After a car accident occurs, the drivers involved are required to exchange insurance information. Provided you are not at fault for the accident, the insurance company pays the claim, which includes the cost to repair or replace your vehicle and any medical expenses you incurred. Sounds easy, right?
Wrong. Unfortunately, complications can arise at any time over filing your claim, getting it approved, and obtaining a settlement. Depending on the circumstances, filing a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver involved in the car accident may be a better option, allowing you to claim damages you would not otherwise be entitled to.
Dealing With Insurance Companies After An Accident
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Along with collecting premiums, one of the ways they do this is by avoiding having to pay accident settlements. In addition to undervaluing your vehicle or the amount of medical care your injuries may require, being even partially at fault for an accident can be reason enough for your insurer to reduce or completely deny your claim.
When dealing with insurance companies after an accident, Insure.com advises that you do the following at the accident scene:
Get complete information for all other drivers involved
Get the names and contact information for any witnesses to the accident
Take photographs of where the accident occurred, the damage to your vehicle, and your injuries
Avoid making any statements admitting liability
Request a copy of the police accident report
Even if your injuries seem minor, get medical attention immediately. Failing to do so could impact your rights to compensation.
Claiming Damages In A Personal Injury Lawsuit
When negotiating with your insurer, it is important to review your policy documents, get your own repair or replacement quotes, and to question your doctor about any lingering disabilities you may suffer or future treatments your injuries may require. Be aware that once you accept an insurance company settlement, you will be waiving your rights to future compensation.
Depending on the circumstances and severity of your accident, there are different types of compensation you may claim through a personal injury lawsuit that you may not be entitled to through an insurance settlement. In addition to medical expenses and lost wages, you may be entitled under the South Carolina Code of Laws to the following damages:
Ongoing physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
Future losses in income
Pain, suffering, and mental anguish you endured due to the accident
Compensation for loss of enjoyment in life
Punitive damages, which is a dollar amount meant to punish the at fault party for conduct that was particularly reckless or negligent
Get Help Today
At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC, we have experience in negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. We conduct our own accident investigations, gathering evidence needed in support of your claim. In the event a settlement cannot be reached, we can advise you on your rights in filing a personal injury lawsuit. You have one chance to get the compensation you need when an accident occurs. Before settling for less than you deserve, contact our Aiken, SC car accident attorneys today.