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Why You Shouldn't Talk to Another Insurance Company After a Car


    If you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision, what you do and don’t do post-accident can make a big difference in the size of your insurance settlement.


    You should call the cops. You should exchange insurance information with the other driver and write down their license plate number. You should take photos of the scene and damage to the cars. You should cooperate fully with the authorities. You should keep all evidence and documents that could be useful in an investigation.


    You should never apologize, which can be held against you — even if you’re not at fault. You should never let emotion take over and lose your temper. You should never forgo medical treatment, as it’s imperative to have a record of injuries sustained.


    And you should never, ever talk to representatives of the other driver’s insurance company without a lawyer at your side.


    Insurance Companies Want to Keep Their Money

    We get it. You have medical expenses piling up: a huge bill for repairs to your car and lost income from an inability to work as you recover. An insurance company knocking at your door with the promise of a big check may seem like the financial relief you need. But it’s in your best interest to resist this initial offer, which is almost certainly far lower than what a lawyer will be able to negotiate.


    Insurers are in the business of making and keeping their money. In order to get the full amount you need to cover your costs, you need a skilled car accident attorney working on your behalf — someone who can negotiate a settlement favorable to you, and take it to the courtroom if warranted.


    How Are Damages Calculated?

    You don’t want an insurance company alone to determine how much compensation you should receive after a car wreck. This is a surefire way to be shortchanged. An attorney working for you will help you understand the true costs of an accident — including those that may arise in the future — and come to a fair number. Here are a few of the costs and expenses damages should cover:


    • Medical, rehab, and therapy bills
    • Repairs to your vehicle
    • Ambulance fees
    • In-home services
    • Permanent disability and disfigurement
    • Projected future medical expenses
    • Lost wages (work missed during recovery and permanent loss of earning ability)
    • Pain and suffering, or the physical, mental, and emotional distress suffered as the result of the incident.


    While many of these expenses are clear-cut, pain and suffering is not. Insurers who use the “multiplier method” calculate pain and suffering by multiplying the dollar amount of the other expenses by 1.5 to 5. In other cases, insurers use a method called “per diem.” They pay a set dollar amount for each day of pain and suffering endured.


    After an Accident, Hire a Lawyer ASAP

    If you speak with the other party’s insurance company and say the wrong thing or accept their first settlement offer before consulting a lawyer, you can’t take it back. That’s why it’s always a smart idea to hire someone to represent you, even if the wreck was not your fault.


    A good attorney will be able to help you determine how much in damages you should receive, gather evidence and documentation, and push back when insurance companies attempt to lowball you. Insurers generally prefer to work things out at the negotiating table as opposed to in the courtroom, but there is always the possibility they won’t willingly give you what you need. In that case, you’ll have to sue.


    If you are looking for a New Albany car accident lawyer, call McNeely Stephenson. We will fight to win you the compensation you deserve.