Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of serious injuries in California. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (COTS), more than 230,000 people were hurt in auto accidents in the last year in which comprehensive data has been published. Many of these injuries were incredibly severe, sometimes even life-altering.
Car accidents can cause a tremendous amount of harm to victims and their families. If you were injured in a crash, you need to be able to recover the maximum available financial compensation. Unfortunately, insurance carriers rarely make that easy. To help you protect your rights and interests, our experienced San Francisco car accident lawyers have put together a list of four important tips that you need to keep in mind when dealing with insurance adjusters after a wreck.
1. Know Your Insurance Adjuster’s Role in the Process
Sadly, you cannot rely on an insurance adjuster for good advice regarding your car accident claim. Even if you are dealing with an insurance adjuster from your own company, they will still not be on your side. An insurance adjuster’s role in the car accident claims process is to look out for the financial interests of their employer. By limiting your settlement offer, the insurance adjuster can make more money for their employer.
2. What You Say Can Hurt You: Avoid Giving a Statement
Insurance adjusters often want car accident victims to give a statement about their crash immediately after a wreck. You should avoid giving such a statement, the reason being that the insurance adjuster is looking for information that can be used against you. Instead of giving an off-the-cuff statement, you should work with an experienced San Francisco car accident lawyer to prepare a strong, compelling statement.
3. Be Patient – The First Settlement Offer is Rarely the Best Offer
After a major Bay Area car accident, it is normal to want to settle your claim as soon as possible. Like most people, you probably want to get this process over with so that you can move forward with your life. Unfortunately, a quick settlement is likely not in your best financial interests. Insurance companies understand that people want quick settlements – they often attempt to take advantage of this fact by offering fast, but low settlements. To get full compensation, you will often need to be patient.
4. Work with a Bay Area Car Accident Attorney
Ultimately, after a serious car accident, you need to hire a lawyer. If you or a family member has suffered a significant injury in a crash, you should be represented by a qualified professional. Your California car accident lawyer will make sure that the insurance adjuster handles your claim fairly.
At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our Northern California motor vehicle accident attorneys have helped many people recover full and fair compensation for their losses. If you were hurt in a crash, please call us now at 415-835-6777 to set up a free, no strings attached review of your claim. We are located in San Francisco, and we serve auto accident victims throughout the Bay Area.