You may receive a settlement offer from your auto insurance company right after you’ve been in an automobile accident in Buffalo, NY. While it may be tempting to sign the offer and move on, you must remember that the settlement you get must fully reimburse you for your losses.
Insurance companies are businesses that want to minimize their financial liability, but it’s your economic and non-economic damages that should matter the most to you!
By signing a settlement offer without consulting a lawyer, you may be giving up your right to pursue further legal action or to seek fair compensation for your damages.
Even though the state of New York follows the “no-fault” statute, there are instances where you can file a lawsuit against the liable driver.
Long story short – always speak with a lawyer first, it’s free and their advice can be invaluable.
Let’s discuss the importance of speaking to a lawyer before signing anything related to an auto accident settlement. If you’ve been in a car crash and need legal advice, contact a qualified Buffalo auto accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
Determining Liability for the Auto Accident
While New York is a no-fault state, you can still pursue legal action against the liable party if the damages are “excessive.” If you sign insurance documents right away and accept the settlement awarded to you by your company, you’ll have to abandon this option.
Another concern is that your insurance adjuster may ask you to sign paperwork including comprehensive inquiries about the circumstances of the event, such as how many days before the accident were you drinking or using drugs.
They may subsequently use these records to lower your settlement amount.
You don’t have the time or the energy to read through the heap of documents they throw at you, so it’s best to let your lawyer take a look at things first.
Damages From Auto Accidents
A lawyer can take a look at whatever papers you have received and advise you on the best course of action for collecting complete compensation for all of your damages. Medical costs, missed pay, damage to the automobile and other property, and pain and suffering should all be accounted for in the compensation sum.
Your lawyer will also make sure that you completely understand your rights regarding your claim and how any agreement with the auto insurance company may affect things. When dealing with a car accident claim, having legal counsel on your side will give you peace of mind knowing that an expert is looking out for your best interests.
Tips on Discussing an Accident With the Auto Insurance Company
Following an accident, you should never sign anything for the insurance company without first consulting with a lawyer. But how do you deal with the insurance adjuster who calls you or visits you in the hospital? Here are some pointers for dealing with the insurance company.
Be Calm And Polite
Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster is prepared to handle difficult talks and conversations, so be as respectful and polite as possible. Don’t argue with the adjuster, and they won’t take it personally if you say “no” or “not now.”
You can always say that you’re not feeling too well to talk and that you’ll get back to them as soon as you can.
Don’t Provide Too Much Information
You don’t need to describe why the accident occurred or what you were doing before it occurred; only the facts of your case count. But, keep in mind that whatever information you share with the auto insurance company can just as easily be used against you.
Try to avoid saying things like “Maybe I was distracted,” “I didn’t know where that other car came from,” and so on. Instead, talk to a lawyer as soon as you can, tell them what happened, and then discuss with them what you need to say to the insurance adjuster.
Don’t Settle Too Quickly
The insurance company may try to rush you into signing papers or making a statement; don’t do so without first consulting with a lawyer. You must ensure that any payment is reasonable and covers all of your losses.
Never Sign Anything Without First Talking to a Lawyer
Always have an attorney evaluate any paperwork before signing anything. Your lawyer will protect your rights during the procedure.
Insurance Companies & Their Tactics
Insurance companies are businesses looking to make a profit, which means that they have a financial interest in minimizing the amount of money they pay out in claims. They may employ various tactics to try to reduce or deny a claim:
- Insurance companies may drag out the claims process or deny a claim outright, hoping that the claimant will give up or accept a lower settlement offer.
- Insurance companies may offer a settlement that is much lower than the actual value of the claim, hoping that the claimant will accept the offer rather than go through the hassle of negotiating or filing a lawsuit.
- They may try to shift the blame onto the claimant or argue that the claimant was partially or fully responsible for the accident or injury.
- They may hire private investigators to conduct surveillance on the claimant to gather evidence that can be used to deny or reduce the claim.
- They may use their medical experts to dispute the severity of the claimant’s injuries or to argue that the injuries are not related to the accident or incident in question.
The insurance company is not on your side!
If you believe that your insurance provider is acting unfairly or unethically, you’ll have to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the claims process and protect your rights.
Always Consult a Lawyer Before Signing Anything
A lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and the potential consequences of signing a document. They can review the terms of the document and advise you on whether it’s in your best interest to sign it or negotiate for better terms.
Signing a document without fully understanding its terms can lead to costly mistakes that can affect your legal rights and financial well-being. A lawyer can help you avoid these mistakes by explaining the terms of the document and helping you make an informed decision.
Your lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement that maximizes your compensation. They can also help you understand the potential value of your claim and ensure that you’re not settling for less than you deserve.
Legal matters can be complex and stressful, especially if you’re dealing with an injury or other significant loss. A lawyer can help alleviate some of this stress by handling the legal details and advocating on your behalf.
Also, as we mentioned earlier, there are exceptions to New York’s no-fault statute. If possible, your lawyer can spearhead legal action against the liable driver if your injuries were extremely serious.
Let Qualified Buffalo Personal Injury Attorneys Help You!
The legal team at Buffalo Car Accident Lawyer Law Firm will advise you on your legal rights and the potential value of your claim, negotiate with the auto insurance company on your behalf, and represent you in court if necessary. We’ll also help you gather evidence to support your claim, including medical records, witness statements, and accident reports.
Our personal injury attorneys can also handle all communication with the other parties involved, reducing your stress and giving you more time to focus on your recovery. Get in touch with a capable Buffalo auto accident lawyer from our firm to navigate the complex legal process and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Don’t wait around any longer, give us a call to schedule a free consultation session!