If you have been involved in car accident with serious injuries, then you probably have many questions and concerns. One issue that presents itself immediately is how to deal with the insurance companies, both yours and the other driver‘s. The Albuquerque auto accident attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. can help to guide you through these often complex and frustrating issues.
The Insurance Adjuster is Not Your Friend
Know first and foremost that the insurance adjuster is not your friend. If he or she is offering a quick settlement of your claims, then rest assured that the offered amount is less than the full value of your claim.Insurance companies are not prone to generosity and despite their assurances to the contrary, they are not looking after your interests. They are looking after theirs.
Dealing with insurance companies can be a confusing and frustrating experience. Most victims of auto accidents lack the experience to deal with insurance adjusters. Though there are exceptions, victims of auto accidents should not generally attempt to negotiate with adjusters on their own. There is a very important question of whether you should talk to the adjuster at all other than through your attorney.
Speaking to the adjuster without the benefit of an attorney is fraught with hazards. In cases involving serious personal injury or wrongful death, there are simply too many hazards and complexities that can hurt your claims and your recovery. So in a nutshell, the answer is almost always “No, you should not speak directly with the insurance adjuster without an attorney.” Moreover, there are many occasions when there is no useful purpose in speaking with the adjuster even through your attorney.
Settlement Prior to Litigation is Often Possible
Not every auto accident must be litigated. In fact, many if not most can be resolved without filing a lawsuit.
Collins & Collins, P.C. is experienced at dealing with insurance companies. Alysan Boothe Collins is a former insurance defense attorney. She is well versed in the practices of insurance companies. This contributes to the fair and prompt resolution of your claims.
Often times, Collins & Collins, P.C. is able to settle claims without even filing a lawsuit. This keeps your litigation costs down. More importantly, it helps get a fair and prompt resolution of your claims while avoiding extremely stressful and intrusive litigation.
On the other hand, there are some insurance companies and adjusters that just will not play fairly. In these cases, litigation is unavoidable.
Filing Suit May be Necessary for a Fair Resolution of Your Claims
Even though most cases will settle without litigation and certainly short of trial, it is important to proceed as if every case is headed for trial.
As with all industries, there are good insurance companies and there are bad insurance companies. There are some that simply will not offer a fair settlement of your claims no matter how clearly the liability and damages have been established.
In these cases, there is no option but to file a personal injury lawsuit. In cases of clear liability and damages, even the worst of the insurance companies will often come around during litigation. Unfortunately, this may not occur until shortly before trial. There are also those cases where a trial is necessary. As such, every case from beginning to end should be handled with an ultimate trial in mind.
The litigation process can be long and stressful and anyone entering into litigation should understand and be prepared for this. However, understanding the process and having an experienced personal injury attorney at your side can go a long way to minimizing that stress.
Do Not Delay: Missing a Deadline Can Bar Your Claims!
The deadlines on an auto accident will vary depending upon whether the defendant is a private or governmental party. Missing a deadline will bar the claims.
All personal injury claims have important deadlines. The most common which is present in every personal injury case, including auto accidents, is the statute of limitations. Keep in mind that the statute of limitations on your auto accident claim may vary depending on the nature of the defendant. Specifically, the statute of limitations on claims against the government is only 2 years where it is 3 for private defendants.
It is critically important when dealing with claims against state, county, and local governments in New Mexico that you understand that the first important deadline runs in only 90 days under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act. Missing this deadline can bar your claim even if you were not aware that the defendant was a governmental entity, agent or employee. This determination must be made immediately after the accident and the determination can sometimes be confusing. This means that you should err on the side of caution.
Every Case is Unique and Requires Individualized Analysis
Every case including yours is different and neither this page nor any of the pages on our site can deal with every unique aspect of your case. We have tried to provide as much helpful information as possible including a Frequently Asked Questions in Auto Accidents section to help you understand the process and what to expect.
Having said that, we encourage you to contact us directly for a free review of your case. Only then can we confidently advise you on the many issues and possible challenges that you may face with your claims.