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April 9, 2018

Have an Attorney Review Your Insurance Settlement

Car Insurance Lawyers PA

When facing piles of medical bills for injuries after a car accident, you may be tempted to accept the first settlement offer you receive from the insurance company. However, fair compensation that will cover all of your medical bills—not just now, but in the future—is critical to your recovery. Deciding how much you will need is simply too important to leave up to the discretion of insurance company adjusters whose objective is to pay you as little as possible. Instead, you need an experienced car accident attorney to protect your interests. You should discuss your case with an attorney who can evaluate your entitlement to damages and review any insurance settlement offer before accepting it. Because the legal team at The Levin Firm specializes in dealing with car accident cases, we can help ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries.

A Choice No-Fault Car Insurance State

Car insurance law in Pennsylvania is unique to Pennsylvania, and can be complicated. Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault car insurance state, which means that you can choose the type of coverage you want to purchase. If you carry a traditional policy, which requires the driver at fault to pay all losses, your car accident claim will process through the negligent driver’s insurance company. This type of policy may allow recovery of damages for your pain and suffering. A traditional policy, while more expensive than a no-fault policy, covers your losses no matter who caused the accident. However, these policies typically pay only for financial losses, not for damages for pain and suffering, unless the accident involved extremely serious and traumatic injuries.

Regardless of which kind of coverage you carry, you should consult with a dedicated car accident lawyer to make sure the insurance company offers to pay for everything your policy entitles you to recover. When you’ve been hurt, you shouldn’t have to face the insurance company alone. Even minor car accidents can be costly and it can take a long time to fully recover both physically and financially. A knowledgeable car accident attorney can fight for your rights and handle negotiations with the insurance company to maximize your settlement, while you can focus on your recovery. At The Levin Firm in Philadelphia, our committed car accident lawyers have the experience, skill, and determination to carefully assess your unique claim and recover the compensation to which you’re entitled.

Car Insurance Companies: The Hard Truth

While you’re naturally overwhelmed after a car accident, don’t be lulled into accepting whatever the insurance company offers you. That’s rarely the best choice. Insurance companies are in business to make profit, just like other businesses. Often insurance companies use less than scrupulous methods, like making low-ball offers when you desperately need money to pay rapidly mounting medical bills. Insurance companies may also unreasonably delay processing your claim; deny your claim outright and argue you failed to provide adequate documentation or meet deadlines; or send you minimal payouts to induce you to accept without realizing it can cut off your right to a fair settlement. Don’t let an insurance company take advantage of you when you’ve been hurt. Have an experienced car accident attorney carefully analyze your situation and evaluate any insurance settlement offer under your particular circumstances.

Your Damages

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you’ve most likely accrued significant medical expenses. Although these may vary with the nature of your injuries, your recoverable costs may include:

  • Emergency transportation from the accident scene
  • Treatment in the emergency room
  • Surgery and aftercare
  • Doctor, specialist, and therapist appointments and treatment
  • Prescription medications
  • Ongoing treatment and therapy
  • Adaptive medical devices
  • Home adaptations
  • Ongoing healthcare

While your medical expenses may well be extensive, they are likely not your only losses. If you’ve been injured in an accident, you’ve probably also lost wages and may even experience diminished earning potential. A change in your ability to work can cause especially difficult consequences if you invested your whole life in a career that you are no longer able to do. Having the right attorney who understands these devastating impacts can help you recover and move on with your life despite these challenges.

Pain and Suffering

Although car accidents cause significant financial losses, the pain and suffering you’ve endured should never be discounted. The trauma of being hurt by someone else’s negligence in the blink of an eye is almost impossible to quantify. While no dollar amount can ever return you to your pre-accident self, full and just compensation including amounts for your pain and suffering can help you better navigate toward complete recovery.

Documenting Your Damages

When an insurance company has made a settlement offer, it may seem simplest just to take the offer and try to put your accident behind you. It’s important to remember, however, that the damages emanating from a car accident may be complex and difficult to assess. Several types of documentation may help support your claim for full compensation:

  • Records of all doctor, specialist, and therapist appointments
  • Records of all prescription medications
  • Instructions from doctors, specialists, and therapists
  • Written referrals to specialists and therapists
  • Medical reports
  • Records of all medical procedures
  • Notes from any medical professionals to your employer
  • Records of any lost wages or alterations in your employment

By compiling all relevant data and records related to your injuries, you’ll provide support that your experienced car accident attorney can use quantify how much you deserve to recover and ensure that your insurance settlement is both comprehensive and just.

Protecting Your Claim

If the insurance company has offered you a settlement, don’t let them rush you into accepting it before you’ve even had time to fully recognize the extent of your damages. A car accident attorney will help you better assess your total damages now, as well as those you may experience in the future. With a car accident lawyer’s guidance, you’ll feel more confident and better prepared throughout this often-stressful process. An attorney will help ensure that you avoid the all-too-common mistake of accepting an inadequate settlement offer.

If the Insurance Company Has Made You a Settlement Offer, Consult With an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyer Today

The aftermath of a car accident is stressful and complicated. Remember not to jump at the first offer the insurance company makes. While this impulse is understandable, you need a skilled attorney to protect you and fight for your rights. The experienced car accident attorneys at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia have the knowledge and perseverance to aggressively advocate for the compensation you deserve. Our dedicated legal team is here to help you recover from being hurt in an accident. Please contact or call us at 215-825-5183 today.

May 27, 2016

Discussing Auto Accidents with an Insurance Adjuster

How to talk to an auto adjuster

 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation [1], there were 121,317 reportable traffic crashes in 2014. These crashes claimed the lives of 1,195 people and injured another 79,758 people. Nevertheless, many drivers may not know what steps to take or basic information to share, or not share, after an accident. Individuals may even put their identities and safety at risk by sharing too much personal information. Consumers generally need only share their names and correct vehicle insurance information, which should include the phone numbers of insurance providers. Sharing additional personal information, such as driver’s license numbers and home addresses, can place consumers, their property and their safety at risk.

Conversations with an Insurance Adjuster

After an automobile accident, you will likely be contacted by an automobile insurance adjuster. There are several things to keep in mind before and during that conversation:

  • Personal Information: Provide your name, address and telephone number as well as your employer’s address, but it is not necessary for you to provide any additional private information regarding your income, medical history and the like.
  • Identify the Caller: Be sure to obtain the name and telephone number of the person to whom you are speaking as well as the name and address of their employer; the insurance company.
  • Injuries: Even if the adjuster inquires as to your injuries, refrain from providing a detailed description. You may inadvertently leave out a detail or discover later that an injury has worsened or that you have suffered an additional injury.
  • Accident Details: Do not provide a formal statement or engage in an informal conversation with the adjuster regarding the automobile accident. You can provide the date and time of the accident and identify the make and models of any vehicles that were involved, but are not required to discuss any further specifics with the adjuster.
  • Remain Calm: Although you may be upset about the accident and your injuries, taking out your anger on the insurance adjuster does not help your case or allow you to receive compensation. It is important to stay as calm and polite when speaking with a Philadelphia insurance adjuster.
  • Settlement Offer: Insurance adjusters sometimes offer a settlement during the first one or two phone calls. Quick settlements can save the insurance company work. More significantly, the insurance adjuster may try to get you to settle for a small amount before you know fully what your injuries are and how much your claim is worth. Agreeing may seem like a simple way to get compensation without having to go through the claims process, and a quick settlement is often tempting, but it will almost certainly cost you money, perhaps quite a bit. Be sure to speak with a Philadelphia automobile accident attorney to review any suggested settlement in order to determine if it fully compensates you for your losses.
  • Avoid Recorded Calls: Many claims adjusters immediately push victims to give a tape-recorded statement, or casually ask if they may record the phone conversation, claiming that a recording will protect the victim later. It is important that you do NOT agree to have any conversation recorded. There is no legal obligation to be recorded, and it is against the law for an adjuster to record without the victim’s permission. The reason you should refuse is that most people tense up when they know they are being recorded, and forget to say important things or describe things clumsily or incompletely. A verbal statement or conversation is almost never as precise and thorough as the written correspondence you will later send the insurance company. Also, recordings take on far more importance than they deserve as evidence of what happened. It can be nearly impossible later to correct or expand on what you have said in a recording. Politely but firmly decline an adjuster’s request to record your statements.

Call a Philadelphia Automobile Accident Attorney

If you or someone you love is injured in an automobile accident, it is important to speak to an auto collision attorney as soon as possible. You may even wish to discuss speaking to an attorney prior to communicating with the insurance adjuster from the other side. The experienced automobile accident attorneys at the Levin Firm understand the legal issues that may arise in a vehicle accident and will always strive to ensure you recover any losses you may have incurred as a result. Our skilled single vehicle accident attorneys investigate your case and protect your rights under Pennsylvania law to make sure you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled. Call 215-825-5183 today to schedule a free consultation or call our toll free number at 877-825-8542.

References

[1] http://www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/Safety/Documents/2014_CFB_linked.pdf

February 22, 2016

How to work with a claims adjuster

PA Claims Adjuster

When it comes to settling a car accident case, the facts of your individual case will determine how long it will take to settle.  This is one of the most pressing questions that clients have following a car accident, and one of the most difficult to answer.  The length of time it will take to settle your car accident case can vary depending on a number of factors.  Those factors include the complexity of your case, the nature and severity of your injuries, and the amount of the claim.

In the event that you decide to settle your car accident case, it is important to remember that how you interact with a claims adjuster can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Below are some important tips to facilitate the settlement process:

1.      Be organized: Make sure to take thorough notes in the event that you have a conversation with the claims adjuster.  Also, be sure to keep a copy of everything you submit.  Lastly, if you have agreed to provide the adjuster with certain information, do it promptly.

2.      Be patient: While the waiting period can be frustrating, try not to be in too great a hurry to settle your claim.  Perhaps even more importantly, do not jump at a first offer. Holding off for a little while often increases your settlement amount.

3.      Be persistent: Don’t let the adjuster sit on your claim. Put everything that you and the adjuster have agreed upon in a letter confirming what was said.  That way, when the day a certain event was due to happen, you can call and politely request a response.   However, it is important not to confuse persistence with pestering.  This means that you shouldn’t call the adjuster every day, but make sure the adjuster knows that you will be regularly and thoroughly following up on your claim.

4.      Be calm: Avoid high emotions. If you show the adjuster you are making a good-faith claim, you will likely get a good-faith settlement offer in return. Your job is simply to show the adjuster that you know how the process works and that your claim is an honest one.

If you have suffered injury in a Philadelphia auto accident, your main concern should always be on your physical and mental recovery and you should not have to constantly worry about your legal case. For this reason, we make certain to regularly communicate with clients and will keep you up to date on any new developments in your case. We provide careful attention to each individual auto accident case and will always zealously advocate on your behalf. If you have suffered injury, please do not hesitate to call 877-825-8542 to schedule a free consultation with the experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyers at The Levin Firm today.

Sources

1.      http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/how-long-settle-claim.html

2.      http://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/questions-and-answers-about-your-personal-injury-case.html

3.      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-the-negotiation-process-works-injury-case.html

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