When it comes time to file your auto insurance claim after an accident, the last thing you need is a fight on your hands. Sadly, this all too often is the case. You may find yourself having to deal with this frustrating process. Most auto insurance companies will start the negotiations with a low figure. You will then have to negotiate for the settlement you deserve. It can be frustrating, but with a little help you can learn how to fight auto insurance companies.
Keep all your documentation from the accident in a safe place and make copies. You will need the police report, pictures and a copy of the other driver's auto insurance policy as well as your own. This will be needed to back up your claim to the auto insurance company. Also, if the matter must go to court, you will be well prepared.
Keep all your receipts that detail the money you have put into the repair of your vehicle. This includes estimates from mechanics as well. Also, if you have had special work done to the vehicle recently that may have increased the value of it, it would be helpful to have those receipts as well so you can fight the auto insurance company for the true value of the damages.
Retain the services of an attorney if it looks as if things may not go your way. There are plenty of lawyers available that will review your case for free and then work on a contingency basis. This means they will take the case, but they will not get paid unless you win in court or negotiate the settlement that you seek.
Hire your own appraiser to get an estimate of the value of your vehicle. This is relevant in total loss cases where the auto insurance company may give you a low-ball figure on the value of your car. Make sure you have the appraisal documented as it will become valuable in court.
Do not sign any agreement unless you are completely happy with it. If you feel your rights have been trampled on, keep fighting. An attorney will give you a good idea of how strong your case is. If you have the proper documentation, then do not sign a settlement offer that is too low. To defend your rights successfully, you have to be willing to fight the auto insurance company. That means you must be willing to take the company to court if necessary.
Even if you do not want to hire an auto accident attorney right away, it is a good idea to get a free consultation and let them explain to you your rights in the case.
Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by insurance adjusters, large amounts of paperwork, corporation lawyers or anything involving the negotiating process. You have just as much power in this process as the auto insurance company.