Let’s say that you’ve been seriously injured by another driver’s negligence, and you aren’t sure where to turn for the help you need. While you’re attending to the primary matter of recovering your health and overall well-being, you’ll likely file your car accident claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and, if you’re like a lot of other claimants, you may simply hope for the best. In fact, the insurance company handling your claim is counting on it. If this is the challenging situation you find yourself in, don’t put off consulting with an experienced South Carolina car accident attorney.
One of the most important aspects of your car accident claim is carefully assessing the complete array of physical, financial, and emotional losses (or legal damages) that you’ve experienced. In order to be fully compensated, your legal damages will need to be well represented in your claim, and they can include all the following:
● Property damage to your vehicle
● Medical bills that may reach far into your future
● Lost earnings that may include career detours and lost earning potential
● Both your physical and emotional pain and suffering
The Insurance Company
Many claimants naturally assume that the insurance company works for them – after all, consumers pay them to cover their losses in just such situations. The insurance company, however, is not on your side but is, instead, in the business of generating mass profits, which means that if it can get away with settling for less, it will. The insurance company handling your claim not only has immense resources at its disposal but is also highly motivated, which makes working with a dedicated car accident attorney – who has considerable experience guiding cases like yours toward beneficial outcomes – in your best interest.
The Insurance Company’s Ploys
The insurance company has a bag of tricks that are intended to frustrate and shed those claimants who are too exhausted and/or perplexed to fight for just compensation.
Denying Claims Outright
Just because you have a valid car accident claim does not mean that the insurance company is going to draft you a check that covers your losses in their entirety from the get-go. In fact, some insurance companies will deny reasonable claims early on in the hope that claimants will simply give up and go away (and some do). This is an effortless way for insurance companies to offload expenses, but you should not fall victim to it. If your knowledgeable car accident attorney has confirmed that you have a solid claim, pressing forward is in your best interest.
Making an Early Settlement Offer
If the insurance company comes back with an early settlement offer, it may be a huge relief, but it’s important to think beyond your current accident-based financial predicament. An early settlement offer is likely an attempt by the insurance company to settle your claim before you recognize the full extent of your damages. Some injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord injuries, can lead to lifelong health concerns that your early settlement is unlikely to adequately address (or to address at all). Don’t accept a settlement offer until you’ve explored the matter with an experienced car accident attorney who is well versed with your claim.
Questioning the Severity of Your Losses
Your settlement will be based on the losses you experienced as a result of the other driver’s negligence, and the insurance company handling your claim may cast doubt on the severity of your injuries and the extent of your losses. This is a prime example of why carefully documenting your losses and building your strongest claim from the outset is paramount.
Casting Doubt on Fault
The insurance company may attempt to shift fault away from its policyholder and toward you in an effort to avoid paying out on your claim. Your car accident attorney has the keen legal skill and insight to ascertain fault in your claim, and his or her determination should guide you. It’s not uncommon for motorists to assume they are to blame when car accidents happen, but the law makes determining fault a matter of fact (not emotion). Further, even if you are partially at fault for an accident that leaves you injured in South Carolina, you can seek compensation for the percentage of fault that the other driver is responsible for – as long as you are no more than 50 percent to blame. This means that if you are determined to be 10 percent at fault, your settlement amount or court award will be reduced correspondingly (by that 10 percent).
Dragging Out the Claims Process
Car accident claims are complicated enough, to begin with, but when the insurance company purposefully protracts and/or complicates the process, many claimants are tempted to walk away entirely. There are laws on the books that are intended to thwart these practices, and you’re much more likely to ensure that the insurance company is held to them when you have professional legal counsel on your side.
Tripping Up Your Claim
A final word about the insurance company is that it will be looking for a way to trip up your claim, and this means it will be paying close attention to all the following:
● Any statements you make to the insurance rep (you aren’t required to make a statement and should leave this task to your attorney)
● Any posts you make on social media (it’s a good idea to take a break from social media until your claim is settled)
● How carefully you follow your doctor’s instructions and advice (if you don’t show concern, the insurance company will be sure to follow suit)
It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney
The seasoned South Carolina car accident attorneys at McCravy Law are well prepared and well-positioned to skillfully negotiate with the involved car insurance company for the compensation to which you are entitled. For more information, please don’t put off contacting or calling us at 864-388-9100 today.