After an accident, there’s a lot to think about. You might be dealing with serious injuries, medical bills that keep piling up, the impact of missed work, and the unsettling possibility of losing your vehicle.
On top of all of this, insurance companies often offer accident victims lowball settlements, prioritizing their own interests over the victims’ recovery. You may be pressured into accepting an unsatisfactory settlement, which means you will not receive the compensation you deserve.
Knowing when to call a lawyer after a car accident is an important step to ensure that you are fully compensated for your losses.
When to Call a Lawyer After a Car Accident in Arizona?
You should call a lawyer after a car accident if there are significant injuries, unclear fault, disputes with the police report or insurance companies, or concerns about property damage, passenger injuries, missed work, or insurance issues. Getting in touch with an attorney as soon as possible ensures that your rights are protected and important evidence is gathered for your case.
Note: Insurance companies are a business, and often their goal is to pay injured victims as little as possible. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement or represent you in court if necessary.
There is a limited time window in which you have to file a claim after an accident. In Arizona, the statute of limitations on most car accident cases is two years from the date of the incident. If you miss this deadline, you will not be eligible under Arizona state law to file a lawsuit. In addition, the further from the date of the accident you wait, the more difficult it may be to gather evidence and build a strong case.
Important Things to Consider When Speaking with Your Insurance Company
When communicating with your insurance company after a car accident, there are several important factors to keep in mind:
- Be cautious with your statements: Insurance adjusters are skilled at gathering information and may try to use your words against you. Avoid admitting fault or providing excessive details about the accident. Stick to the facts and avoid speculating or making assumptions.
- Document everything: Keep a record of all conversations and correspondence with your insurance company. Note down the date, time, and the name of the representative you spoke with. This documentation can be valuable in case of any disputes or discrepancies that may arise later.
- Understand your policy: Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy and the coverage it provides. This knowledge will help you understand the benefits you are entitled to and the limitations of your policy. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask your insurance company for clarification.
- Be aware of deadlines: Insurance policies often have specific time limits for reporting accidents and filing claims. Make sure you are aware of these deadlines and take action promptly to avoid potential issues or claim denials.
- Consult your attorney: Before providing any detailed statements or signing any documents, consult with your car accident attorney. They can review the information and advise you on how to proceed to protect your rights and ensure you receive fair compensation.
Remember, while your insurance company is there to assist you, they also have their own interests to consider. Being cautious and seeking legal guidance can help ensure you navigate the process effectively and maximize your claim.
What Information Do You Need to Provide to Your Insurance Company After an Accident?
When contacting your insurance company after a car accident, it is important to provide accurate and detailed information. The following details are typically necessary:
- Driver’s information: Provide the name, address, and telephone number of the other driver involved in the accident. If there were multiple drivers, provide their information as well.
- Insurance policy details: Share the insurance policy information of all drivers involved in the accident. This includes the name of the insurance company and the policy number.
- Law enforcement response: Inform your insurance company about the law enforcement agency that responded to the accident. Provide details such as the name of the agency and the officer’s name, if available.
- Accident specifics: Clearly state when and where the accident occurred. Include any relevant details about the road conditions, weather conditions, and other factors that may have contributed to the accident.
By providing this information, you help your insurance company assess the situation accurately and process your claim efficiently. It is also crucial to share this information with your car accident lawyer, as they may need it to communicate with the other driver’s insurance company, obtain the accident report, or contact witnesses.
Communicating With the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
Insurance companies have a reputation for manipulating individuals into inadvertently accepting fault for an accident. Even a seemingly innocent statement such as saying “I’m sorry” can be used against you as evidence of liability. To safeguard your interests, it is advisable to allow your lawyer to handle all communication with the insurance companies representing the other parties involved in the accident. By doing so, you can minimize the risk of inadvertently providing information that could be used against you in your claim.
When dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, it is important to proceed with caution and consider the following:
- Consult your attorney: Before engaging in any communication with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, consult with your car accident attorney. They can guide you on how to handle these interactions and protect your rights.
- Avoid admitting fault: Be careful with your statements and avoid admitting fault or taking responsibility for the accident. Stick to providing factual information and let your attorney handle any discussions about liability.
- Be mindful of recorded statements: The at-fault driver’s insurance company may request a recorded statement from you. It is generally advisable to avoid providing a recorded statement without your attorney present. Insurance adjusters can use recorded statements to manipulate your words or misinterpret your statements.
- Document all communication: Keep a record of any communication with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Note down the date, time, and the name of the representative you spoke with. This documentation can be essential in case of disputes or discrepancies later on.
- Let your attorney handle negotiations: Insurance companies are skilled at negotiating settlements, often aiming to minimize payouts. Allow your attorney to handle negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to ensure your interests are protected and you receive fair compensation.
Remember, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is not on your side. Their goal is to settle the claim for as little as possible. By working closely with your attorney, you can navigate these conversations effectively and increase your chances of obtaining a fair resolution.
Speak with an Arizona Car Accident Attorney for Free
At Hutzler Law, we have extensive experience handling car accident claims and negotiating with insurance companies. Our Phoenix car accident lawyers are here to help you maximize your claim and obtain the financial compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency fee basis.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, contact us today to discuss your claim.