Have you been seriously injured in a catastrophic car accident in Oklahoma?

Our Car Accident Help site is designed to be a one-stop source for anyone who has suffered serious personal injuries in a car crash. It is also a helpful resource for someone whose loved one has been injured in a serious Oklahoma car crash. Speak to one of our representatives at (405) 285-4357 if you have any questions, or fill out our form to get your free, instant, no obligation accident analysis. We have Oklahoma car accident attorneys on staff who know the law and can defend your rights.

Insurance Settlements

You’re in an accident. Your car is damaged. You’ve suffered some injuries. What should you expect from the insurance claims process?

More importantly, should you settle with the insurance company? Or should you fight?

What’s an Insurance Settlement?

In essence, a settlement is an amount of money given to you in exchange for a release of claim. That means that an injured person is giving up his right to pursue a lawsuit against the at-fault person or company for damages. Once you choose to accept a settlement, it is all the money you will ever get for your recovery.

Claims Process Overview

Let’s use an example. Mr. Jones and Ms. Smith crash their cars together. Ms. Smith was driving the wrong way down a one-way road and collided with Mr. Jones, who was following all appropriate driving regulations. Both are injured; what happens next?

  1. Both drivers’ insurance companies need to be notified. This is a requirement almost all insurance companies have so that they have a chance to investigate the accident scene, identify witnesses, and collect evidence while it is fresh.
  2. Mr. Jones makes a claim to his or Ms. Smith’s insurance company. Filing a claim starts the evaluation process. The insurance company will examine the evidence: existing medical costs, expected future medical costs, property damage, and other elements of recovery.
  3. Based on the evaluation, the insurance company offers Mr. Jones a sum of money (the settlement). Mr. Jones then has three options:
    • A. Accept the offer. If he accepts the offer, he receives the amount of money offered by the insurance company and gives up any further claims regarding this accident.
    • B. Reject the offer. If he refuses to accept the offer, there is no agreement and he may pursue further claims or file a lawsuit. This does not necessarily mean that Mr. Jones will end up receiving more than the insurance company originally offered, however.
    • C. Counteroffer. Mr. Jones, instead of accepting or rejecting the offer, asks for more money than the insurance company originally offered. This counteroffer may be rejected or accepted by the company.

Insurance Company Tactics

If only dealing with insurance companies was that simple and above-board. It’s not. Even in minor accidents, the amount of paperwork and back-and-forth between you and the claims adjuster is headache-inducing. If the insurance company decides to hold out, then you have a serious problem that can drag for months or even years, while your medical and repair bills pile up.

Remember, the insurance company wants you to take the first settlement offer that comes along, regardless of whether it covers your damages! Here are some tactics that insurance companies often use:

  • Lowballing: This is when the initial settlement offer the company makes is low, much lower than is reasonable for your accident and injuries. The company offers this small amount on the off chance that you will not know how unfair it is, and take it to get the process over with. This is why you should never accept a first offer outright; not without consulting an experienced accident attorney.
  • Delaying: Companies often deliberately drag their feet on responding to your calls, gathering all the evidence, making an evaluation, and “considering” the settlement offer and counteroffer. Why? Because as long as the money stays in their bank accounts, it is making interest for them. Also, people are more likely to get discouraged and accept any offer that comes along (finally). Don’t fall into this trap. If you’re serious about getting resolution, hire your own attorney to tackle the unresponsive insurance company. Once a legal professional is involved, the company is less likely to delay.
  • Bad Faith: Here’s an example of a bad-faith insurance practice: a woman was hit by an uninsured motorist. Her insurance company kept refusing to pay out under her $2 million coverage because it was an "intentional" crash on the at-fault driver’s part, not an "accident"! Bad faith insurance practice happens when a company continues to deny a reasonable claim for no good, legitimate reason. When your claim is continually rejected in this manner, you have grounds for a lawsuit against the insurance company, separate from your accident claim.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Sending letters and counteroffers to your insurance adjuster is a hassle, but necessary to receive just compensation for your property damage and injuries. Companies and adjusters are much more likely to cooperate with you and play by the rules if you have an attorney, even if only to get the attorney out of their hair.

Your attorney will handle all correspondence and legal back-and-forth with the adjuster regarding your claim, and negotiate a satisfactory settlement. Your attorney will also document everything in case a lawsuit needs to be filed to get you fair compensation.

Car Accident Help can assist with the process of valuing, investigating, and ultimately, making the decision to settle a case based on a client’s best interests. We are here to support the rights of those who have been harmed by the actions of others. Contact us at (405) 285-4357 today.

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Getting Support for Your Car Accident

The period after a serious car collision can be devastating and chaotic for crash victims and their families. This is the time when you can use all the support and resources you can get. The team at Car Accident Help are committed to providing you with the information and resources you need during these challenging times. If there are any questions you may have or want to know your legal rights, contact us today for a free initial evaluation to see if you have a case.

Find out if you have a case

Who We Are

The team at CarAccidentHelp.com created this site to provide a resource to those who have just been in a serious or catastrophic accident and need someone on their side. The insurance companies are not looking out for your best interests and you need an advocate who knows the laws in Oklahoma and will fight for you. We help you figure out if filing a lawsuit is right for your situation, and connect you with lawyers who can determine if you have a case.

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Edmond, OK 73013
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Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyer Disclaimer: This web site is designed to provide educational information only. The uninsured motorist, uninsured driver, car accident and injury information contained in this web site is not intended to offer legal advice. Information contained in this web site is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship, nor does it constitute legal advice, to any person reviewing such information. No electronic communication with Car Accident Help, or any employees thereof, will generate an attorney client relationship, nor will it be considered an attorney-client privileged communication. Any reference in this web site to past results for clients obtained by Car Accident Help, including reference to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, does not guarantee that similar outcomes will be achieved for future cases. Each case is different, and must be evaluated and handled based on its individual attributes and merits.

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