Hopefully you already know the little secret that I share with the general public that most attorneys are afraid to say: No all cases require an attorney. You can handle your own insurance claim and many times, attorneys have no business getting involved in a claim.
What you are up against can seem daunting. However, educating yourself on the types of insurance you purchased prior to your collision is a good first step toward taking control of your situation. You have an absolute right to know how the process works and any attorney who is reluctant to provide this information to people who do not have an attorney does not deserve to have their own clients.
Regardless of whether you hire an attorney, you should know important information about the insurance company you are dealing with. First, insurance companies are out for their own interests, which are often in direct opposition to your interests. This is not to say that people who work at insurance companies are bad people. To the contrary, I have found most to be very pleasant. However, insurance companies are not in the business of feeling sorry for you. They are in business to make money. The adjuster managing your case handles dozens f other cases that also need to move to a conclusion. They have no time to feel sorry for you. You must be organized. Before you do anything further, stop and gather the following documents:
- Your health insurance card;
- Any other careds related to how you receive medical treatment (i.e. Medicaid card, Medicare card, Tricare, etc.);
- The declarations sheet for your automobile insurance. This document comes with your insurance policy and lists the coverages you purchased.
- A copy of your automobile insurance policy;
- A copy of your disability policy;
- Copies of your pay stubs for the past four months; and
- A copy of the police report or incident report related to the incident that caused your injuries.
Keep all of this information in a binder and in an organized manner. Keep all correspondence you receive from the insurance company, even if you believe it is not important.
Taking this first baby-step toward managing your claim is important. For more information about how to best handle a claim by yourself, spend more time looking at the Free Info section of our website. Again, this is just the first step.