakes we’ve covered. Not only will they avoid those mistakes, but they know exactly what needs to be done to build a truly strong case. And by building that kind of case, they’re able to put their client in the best negotiating position.
Being involved in a car accident doesn’t only cause physical harm. It can also leave you with huge medical bills that are simply impossible to cover on your own. And because a serious injury can prevent you from working for awhile, additional bills can also pile up. While this is the type of situation where insurance companies are supposed to step up and help, as we’ve seen throughout the course of this post, that’s simply not how reality works. If you want to protect yourself and your financial well-being, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.
Teresa Cummings is a freelance writer. Prior to striking out on her own to follow her passion, she actually worked in the insurance industry for eight years.