Craig Swapp, an attorney with Gregory & Swapp Law Firm, helps people understand their rights.
At Gregory & Swapp, we receive many inquiries and questions from people each day asking how to deal with the insurance companies after their accident and especially if they’ve been injured. Attorney Craig Swapp sees his role and the role of his firm as being a legal advocate to effectively deal with insurance disputes and to help a client receive a full and fair settlement.
Common Questions about Accidents and Dealing With Insurance Companies
• If I’m injured in accident, should I first try to handle it with the insurance company all by myself? No, usually the damage happens during the first call or visit with the claims adjustor. Adjustors are trained to ask certain questions that could pose problems for you later. They are also good at offering a small settlement amount right up front. Unfortunately, some people take it and regret it later.
• At what point do I need to hire an attorney to help with insurance disputes? Before you talk to the insurance company its best to talk to an attorney first so that you don’t say anything that can jeopardize your rights to full and fair settlement.
• After my accident, should I contact the insurance companies involved? Anything I should say or shouldn’t say? You are obligated to notify your insurance company after an accident. Simply report the facts of the accident without embellishments, explanations or opinions. Even if you have some minor discomfort from the accident, report all injuries to your insurance company. Do simply not say “I’m fine.” Before making any type of recorded statement, contact your attorney for direction.
• How do I know if I have a good claim with the insurance company? A good claim involves clear liability by another party (such as another driver, or the driver of your vehicle if you’re a passenger). Obviously, there must be insurance available from either the at-fault driver or from your own policy to pay for medical costs, any lost income or general damages.
• If the accident is not my fault, are there situations where my insurance will need to help pay for my injuries? If so, will they cancel my policy or raise my rates? If the at-fault party does not have insurance, your insurance company will pick up the costs of the claim through your uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is very cheap and essential…never decline it when getting insurance.
• Is there a way to know if I am getting a fair settlement? We have lots of people who call us with that question near the end of their case and sadly the answer almost always is, “No, that’s not a fair settlement,” but at that late point it there is little we can do to help. That’s why we always recommend talking to an attorney right after an injury accident.
For more information, you can contact the law offices of Gregory and Swapp at (800) 404-9000 or online at www.gregoryswapp.com.