Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading cause of major injuries in Eastern Washington. In the most recent year with comprehensive data available, the Washington State Department of Transportation reports that there were 6,696 traffic collisions in Spokane County alone. Taken together, these crashes resulted in more than 2,500 injuries.
After a car accident, you need to know how to take the proper steps to protect your rights. You may be receiving a phone call from an insurance company representative within days of the collision. Here, our Spokane, WA auto accident attorneys offer four important tips for handling insurance adjusters after a car accident.
1. Never Admit Fault for an Accident
In Washington, car accident liability is based on fault. As Washington is a comparative negligence state, more than one driver may share liability for the same crash. Insurance companies want drivers to simply admit fault for a crash so that they can use it against them. At the very least, an insurance adjuster may try to get you to accept partial blame. Do not admit fault. It is not your job to determine blame for a crash. Let your Spokane, WA personal injury attorney deal with that issue.
2. Do Not Give a Recorded Statement
The goal of an insurance adjuster is simple: Protect the interests of their employer. Insurance companies hire and train professionals in order to support their bottom line. They are the eyes and ears of the insurance companies, and are not on the side of injured victims. Insurance adjusters are trained to get injured victims to talk about their accident. The more you say, the more likely it is that you will slip up and say something that can be taken out of context or otherwise used against you. Do not agree to give a recorded statement without first consulting with an experienced Spokane car accident lawyer.
3. Be Patient—A Quick Settlement May Be an Unfair Settlement
In some cases, insurance companies recognize that they will be on the hook for some (or all) of the resulting damages. When this fact becomes apparent, insurers will often switch their tactics—they will try to settle the claim quickly for the lowest dollar amount possible. Be very skeptical of early settlement offers. Often, these settlement offers are unfair and will not cover the full value of your damages. Car repairs are one thing, but chronic joint, neck or back pain is another entirely and can far exceed the cost to simply repair your vehicle in the long term. Do not settle for less than the value of your claim. Protect your assets, your health, and your sanity by consulting an attorney. Initial case reviews are free at Albrecht Law, so you have nothing to lose by scheduling a consultation.
4. Work Through a Washington Car Accident Lawyer
The best strategy that you can use to protect your rights is hiring a top-rated Washington car accident attorney as early on in the claims process as possible. In other words, the best tip for dealing with the insurance company is to simply not deal with them—at least not directly. Let your personal injury lawyer handle the insurance adjuster.
Schedule Your Free Car Accident Injury Consultation Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Spokane, Washington car accident lawyers fight aggressively to protect the rights and interests of our clients. We have deep experience handling insurance companies and insurance adjusters. To set up your free case evaluation, please contact our legal team right away. With an office in Spokane, we serve communities throughout Eastern Washington, including Spokane Valley, Country Homes, Medical Lake, Cheney, and Sprague. Call (509) 495-1246 to schedule a consultation.