Insurance Companies: Friend or Foe After a Car Accident?
In any situation involving a serious crash, you will likely be looking to automobile insurance companies for compensation. In California, you may seek compensation from the insurance company for the other driver if he or she was negligent in causing the car accident. You may also potentially seek compensation from your own insurance company if the other driver is either uninsured or underinsured to help cover the value of your injury claims.
When you work with the insurance company, you may expect that they will be on your side. They should be there to provide you compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering, and potentially other damages. Unfortunately, they’re not always there for you as you hope they would be.
Large Businesses Focus on Profit
While many insurance companies market themselves to be there when their policyholders need them, it’s important to understand that they are typically multi-billion-dollar corporations focused on maximizing profits. Their priority is to increase revenues through customer premiums and to pay out as little as possible on claims.
Some insurance companies take advantage of a vulnerable time for you. They’ll offer you much less than you deserve in a settlement soon after an accident knowing that you need money, and also to ensure they’re not paying out a large sum. It is important to consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlements – or even before entering settlement negotiations.
What to Do When You Receive a Settlement Offer
If you receive an early settlement offer from the insurance company, be sure to speak with an attorney about your options. Understanding the value of your case requires help from someone who knows what to look for with regard to economic damages (such as medical expenses and lost income) and non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering).
If you and your legal team believe the settlement offer is too low, experienced attorneys will know how to leverage a settlement that more fairly reflects fair value for your claims. Despite the promises from the insurance company, know that they may not always be willing to help you. In California, the insurance company for the at-fault party owes you no legal obligation to treat you reasonably or fairly, and unfortunately, they often do not do so. You need to protect yourself in this process.
At Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook, our Walnut Creek car accident attorneys are here for you. We’ll help you navigate the process and work to hold the insurance company to their word. Trust us to be by your side every step of the way.