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Tips for dealing with insurance after car accidents

Being hurt in a car accident is stressful enough. Unfortunately, the process of getting money from your insurance company can be fairly stressful as well.

So, here are a few tips that may help reduce frustration.

Enlist an attorney

Attorneys have experience in working with insurance companies. They know the people and the lingo, the arguments to make and what types of documentation are best. You could get much more money from a settlement this way and resolve the matter more quickly.

Be persistent

If your insurance company is refusing to settle fairly, you also have the options of writing the state department of insurance and/or speaking with the supervisor of your claims adjuster. You can ask the supervisor to serve as a fresh pair of eyes on the case, and the state department of insurance may be able to take action on your complaint (the insurance company stalling for weeks is a common one).

Document, document, document

Lack of documentation is the reason many claims settle for low amounts or face rejection. For example, if you say that the car accident caused a personal injury that led to loss of income, an older paystub compared with a newer one can verify your statement. If you do not have any pay stubs or similar documentation, there is no incentive for the insurance company to simply take your word for it. You should be ready to submit documentation for every claim possible. It may take the form of police reports, photos, car repair estimates, doctor notes, doctor and prescription bills, mileage records for doctor visits, and more.

Start and continue on a high note

When you begin the compensation negotiations, explain the salient factors that back up your claim. For example, perhaps the police record confirms you were following all laws and that the other driver was driving drunk. Provide documentation that supports your compensation requests and be willing to wait a few days for the adjuster to assess your claim. Adjusters at many companies wait that long or longer in hopes that you will get anxious and settle for a lower offer. As negotiations continue, interact professionally (not emotionally) with the adjuster. If problems occur that lead you to think negotiations are futile, you can speak with the claims supervisor.

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