The CANNON & ASSOCIATES works with individuals injured in a wide range of accidents across Oklahoma. You need experienced and effective legal representation to Fight for Your Rights, if you have been injured in Oklahoma. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight for compensation, in your car accident case or other personal injury case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 1(405) 906-4051 for a free confidential case evaluation. The following are 15 Free Tips to obtaining a Fair Settlement with an Insurance Adjuster for your Injuries.
15 Free Tips to a Fair Settlement for Your Injuries
TIP #1: Get photographs of everything in your case: You need to take photographs of your car, the car that hit you, the accident scene, road conditions, your injuries, and other damage. In the age of cellphone cameras, it should not be difficult to collect this powerful form of evidence to support your insurance claim. Jurors, Judges, and therefore insurance adjusters find photographs to be VERY powerful evidence of your injuries and damages; therefore, make sure you take lots of photographs and weed out the irrelevant photos before providing them to the insurance adjuster. Additionally, photographs can be used to rebut or contest statements of the other party or the accident report, if they do not support your claim.
TIP #2: Conduct a complete investigation. You need to collect all available evidence: witness statements, police reports, accident report, medical records, medical evaluations, and any other relevant information from your accident. In some cases, you will need to hire an accident reconstructionist or a private investigator to collect evidence and witness statements. Unfortunately, the other party’s insurance company will attempt to collect all the information and evidence available to use against you in your insurance claim. You will be at a disadvantage, if you do not gather evidence to support your insurance claim.
SECRET #3: Keep a journal of your injuries and pain. Many accident claims / injury claims can be settled outside of court; however, in order to obtain fair compensation, some cases must be litigated. You will need to be able to provide an accurate and detailed description of your injuries and your pain and suffering, if your case goes to trial, i.e. the days, weeks, and months you suffered pain and the details of your experience. Without a journal, electronic or hand-written, you will be unable to accurately describe all the details of your experience. Testimony supported by details from a journal will help support your claim for fair compensation for your damages.
SECRET #4: Know all your damages. There are more versions of damages than you may realize. In a personal injury or car accident case you may recover the following types of damages: 1) medical treatment expenses; 2) nursing care expenses; 3) rehabilitation expenses; 4) counseling expenses; 5) lost wages/income; 6) lost earning capacity or lost business; 7) vehicle repair/replacement cost; 8) rental car expense; 9) loss of consortium; 10) pain and suffering for your injuries; and 11) any other damages due to expenses related to your injury or car accident.
SECRET #5: Keep a log of every bill related to your accident. You won’t recover damages for an expense you cannot prove! Your testimony is a powerful form of evidence; however, receipts or bills for every expense will help you support your damages claim. The following are just two examples of easy ways to maintain all these records: buy a cheap expandable folder and place every bill or receipt in the folder OR take a photograph of every bill/receipt and save the photographs to an album. The following are just a few examples of the bills you must keep: hospital bills, doctor bills, pharmacy bills, and auto repair bills.
SECRET #6: Identify every injuries. The human body is an amazing and complicated machine. Many injuries are not immediately apparent after an injury. For one, the body’s survival instincts cause adrenaline to pump through our system to help us escape danger despite an injury. Often times, an injury will not be obvious for days or weeks after an accident.
What does this mean for your car accident or injury case? Don’t rule out injuries until your body has time to calm down and you process all that has happened. Some victims suffer Post-Traumatic Stress (“PTSD”) following an accident, which may make you less capable of dealing with your injury. If you are skittish or experience emotions that are new, you should consider seeing a trainer psychiatrists or counselor to address any mental health issues you may be suffering.
SECRET #7: Identify all your insurance coverage. Many accident victims have two, three, or even more insurance policies they may collect from, including uninsured motorist policies (“UIM”), for one accident. Insurance companies do not always make it easy to identify the insurance policies available. Our car accident attorneys can help you identify all the sources of recovery for your injury or car accident.
TIP #8: Get a high Reserve Account from the insurance company. Insurance companies set a Reserve Account to cover all the costs expected for your claim after an accident. The insurance company determines the amount in the Reserve Account based on the information available about your injuries shortly after your accident. You should not have difficulty collecting compensation for your injuries, if the initial Reserve Account is set at an amount greater than your damages; however, if the Reserve Account is not set high enough to cover ALL your damages; an increase will be necessary. Unfortunately, once an insurance company establishes a Reserve Account balance, they do not want to increase it. Therefore, they put pressure on the insurance adjuster to put pressure on you to settle. It is important to be aware of this issue and act early to obtain the highest Reserve Account available.
TIP #9: Don’t release any medical records to the other party’s insurance company. Your insurance company is entitled to your medical records; however, the other party’s insurance company and insurance adjuster should NOT get this information. They other side’s insurance adjuster will want this information to try to diminish your injury, claim you have a pre-existing injury, or other steps to contest your claim. When you sign a release to the other party’s insurance company, you are making a mistake. Do not give anyone access to your medical records to anyone other than your insurance company (unless you hire a personal injury attorney / car accident attorney).
TIP #10: Ensure the insurance adjuster stays informed of the seriousness of your injuries. After a small Reserve Account is set by your insurance adjuster, he or she will be hesitant, if you ask for more damages in the following months. The only way to get increased damages from the insurance adjuster is to ensure the adjuster is informed of all your injuries and damages. Make sure the insurance adjuster is informed or you will not get proper compensation without a personal injury attorney. The insurance adjuster will only have sufficient funds to settle your claims when appropriate, if the adjuster is familiar with all your injuries. The insurance adjuster has a supervisor, just like any other employee, he or she will not want to ask for an increase at the time of settlement; it is much easier to obtain an increase early on with the insurance adjuster, which can only happen, if you keep the m informed of all your injuries and damages.
TIP #11: Don’t allow the insurance adjuster to pressure you into a settlement. Adjusters are trained in multiple methods to convince accident victims to settle claims for amounts less than fair compensation. Typical insurance adjuster methods include, but are not limited to: trying to get you to accept or admit fault for the accident, get you to provide a recorded statement or sign an affidavit, which will be used against you in litigation, if you fight for fair compensation. Additionally, insurance adjusters will try to make nice with you to convince you to settle early without a complete picture of your injuries, or especially before you hire a personal injury attorney.
The longer your claim stays open, the more pressure is on the insurance adjuster to settle your claim. Don’t give in, especially, if you do not know the full extent of your injuries or damages; stand strong and seek the compensation you deserve. Your personal injury attorney can tell you whether the insurance adjuster’s settlement offer is reasonable and can file a personal injury lawsuit, if you cannot obtain fair compensation.
SECRET #12: Follow all treatment plans recommended by your doctor. Sometimes the human body will work to heal an injury without telling you! That is major reason why doctors and physical therapists recommend lengthy treatment plans. You may inflame your injury and reduce your chances for recovery, if you do not follow the full treatment plan of your doctor or physical therapist. A physician trained to treat your injury knows the necessary steps to help ou obtain a full recovery, if possible. Additionally, the cost of the care will be covered by the insurance company in the end, if your injury case is settled. Contact our injury attorneys, if you do not think you can cover the cost of your treatment.
SECRET #13: Obtain a Case Evaluation from a Fierce Advocate. A trained physician evaluated your injuries, shouldn’t an experienced injury attorney evaluate your claim for damages? Insurance companies are a profit based business, that want to settle your claim for less than it is worth to protect their bottom-line, especially, if you are they are not your insurance company! A case evaluation by an experienced personal injury trial attorney can help you determine the value of your claim. Your personal injury attorney can evaluate your medical bills, physician reports, accident reports, photographs that you collected, and other factors in helping you determine the fair value of your damages. Feel free to contact our office for a free confidential case evaluation to help you identify the value of your personal injury claim.
SECRET #14: File your lawsuit sooner rather than later. Once you are stable, you should seek the advice of an injury attorney, if you are not getting exactly what you ask for from the insurance adjuster. Insurance companies want to settle your case quickly and for less than you could receive by contesting their offer. Insurance companies will know you mean business, if you hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Filing your lawsuit puts additional pressure on the insurance company to settle for fair compensation.
SECRET #15: Hire a Fierce Advocate that will fight for you, if you hire an attorney. There are trial attorneys and there are non-trial attorneys; make sure you hire the first type. An attorney that is know for trying cases and fighting for clients will typically receive better settlement offers, because insurance companies know they will take your case all the way, if you do not receive just compensation for your injuries. A Fierce Advocate may increase your settlement to cover their fee and compensate your injury. You may not a personal injury attorney; however, you should schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer to ensure you do not settle your claim for less than it is worth.
Contact – Cannon & Associates: Oklahoma Personal Injury Advocates
Experience matters when you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of the negligence of someone in a personal injury or vehicle accident in Oklahoma. It is important to know the Oklahoma personal injury lawyer you hire is dedicated to your cause and versed in all aspects of car accident law and personal injury law in Oklahoma. Cannon & Associates is dedicated to Fierce Advocacy for accident victims and will fight for you. Founder John Cannon has been recognized as a Super Lawyer and Top 40 under 40. Contact Cannon & Associates to protect your rights and fight for compensation in your car accident case in Oklahoma. Complete the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 1(405) 906-4051 for a free confidential case evaluation.