In the days after a car accident that was not your fault, you can expect a call from the responsible driver’s insurance company – sometimes even before you file an official injury claim. The insurer may have already reviewed the circumstances of the crash with the policyholder and could even be prepared to make an offer to settle the case. In such a situation, it is wise to be cautious and retain an Alaska car accidents lawyer to handle your matter. Much of what you hear can be deceiving. Do not believe these common myths that could put your right to compensation at risk.

Myth #1: You can trust the insurance company in settlement negotiations. As the victim of an auto collision, you should always remember that insurance companies are businesses first and foremost. They do not make a profit by paying out large settlements to victims like you, so they will try to get you to release your rights by making a seemingly attractive offer. The claims adjuster may be very convincing on the reasons you should resolve your claim out of court, but keep in mind a key point: Insurance companies act in their best interests, not yours.

Myth #2: There is plenty of time to file your claim. There are multiple reasons to act quickly after a car accident, the first of which is Alaska’s statute of limitations. You have two years from the date of the auto collision to file a lawsuit in court, or you lose your right to recover compensation. However, you should be more focused on the time limitations that insurance companies use as a rule of thumb. You need to file your claim within a few days after the accident, or the insurer may allege that you waited too long.

Myth #3: You have no choice with a “take it or leave it” offer. During settlement negotiations, there may come a point where the insurer makes a final offer to resolve your claim. Though the claims adjuster may try to persuade you that you have reached the end of the road, you do have additional legal options. You can file a lawsuit in court to seek damages as the victim of a car accident.

Myth #4: You do not need an attorney in settlement negotiations. It is true that there is no statute requiring you to hire a lawyer, but retaining counsel to assist with your claim is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve. From the above myths, you can see that it is you against the insurer – which likely has a large budget and legal department dedicated to fighting your claim. Lawyers know the tricks claims adjuster use, and will make your interests a priority.

Trust a Knowledgeable Alaska Car Accident Attorney to Handle Your Settlement

Some of these misconceptions about auto collisions may surprise you, which is why you are at a disadvantage if you try to represent yourself in the insurance claims process. Instead of going it alone, please contact Power & Power Law for legal assistance. We can schedule a complimentary consultation to discuss your case at our offices in Anchorage, Alaska.