Recovering from the pain and trauma of a car accident is difficult enough, but most people reassure themselves with the knowledge that their insurance or that of the person at fault in the accident will cover the mounting costs of their medical bills related to the accident as well as property damage to their vehicle. Unfortunately, insurance companies have motives that are different than the protection they advertise. These companies exist to make profits and the bottom line for them and their shareholders depends on taking in more in premiums than they pay out in claims. They consider all payouts as losses. For this reason, insurance companies hire adjusters whose sole responsibilities are to find reasons to deny or undervalue an accident claim.
An attorney with years of experience in car accident claims understands how to craft a demand letter with all the evidence needed to prove your claim even against powerful insurance companies.
What to Do After a Car Accident to Protect Yourself Physically and Financially
The most important thing to know about insurance claim denials is how to make it more difficult for them to deny a claim by taking steps after an accident. If you’re not immobilized or unconscious, you can take the following steps to protect both your physical and financial health:
- First, move to the shoulder of the road or safely out of traffic (Never leave the scene of the accident)
- Call 911 to report the accident
- If you’re physically able, render reasonable aid and comfort to any other injured party at the scene
- Use your phone to take photos of the accident scene including any involved vehicles, their license tags, and relevant factors such as signal lights, road signs, and the immediate surroundings
- Collect the contact information of the other driver(s) and that of any eyewitnesses to the accident
- Accept help from paramedics and transportation to a hospital
- Tell the medical professionals about all of your symptoms and injuries and ask for detailed medical notes
- Follow all recommended treatments and followups
- Obtain a copy of the accident report from the police
- Call a car accident attorney before speaking to insurance representatives
While it’s understandable that you might not have a clear head while you’re stunned and injured from a car accident, by taking these steps to protect yourself you can maximize your chance for a full physical and financial recovery.
Insurance Companies May Use These Common Tactics to Deny Your Claim
Sadly, insurance companies are not on your side even if the representative sounds compassionate when they contact you. It’s important to minimize your conversation with them and instead, refer them to your St. Louis accident attorney. Don’t be fooled by the tactics insurance adjusters are paid to use against you such as the following:
- Calling you with a low-balled settlement offer very soon after the accident while you’re in a weakened state and not fully aware of the extent of your losses from medical expenses and lost wages
- Asking for a statement on a recorded line and then using your words out of context against you
- Asking for medical records access for your injury information and then examining your medical history so they can claim your pain is from a pre-existing condition
- Denying your injury claim because your car had very little damage and they claim that your injuries couldn’t have occurred in such a minor-appearing accident
- Saying you were at fault in the accident
- Denying a claim because they believe all or part of your medical treatment wasn’t necessary
- Claiming the insurance policy wasn’t in effect at the time of the accident
You Have a Right to Appeal an Insurance Claim Denial
Missouri law allows accident victims the right to appeal a claim denial after a car accident. A Missouri car accident attorney can help you gather evidence through doctor and police reports, hire accident reconstruction specialists to prove your claim, and draft a demand letter to an insurance company. Accident attorneys know exactly how to negotiate aggressively on your behalf and take your case to court if required in order to ensure you’re fully compensated for your injuries and lost wages.