If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident that was caused by another person’s negligence, you will undoubtedly be dealing with insurance carriers to recover compensation for your losses. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our qualified and experienced car accident lawyers in Philadelphia want to discuss some things that you need to know before filing your insurance claim.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there were more than 128,000 reported crashes during the latest year of data we have available. To put it simply, there are hundreds of thousands of people making car accident claims with their insurance carriers each year in the Commonwealth. However, before you file a claim with your insurance carrier, make sure you understand the following factors.
The number one lesson to learn before you file an insurance claim is that insurance carriers are not your friends. Whether we are discussing your personal auto insurance carrier or the carrier of the at-fault party, these are “for-profit” entities that will do anything they can to lower the amount of money they pay you in a settlement – even if you are the victim.
From the very moment an accident occurs, you should begin gathering as much evidence as safely possible. This includes taking photographs at the scene of any damages to vehicles, injuries, causes of the incident, traffic and weather conditions, and more. Get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the crash, as well as the driver’s license and insurance information of all other drivers involved.
If the insurance carrier of the at-fault party insists that you need to give a recorded statement or sign over your medical records before they can process your claim, please know that this is not true. Do not give a recorded statement because they will use anything you say against you if it contradicts the facts of the case. Do not sign over your medical records, because the fault driver’s insurance carrier could use information related to a past medical issue to say that you were not truly harmed in the accident.
Remember how we said that car accident insurers are not your friends? That is important to keep in mind when the insurance carrier of the at-fault party comes to you with an initial settlement offer that may seem enticing. Please understand that early settlement offers are likely far below what you should be receiving for your claim. The initial settlement offer should be your starting point to getting a much higher settlement.
If you or somebody you care about sustains an injury in a car accident caused by another driver, you need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., our competent and experienced team is ready to investigate your claim so we can secure full compensation on your behalf. This includes coverage for all medical expenses related to the incident, any lost wages if you cannot work, payment suffering damages, property damage expenses, and more. When you need a car accident lawyer in Philadelphia, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 866-597-8572.