Prestizia Insurance Blog
There is no doubt that being in a car accident can be financially devastating. In addition to the trauma of just being in an accident, there is also the possibility of injury, hospital bills, time lost from work, and haggling with insurance companies. Here are some tips for reducing the damage.
Should you hire a public insurance adjuster?
If the accident was far more than a fender bender, you will want to consider whether you need a public insurance adjuster. These independent professionals bargain with your insurance company on your behalf. A good adjuster may help you walk away from your accident with a minimum of financial loss.
Not everyone needs a public insurance adjuster. If your insurance company is responsive, if they’re talking you through the situation clearly and not using a lot of fast, incomprehensible jargon, your best bet might be to just work with them.
If you are underinsured, i.e. your deductible is way too high or your costs are likely to exceed the policy’s maximum payout, an adjuster may be needed to keep you off the cliff of financial ruin. Adjusters are particularly valuable if you or one or more of your passengers was hurt in the crash.
Lost time at work
If you lose time at work because you were injured in your car accident, you may be able to claim lost wages against your car insurance. Read your policy carefully and contact your agent to find out if you can make this claim.
If you are too anxious and depressed to work, you will need to engage the services of a therapist, preferably a psychiatrist, so that you can document a medical problem to explain time lost from work. Meet with your therapist often so that you can show you are making an effort to recover.
If you go this route, be sure to discuss it with your supervisor right away and cite the Americans With Disabilities Act which asks employers to make reasonable accommodations for people with short-term or long-term disabilities.
It might be time to sell your car
If the accident totalled your car and your insurance won’t pay for repairs or a replacement, it may be time to sell your car and explore public transportation or Uber.
Another good reason to give up your vehicle will be if the accident was your fault and you did considerable damage to property or caused physical injury. In that case, you are in danger of losing your license anyway, so it’s a good idea to at least explore what your other options are for getting to work and to the store.
What if you or the other driver was under the influence?
If you are at fault for an accident that occurred when you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you face a number of consequences. In addition to a likely charge of aggravated DUI, you are also looking at a possible lawsuit by the other driver and any passengers that were in his car.
To defend yourself against a million dollar lawsuit, it will be important to retain a good lawyer who will argue that you were not at fault for the accident. If possible, also find a witness from the accident site who will testify that you were not at fault. If someone in the car you hit presses charges, it is important not to contact that person directly. It might seem cold, but you must avoid visiting the suing party to apologize. Such apologies are admissions of guilt and will be used against you in court.
If you are the victim of a driver who is under the influence, you, too, should find a witness to the accident. If you wish to sue for damages, keep records of all car repair bills, doctor’s visits, and hospital bills. These documents create a paper trail that shows how you were hurt and what you had to spend in treatments.
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