Getting into an auto accident is a stressful experience, and it can become even more stressful when problems arise during the settlement offer. Unfortunately, insurance carriers aren't your best friends, so they may try to fight your claim or offer you an unfair settlement. If you would like to know more, keep reading.
1. The Other Driver Claims You Caused the Accident
In most states, whoever is mostly responsible for the accident must pay for the damages/injuries. For this reason, if the other driver claims you caused the accident or were partially responsible, it can affect your settlement. Even if you aren't found to be mostly responsible, your settlement may be reduced. If you are found to be mostly responsible, you get nothing.
You may be able to get around this issue by taking photos of the accident scene and getting witness statements. If you have an attorney, they may be able to find surveillance footage or locate witnesses after the fact.
2. The Insurance Carrier Is Pushy
Once the other driver reports the accident to their insurance carrier, expect a call from the insurance carrier. They will likely call with a low settlement offer. If you accept this offer, you cannot sue for more money later if you realize your injuries are more extensive.
Some insurance carriers may even use scare tactics to rush you into agreeing to the low offer. Never accept a settlement until you know how much you're going to pay in medical bills and how much lost income you've incurred. Even then, it may be best to have an attorney fight for you.
It's also a good idea to get an attorney if your injuries are soft-tissue injuries or you have pain and suffering. Soft-tissue injuries are harder to prove, and it's harder to estimate the long-term effects. Similarly, pain and suffering, especially mental pain and suffering can be difficult to prove.
3. You Are Active on Social Media
If you have social media, it can become a major problem if you are seeking a settlement after an auto accident. Ideally, close your accounts or stop posting on them completely. The insurance carrier may try to use your social media posts to make you look like a liar.
For example, in your lawsuit, you complain of back pain, but your social media account has a photo of you out and about having fun with your friends, smiling. Even though you may have been in intense pain during the photo, or that may have been the only time you smiled that entire day, the insurance carrier may use it to show that you are still enjoying your life just as you were before the accident, which could trick a judge.
After an auto accident, you should consult with an attorney, especially if you've sustained injuries. Even a minor problem now could lead to future complications down the road, such as nerve damage. If you would like to learn more, contact a firm like Dressler Law for more information.