Lubbock Insurance Claims Attorney
If you think that you are in good hands with your insurance company – think again. Insurance companies do not make money by paying claims – they only make a profit by charging high premiums and then paying out as little as possible. The insurance company is not on your side, and they don’t make good neighbors. A faltering economy and government bailouts for insurance companies have caused many insurance companies to tilt the scales against the customer. This means that fewer claims are paid, and many legitimate claims are denied or reduced, while the insurance company pockets the rest.
Whether you have a life, property, long-term disability, auto, or any other type of insurance claim, having an experienced insurance claims attorney will get you results more quickly, and will help you to understand your rights and responsibilities.
If you have been the victim of an auto accident, vandalism, or a West Texas hailstorm, you may have an unexpected insurance claim. Here are some important tips to make your claim successful:
- Following a loss, begin gathering and keeping important documents immediately. This includes:
- Receipts for items lost or damaged
- Government reports (police reports)
- Names and addresses of witnesses
- Description of what happened
- Receipts for any costs you incur related to the loss
- When you are contacted by any insurance company representative, be sure to get their name, telephone number, and the claim number.
- Understand that the insurance adjuster does not represent you — it is not their job to protect your interests. They work for a profit-making company, and their most significant obligation is to their company and its shareholders. Often this duty is fulfilled by paying as little as possible to settle your claim.
- If you give a statement about how an accident or other loss happened, understand that this will be recorded, and will forever become your version of what happened. For that reason, give information that is as accurate, truthful, and as complete as possible. Consider speaking with an attorney before providing a statement.
- Do not hesitate to ask the adjuster to send you something in writing stating that their company accepts full responsibility for the loss or claim, even when you are still negotiating the value of the claim.
- Ask for promises or commitments of any kind to be reduced to writing. This will give you a record of what has been promised to you, and reduce the possibility of misunderstanding, or miscommunication due to change in personnel (which happens frequently in the insurance industry).
- Do not sign anything until you know fully what you are signing and what your legal rights are. If you have questions, don’t ask the adjuster, you need to obtain accurate, truthful independent legal advice from a trained attorney.
- If you and the insurance adjuster do not agree on the value of a property damage claim, it may be helpful to get your own independent appraisal from an independent licensed adjuster or a property damage appraiser. Appraisers can often be found through attorneys, auto body shops, or realtors (for building damage).
No matter what kind of insurance claim you have, consulting an attorney can help you to understand your rights and options, and let you maximize the value of your claim. At Hogan Law Firm, we are ready and able to assist you with your insurance claim questions.