How Do I Deal with Insurance Companies After a Car Accident?

5-7 minute read | Published: March 28, 2024 | Updated: April 17, 2024

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negotiation insurance company

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be stressful. You, your passengers, or the other driver could be injured, which means you’ll require medical treatment. Your Rental vehicle may be badly damaged, which can lead to costly repairs. And of course, you will also have to deal with insurance companies.

You can file an insurance claim so you can be compensated for damages including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Disability / Rehabilitation treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

But dealing with insurance companies is anything but easy. Experienced car accident attorneys advise victims to always take caution when dealing with insurance companies.

If you’re on your own (no legal representation), here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Don’t apologize to the insurance company.

It’s good to be polite but there’s absolutely no need to say sorry to the insurance company. Doing so might be misconstrued as an admission of fault and they will use your apology as grounds to deny your claim.

2. Don’t lie.

The insurance company will perform a thorough investigation of the accident after you file a claim. They will check police reports, photo images and video surveillance. They will also talk to the witnesses as well as the other driver/passengers. If their investigation uncovers any discrepancy, lie or exaggeration can lead to the denial of your claim, cancellation of your policy, or worse, you could be charged for fraud.

3. Don’t settle too quickly.

While we’re not suggesting you refuse their initial settlement offer, rushing to accept it might not be to your advantage. The first offer tends to be the lowest they are willing to give you.

In fact, consider this the starting point for your negotiation. If you think the offer is not enough, don’t accept it. An experienced lawyer can better negotiate on your behalf and will be able to build a stronger case for you so you may be awarded a reasonably higher settlement amount.

4. Don’t give a statement to the insurance provider of the at-fault driver.

The adjuster from the at-fault driver’s insurer may reach out to you for a statement as part of their investigation. While it may seem like standard procedure, these statements may not work in your favor. Usually their aim is to deflect blame from their client (the at-fault driver) onto you.

If you choose to provide a statement, be careful when answering overly specific or difficult questions from the insurance adjuster. If you have a lawyer, they will deal with the insurance companies themselves to avoid any pitfalls.

Car accident claim

How to Protect Your Interest When Working with Insurance Companies

The most important thing you need to remember when dealing with insurance companies is that they’re businesses which means their bottom line is always their priority.

Even if your claim is valid, the insurance company might still delay or reject it for various reasons. Claims can often be denied due to insufficient or excessive disclosure by the claimant.

So when you’re communicating with either your insurance company or the other party’s insurance company, here are some general principles to keep in mind:

  • Stick to the facts.
  • Don’t sign anything yet.
  • Avoid recording a statement.
  • Keep records of emails, phone calls, etc.
  • Don’t be too quick to accept their initial offer.

Common Tactics Used by Insurance Providers

Insurance adjusters use various tactics to minimize payouts such as:

Quick Settlement Offers

Insurers often present early settlement offers that appear enticing but are significantly lower than the claim’s actual value.


Delaying tactic is a common practice among insurance companies in hopes that you will just accept their low settlement offer.

Disputing Liability

Insurers may dispute or shift liability. They’re going to say the claimant is partly responsible for the accident and leverage on comparative negligence laws to decrease the compensation you will receive.

Undervaluing Your Injuries

Adjusters downplay the severity of injuries sustained in accidents. They’re going to question the necessity of your treatments or care.

Surveillance and Social Media Monitoring

They may also conduct surveillance and monitor your social media activities to find evidence that contradict the injuries you reported.

Lowering Property Damage Estimates

They may provide unfairly low repair estimates in order to lower the settlement amount.

Extensive Documentation Requirements

Insurance companies want to make the process as complicated as possible so that you will end up frustrated and will be willing to accept their settlement offer right away. They may even use this tactic as a way to prevent you getting compensation.

insurance adjuster

Facing all sorts of tactics insurance companies employ can be a daunting experience but there are steps you can take to safeguard yourself.

First of all, stay persistent. Keep following up and maintain detailed records of your communication attempts.

Next, you should know your policy. Read it numerous times and understand all the terms and conditions of your insurance coverage.

Be sure to collect any information or evidence that supports your claim, such as police reports, medical records, eyewitness statements, or accident scene photos.

Don’t rush. Assess the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, repairs, rehab and others.

And if they continue to make things difficult for you, reach out to a car accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can keep the pressure on the insurance companies and they will negotiate on your behalf.

The insurance company’s goal is to minimize payout as much as possible. But with a seasoned lawyer by your side, you don’t have to settle for anything less than you rightfully deserve.

Category: Dealing with Insurance