An automobile accident is never an easy thing to deal with, especially if there are injuries or damage to property. Throw in complex legal proceedings in the mix, and it can be an incredibly stressful time. Since filing an auto accident claim is something most people never deal with, it can be a confusing process. Fortunately though, plenty of people have been down this road before you, and you can learn from their mistakes. Here's a look at some of the biggest mistakes people make when filing an auto accident claim, and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not Negotiating After the Insurance Company's First Offer
Once your claim is submitted, the insurance company will look over what you've sent, and make an offer. Here's the thing, though - that's almost always an initial offer. Typically, this first offer is lower that what you'd expect. Many people though, just assume that that's "how these companies are," and agree to that compensation. But you can almost always get more. If the first offer is too low, draft a letter explaining why that amount isn't agreeable. Remind the company of your documentation, and submit a counter offer. The insurance company will make a second offer, and you can negotiate until you're satisfied.
Mistake #2: Not Having All of Your Documents Together
In any sort of legal proceedings, paperwork is important. An automobile accident case is no different. To increase your chances of a successful claim, make sure you have all of your documentation in one place. This includes police reports, written accounts of your story (along with any witnesses that saw what happened), photos of the scene, and any medical records or bills. Not having your evidence together can doom your case more quickly than anything else, leaving you with a small settlement or even none at all.
Mistake #3: Not Being Aware of the Compensation You Can Seek An auto accident claim isn't just limited to your health or your vehicle. You can also seek compensation for personal property that was in your car, like a laptop or cell phone or property that was attached to your car, like luggage on top or a bike on a rack. If you have any out of pocket expenses, like a taxi to get home after the accident, or a rental car to last until you get a new one, you can seek compensation for those as well.
But even if you avoid these three mistakes, the process of filing a claim can still be confusing. Oftentimes, it's best to just trust the professionals. They've likely dealt with hundreds of cases similar to yours, and they know how to come to a quick resolution. When you can take the stress off of yourself, and increase your chances of a successful settlement in the process, there's no reason not to let an auto accident attorney handle your case.
If you are unable to work because of an illness or injury, you may qualify for social security disability payments. This money comes from a fund you have probably contributed to during your time in the work force, and it is likely that you have the right to disability payments using this money. As an attorney specializing in social security disability, I have a great deal of experience in helping clients determine if they qualify for disability payments. I hope that this blog will help people who have been injured understand what it means to qualify for social security disability benefits and how to go about getting that help.