A personal injury attorney can assist you in dealing with insurance after an accident. These steps may include:
- Filing a claim with your insurance company
- Letting a lawyer speak with the liable party’s insurance company on your behalf
- Disputing any insurer’s claims that you share responsibility for the accident
- Filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver
Filing a Claim with Your Insurer
It is your responsibility to file a claim with your insurance company, especially if there is a chance that someone else could blame you for the accident. Page 3 of the Guide to Automobile Insurance, published by the Ohio Department of Insurance, spells out what you must do. More specifically, your responsibilities include:
- Filing a claim in a timely fashion
- Ensuring the accuracy of your claim (filing a false claim is a punishable offense)
- Agreeing to pay whatever losses or expenses are not covered by the policy
- Providing accurate answers to any questions the insurer asks about your claim, the accident, or your injuries
If you have any doubts or questions about filing a claim or what your policy covers, you can contact your insurance company. You can also seek legal representation. A car accident lawyer can go over your policy with you and help you determine the best way to get the compensation you need.
Speaking with the Liable Party’s Insurer
These are several reasons why it may not be a good idea to talk to the liable party’s insurance company by yourself.
- The insurer may try to use your statement against you, including minor inconsistencies in your statement.
- The insurer may try to encourage you into accepting an inadequate settlement.
- A car accident lawyer is familiar with how insurers operate and can protect your rights and interests while speaking on your behalf.
If another party’s insurance representative contacts you, consider contacting a law firm that has experience with vehicle accident cases. They can respond on your behalf and protect you from an insurer’s unfair practices.
Disputing the Insurer’s Allegations Against You
When the liable party’s insurer learns of your accident, it may try to discount your claim. It may do so by:
- Asserting that a different event caused your injuries rather than the accident
- Blaming you for your injuries (e.g., claiming you violated traffic laws)
- Claiming that their client was not at fault
- Stating that your injuries are not as bad as you say they are
You might need to collect evidence from various sources to refute such defenses. Your lawyer can speak with witnesses, request documentation, review photos or video footage, and much more. It is essential to protect your rights by documenting every aspect of your accident and its aftermath.
Filing a Lawsuit After an Accident
Generally speaking, you have two years to file a lawsuit after an accident, as stated in Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10. Therefore, if you want to recover damages from the liable party, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the accident date.
A personal injury lawyer can assist you by:
- Evaluate your claim
- Gather evidence to prove your case and refute the insurance company’s attempts to deny your claim
- Negotiate on your behalf
- File suit if the insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement
- Take care of all paperwork
- Keep in frequent contact with you, update you about your case’s progress, and to always be available to address your questions and concerns
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We Can Deal With Insurance
The Fitch Law Firm LLC understands that the last thing you want to do after an accident is figuring out how to deal with an insurance adjuster. We can serve your interest and negotiate on your behalf. Call (614) 545-3930 to get a free consultation. We charge no attorney’s fees unless you receive compensation.