(360) 718-3640
Personal Injury Lawyer
Vancouver & Southwest Washington

Dealing With Car Insurance Companies in Vancouver, WA

You need an experienced car insurance lawyer on your side

When you've been in a car accident, you will likely have to deal with an insurance company to resolve your claim. Many people dread this experience, and with good reason. Insurance companies can be difficult to deal with and they don't have your best interests in mind. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC helps people deal with insurance companies to get the compensation they deserve.

The process of filing a claim for compensation can be confusing and frustrating. Insurance companies are mainly interested in keeping their profits high. That's why they often try to keep their payments low. They may dispute your claim or suggest that you were somehow to blame for the accident. They may attempt to minimize your injuries. They may encourage you to accept a quick, low-ball offer. Car accident attorney Colin Scott can fight for your rights.

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents and Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can leave you with more questions than answers. That's why you need a car accident insurance lawyer who knows the tactics used by insurance companies and how to overcome them. Contact us online or call 360-718-3640 to schedule a free consultation. Colin can answer your questions and explain your options.

Do I need to report the accident to my insurance company?

Most insurance companies require customers to report accidents promptly. If you fail to do so, you could jeopardize your claim. So, yes, you need to notify your insurer, but proceed with caution. Anything you say to an insurance company, even your own, could be used against you.

If you contact us right away after the crash, we can handle the notification of your insurance company on your behalf.

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Will my insurance premium go up if I report an accident?

By law in Washington State, your insurance company can’t increase your rates for reporting a crash that was not your fault.

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Do I need to talk to the other driver’s insurance company?

If you’ve been injured, it’s almost never a good idea to talk to the other driver’s insurance company without getting legal advice first. No matter how polite and friendly they may seem, they are not on your side. Their goal is to protect their bottom line, and that means paying you as little as possible or nothing at all.

When you hire a car accident lawyer, one of the first things we will do is contact the insurance company to inform them that you are now represented by counsel. From that point forward, they cannot contact you directly; all communications need to go through your lawyer. That way, we can protect your rights and take care of the day-to-day interactions with the insurance company while you focus on getting better.

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Should I give the insurance company a recorded statement?

As a general policy, we do not allow insurance companies to interview our clients or obtain a recorded statement unless there is a compelling reason to do so. Insurance adjusters are trained to protect the insurance company’s bottom line. That means they are adept at eliciting answers that can hurt your claim. On a recorded statement, you only have one chance to get it right, and if you slip up, your rights can be jeopardized, which is why you should consult with an attorney about your case before speaking with the insurance companies.

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How long will my insurance claim take to resolve?

It depends on the circumstances of the accident, the extent of your injuries, and how difficult the insurance company decides to be. The insurance company is supposed to complete an investigation and reach a determination of fault within 30 days, but that is not always reasonably possible. Moreover, even if fault is clear, the total amount of damages you are entitled to recover may be disputed.

The reality is that if your injuries require extensive treatment or if the cause of the crash is disputed, it may take months or even years for all claims to be fully resolved. Insurance companies are notorious for slow-walking claims to put pressure on the injured person to accept a smaller settlement than they might otherwise receive. That’s why you need a car accident attorney who will protect your rights throughout the process and who knows how to apply pressure on the insurance companies, so you can maximize your recovery and move on with your life.

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When is the right time to talk about a settlement with the insurance company?

All too often, people make the mistake of settling their car accident claim too soon. In order to fully evaluate your losses, it’s necessary to have a complete understanding of the nature and extent of your physical and emotional injuries. It is not possible to determine this until your medical condition stabilizes and you have reached what is referred to as “maximum medical improvement.” Therefore, it is generally advisable to wait until after you are finished being treated before engaging in settlement negotiations with the insurance company – so long as your time in which to do so lies well within the applicable statute of limitations. (Which is why you should never wait to speak with a qualified car accident attorney!)

It is also generally unwise to engage in settlement discussions until a thorough investigation has been performed. This can include identifying all the parties who are potentially responsible for causing your injuries, assessing theories of liability, and amassing all the required evidence in your case that is needed to make a settlement demand and/or file a lawsuit. This takes time, money, and legal expertise—resources that are mostly not available to the average person who is trying to resolve an auto accident claim on their own. Therefore, it can be extremely beneficial to hire a car insurance claim lawyer who is qualified to handle these matters for you, which will allow you to focus on getting the treatment you need to reach maximum medical improvement.

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Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company?

It is important to remember insurance companies have interests that are opposite yours and they will try to settle your claim for as little as possible. Insurance companies also have the advantage of employing hundreds and even thousands of defense lawyers who work for them day and night. Having an attorney at your side can help level the playing field and significantly improve the odds of obtaining a successful result in your auto accident case.

For all of these reasons it is generally a good idea to discuss your auto accident case with a car insurance lawyer before attempting to settle your claim on your own. Our firm offers free consultations and will be happy to speak with you about your personal injury claim at no cost. To receive a free consultation with Vancouver, WA accident attorney Colin Scott, contact The Scott Law Firm, PLLC today!

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