How to Deal with the Insurance Company After an Automobile Accident
Authored By: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid - Austin
Before you can deal with the insurance company (either yours or those of other people involved in the accident) you will need to have all of the facts correct. First, make sure to gather all the evidence you can about the accident. This is where having properly filled out the 'emergency accident form" will be useful. Next, you need to determine who is at fault for the accident. It is important that you have some official evidence to support your assessment of blame, such as state traffic laws or evidence from a police report. Your final course of action will be to determine what your claim is worth.
After you have completed these preliminary steps, you need to send a formal demand letter to the insurance company of the person who is at fault for the accident. This might be your insurance company if you were involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
Finally, you will engage in informal negotiations with the insurance company. When you have reached an agreement that you are happy with, the process will be concluded. If, however, an agreement cannot be reached, you may have to enlist an attorney to deal with the insurance company and/or take the claim to court.
What to do if an Insurance Company Contacts You:
You should first identify the person with whom you are speaking, the company he or she represents and the person the insurance company represents. During this phone conversation, it is important that you give limited personal information. Your name, address, and phone number is sufficient. You can also tell the person who calls you that further contact should be made through your insurance representative. It is important that you do not give any details about the accident or your injuries. The insurance company representative may make an offer to settle your claim immediately. It would be in your best interest to review the offer in detail and take some time to consider it before making a decision. Do not allow yourself to be pressured into accepting or signing an offer with which you are not completely satisfied.
If you need more information on dealing with insurance companies, writing demand letters, determining who is at fault, and/or determining how much you deserve to be compensated, refer to the NOLO web site at:www.nolo.com.