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Should I Call My Insurance Company First After A Car Accident In Louisiana?

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Answered by: Steven J. Moore

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Whenever possible, you should call an attorney before speaking with your insurance provider after an accident. It’s important to remember that your insurance company doesn’t always have your best interests in mind after an accident. Ultimately, their greatest concern is their income stream and they’ll want to fulfill your claim as quickly as possible, without making sure they’re covering your greatest needs. Once you’ve agreed to a settlement from your insurance company, you most likely won’t be able to seek more compensation if you need it. This can be dangerous because some injuries take days or weeks to demonstrate symptoms. If you need to go back to the hospital, it’s important to make sure your insurance will cover that expense.

Your First Steps After A Crash

Right after an accident, the first step is to call the police and an ambulance, if necessary. Your first concern should be getting a police report and making sure you and anyone else involved receive medical care. Apart from being important to your well-being, having your injuries treated by a medical professional also creates a record of how you were injured. Both this and a police report can be important pieces of evidence when you file a claim with your insurance provider.

After receiving medical care and calling the police, locate any other drivers or witnesses to the accident and get their name, phone number, email address and any other contact information you can gather. Witness accounts can be a valuable tool when negotiating the claim amount with your insurance provider.

Next, take pictures of the scene of the accident. Even if your vehicle sustained obvious damage, images of where the cars were on the road and exactly where each car was damaged can be incredibly valuable.

Ultimately, you want to make sure that the damage your personal property sustained will be covered by your insurance. The more information you can give to the insurance provider, the more likely you are to receive the amount you ask for and the harder it will be for them to argue against you.

Vehicular Crashes Can Be Expensive

Vehicular crashes are expensive, even if very little damage was done. You are likely to have hospital bills, damaged personal property and potentially missed paychecks, at a minimum. If you sustained serious injuries, you may need damages to cover physical therapy, rehab, home or vehicle modifications, loss of consortium, emotional distress and more. If your injuries significantly impact your life, receiving compensation for the changes to your daily routine may be necessary and you shouldn’t have to pay the cost for that out of pocket.

You Don’t Have To Accept The First Offer

While your insurance coverage exists to help compensate you after an accident, it’s important to understand that most insurance companies will want to settle claims as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. It’s unlikely that their first offer will cover the expenses related to your accident and it’s completely within your rights to request another offer. In fact, at that point you may not know the full cost of your accident.

Calling your insurance company before you speak with an attorney can be dangerous because your insurance company may use that conversation as evidence that you don’t need to file a claim for more money. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine what the full cost of your accident may be and can communicate your needs to the insurance company effectively.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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