Should I File an Insurance Claim or Talk to an Attorney First?

August 10, 2023 | By Impact Legal Car Accident Attorneys
Should I File an Insurance Claim or Talk to an Attorney First?

The aftermath of a car accident is stressful and overwhelming. Luckily, accidents don't happen on a daily basis, so most of us are fairly unprepared and inexperienced when it comes to the next steps. What you do next could make or break your settlement offer. Regardless of whether you or the other driver(s) were at fault, our car accident lawyers have put together this guide to dealing with the insurance companies. 

If you have recently been in a car accident and need help navigating the insurance company back and forth that has likely ensued, call or text Impact Legal today at (602) 345-1818 to set up an initial consultation at no cost to you. Alternatively, you can fill out our online form, and we'll reach out to you. In the initial consultation, we'll review the facts of your case and advise you on what to do next. 

What Should I Do Directly Following an Accident?

In the early minutes following a collision, there's a checklist to follow. Taking the proper steps, in the beginning, will ensure the safety of all involved and protect you down the line. After a car accident, take the following steps:

  1. Ensure yourself and others involved are safe; call for medical assistance, if needed.
  2. Call the authorities to draft an official report; this may be a crucial piece of evidence going forward.
  3. Get information from the other driver(s), including their name, address, telephone number, driver's license number, and insurance information.
  4. Obtain information from potential witnesses of the accident.
  5. Take pictures of the accident if you can do so safely.
  6. Do not post pictures of the accident on social media.
  7. Never take blame or admit fault of any kind, as this can be used against you later.
  8. See a doctor; even if you “feel fine” following the accident, remember that potential injuries may not be evident until days after it has happened

Completing this checklist will allow you to start off on the right foot directly following an accident. 

What to Know About Insurance Companies

When you've been in an accident, you will have a responsibility to your own insurance company to inform them about the incident. However, you do not need to inform them instantly, and you have every right to defer any communications with your insurance company to your legal counsel. We advise that you talk to an insurance claim attorney before you talk to the insurance companies. Remember that the other party's insurance company's main goal is to give you as little settlement as possible. If fault has been contested, it's even more important to speak with an accident attorney before talking to anyone. 

If you do speak to the insurance companies before you consult a car accident lawyer, remember to only give facts. Be polite and courteous. Tell the adjuster things like the date, time, and location of the wreck, but do not give them any more detail than necessary. For instance, don't provide your opinions, stay away from small talk, avoid speaking about any level of pain you are in, etc. Even the slightest of pleasantries can hurt you down the road. For example, telling the adjuster about an action-packed, wonderful weekend getaway you just had following the car accident can absolutely be used against you. 

I Already Filed a Claim, Now What?

You can hire a car accident lawyer at any point in the process, so if you filed a claim and realized afterward that you need a lawyer, give us a call– the sooner the better. Some reasons you might want to hire a lawyer after already submitting a claim include:

  • The insurance adjuster denied your claim
  • The adjuster is lowballing your settlement offer
  • Fault is being contested
  • Your injuries turn out to be more serious than previously thought
  • A pre-existing condition has been aggravated by the accident
  • You want to seek non-economic damages, like pain and suffering or emotional trauma

Can A Lawyer Help After an Insurance Claim Has Been Denied?

Yes, a lawyer can help you after an insurance company has denied your claim. The first step is understanding why the insurance company has denied your claim. It could be as simple as an unintentional mistake on a form or as malicious as bad faith insurance practice. Whatever the reason, an insurance lawyer can help you to right the situation by appealing the insurance company's decision. Once that's in motion, your lawyer will collect evidence, which may include any of the following items:

  • Medical records before the accident
  • Medical records post-accident
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Photos of the car accident
  • Referrals from your doctor
  • More

Depending on the facts of your case, your insurance claim attorney will gather the relevant information needed to get you the settlement you deserve. If your claim has been denied, waste no time– contact Impact Legal today to get back on track to your recovery. 

Contact an Accident Lawyer to Help with Your Claim

Hiring a Phoenix car accident lawyer as soon as possible is advisable, especially in certain situations. While some accidents may seem straightforward, the circumstances could change on a dime. It's good to have a lawyer in your corner to protect your rights and get you on the road to financial and physical recovery. Impact Legal is the car accident law firm you need on your side, and our initial consultation is free. To schedule yours, call or text us at (602) 345-1818, or submit our online form, and we'll reach out to you. Don't navigate this frustrating process alone. We're here to help.