When we get behind the wheel, we do not expect to find ourselves in an auto accident. Unfortunately, even the most cautious and attentive drivers may suffer auto accident injuries, leading to a lengthy physical recovery, costly bills, and lost wages. While you focus on your physical recovery, you have the right to pursue compensation to help cover the unanticipated expenses stemming from the injuries. Let’s take a look at the three main steps to filing an auto accident claim in Riverside County.
1. Gathering Evidence and Documentation
Preparing a successful auto accident claim begins immediately following the incident. First, assess the scene for injuries requiring immediate medical attention. Contact the police so the responding officer can compile a police report documenting the details of the accident and the scene. Gather contact information from the other parties at the scene, including any witnesses who may be able to describe the events leading up to the accident. Even if your injuries do not require immediate medical attention, visit your doctor within the next few days to ensure you have documentation detailing the nature and extent of your injuries.
2. Report the Accident to the Insurance Company
To initiate an auto insurance claim, you’ll need to contact your insurance company to report the accident. A claims adjuster will oversee your case, reviewing the evidence and documentation to determine how much compensation they will offer you. However, it’s important to remember that the auto insurance company is still a business, meaning it will do what it can to save money. If you encounter an insurance adjuster who attempts to discredit or undermine your claim, enlist the guidance of an experienced auto accident lawyer to communicate with the insurance company on your behalf.
3. Negotiate an Equitable Settlement
When the insurance company sends you a settlement offer, keep in mind that it often undervalues the true worth of your claim. By making you a lowball offer, the insurance company hopes you will accept it out of a desire to conclude the process and obtain compensation as quickly as possible. However, by working with a skilled auto accident lawyer, you can negotiate the settlement and push for a more equitable amount. Insurance companies typically wish to avoid costly litigation, so they tend to work with claimants to arrive at a more favorable settlement.
Learn more about how to pursue an auto accident settlement in Temecula or Murrieta by calling Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, today at (951) 489-3320.