Upwork Scams: How to Not Get Scammed on Upwork

Formerly known as Elance-oDesk, Upwork has become one of the largest and most popular freelancing platforms in the world. With a 16% increase in revenue gain this year, approximately 12 million freelancers and about 5 million registered clients, Upwork does not seem to be slowing down.

If you are willing to put in the time and effort and can build a decent portfolio in terms of successful completion of projects with decent reviews, you can earn anywhere around $100-$150 per day. That’s a decent $3000 minimum pay per month considering you have kept Upwork as a side hustle.

If you plan to make Upwork a full-time gig then you stand to earn much more than this. The amount you earn is limitless. Over time and with a good hourly rate, you’ll be making thousands. This will take time and effort. To
succeed in freelancing on such platforms you always need to depend on the snowball effect.

The first couple of projects will be the hardest to get, but once you power through those with honesty and a good work ethic, you will find projects flowing into your queue in no time. With all that said,  freelancing on Upwork does come with its risks. Here are few of the  different Upwork scams and how you can avoid it.

Requesting to work off-site

This has become one of the most common ways freelancers get scammed on Upwork. If you’ve gone through the handbook for freelancers on the site (which you should’ve), then you know that operating outside the site does not fall in the site’s code of conduct. All work on Upwork has to be done on Upwork and nowhere else.

Most often, this scam works because freelancers get enticed by fancy rates that these “clients” supposedly offer if you agree to work with them outside Upwork. What freelancers do not understand is that these clients are not accountable to anyone outside the site. You stand a risk to get scammed and get paid nothing for all your hard work.

How to solve this?

Follow the handbook rules. Stay within the site for all work received through Upwork. Do NOT go off-site or you risk getting scammed and Upwork can do nothing about it.

Asking for some fee to begin working

Off the back, you might think that this a scam that clients face but surprisingly this is something that freelancers also face. Some clients will request a small fee before they let you begin working on their project. This goes against the website’s rules and regulations and could be a possible scam.

The only money involved is what is listed on the site which is either the amount the project will cost or your hourly rate as a freelancer. If any other cash is requested via chat, this hints to a possible scam so stay away.

How to solve this?

Just say “NO”. If they demand money from you, there is a high chance that this is a scam. Reject the offer and report such clients so that they can deal with them.

Asking for free work

In some instances, clients will ask for a “sample” article to “prove” your writing potential. Although this sounds legitimate, it isn’t. Upwork has stated that there is no concept of free work here whether it is an actual
job or a simple sample. Any work done has to be remunerated. Clients asking for free samples fall under scammers so stay away from such parties.

How to solve this?

Browse through this client’s open jobs, proposals and reviews and make a decision. If it looks fishy, it’s probably a scam. Let your instinct guide you but always remember that free samples are not part of Upwork and their structure.

Asking to share accounts

Yes, the initial days of being a freelancer on sites like this will be nothing short of a struggle. With many rejections and failed attempts at getting that one project to get the ball rolling, you will be desperate. Freelancers in this state usually tend to get scammed by sudden invitations to share accounts so that they can work with you and split the earnings (50-50 or sometimes even 70-30 ).

This might sound downright convenient. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s a scam! The risks involved in sharing your account is endless. Changing your password, withdrawing the existing earnings, hijacking and asking for money to give the account back are just a few of these.

How to solve this?

The answer is not rocket science. Under no circumstances should you ever share your account with anyone. Shortcuts will lead to nothing and cost you everything. The simplest way to prevent this is to reject such “helpful” suggestions.

As a client on Upwork, you face scams too. Some of the possible scams are:

Getting plagiarized material

A very simple scam that clients fall into is receiving material that you think is original only to find out later that it is plagiarized. With over 12 million registered freelancers there is a chance that quite a few are scammers looking to make some easy money with copy-paste material.

How to solve this?

Nowadays, tools like Copyscape help clients ensure that the material they receive is 100% genuine. Run the material you receive through this and if it fails, you can easily reject the client and keep the money. There is no point in doing this after a week after completion of the transaction. Do it as soon as you receive the material. (Grammarly is another tool that can help check for grammatical errors along with plagiarism)

Requesting off-site communication and payment

This should be a red flag that your freelancer is possibly trying to scam you. The handbook clearly states that no communication or payment should occur outside its channel. If you do so, you risk getting scammed.

How to solve this?

Just say “NO”. Accept no communication outside Upwork. It ensures accountability, proof and reduces the risk of getting scammed.

Conclusion

Whether you are a freelancer or a client, Upwork is a perfect place for you. With that being said, if you choose to ignore signs of such scams and indulge in activities that might sound like a jackpot, you have a high chance of getting scammed. Stick to their guidelines, adhere to the tips provided here and you stand to gain both as a client and as a freelancer on Upwork.

Sell Your Home Fast And For A Profit

Urgently needing to sell your home? Then you’ve come to the right post. Any person selling their home wants to make a profit of some kind, and this can be increasingly difficult to come by when you don’t have the time to wait for a high bidding buyer.

However, there are some things you can do to enhance your homes appeal in a short amount of time and increase the value and help it sell fast.

Contact Sellers

To sell your home fast, bring in the experts such as real estate professionals or you can contact businesses that purchase properties for a quote to buy your home. For instance, We Buy Houses, Sell My House, give you the option to either buy or sell your home on your behalf.

Seek a valuation from a few professionals before deciding who you want to use, this way, you can find the price that fits your desire to gain a profit on your property. Although this step is essential, you may want to commit to it after the following steps below, to ensure you get the best price possible for your home.

Upgrade Kitchen and Bathroom

If your bathroom and kitchen are outdated, consider investing some time and money in fixing these rooms up first. This will boost your homes appeal to buyers and its value. Whether purchasing a new bathroom suite or changing the tiles, your kitchen or bathroom doesn’t necessarily need a complete overhaul to look stylish and presentable.

Merely changing the faucets, updating the kitchen surfaces, and grouting the tiles can make a world of difference in transforming your bathroom or kitchen on a budget.

Curb Appeal

Your gardens and the exterior of your home are the very first thing new potential buyers will see, so make an effort to create a welcoming and impressive entrance. Mow the lawns, declutter the gardens, paint your peeling front door and update the handles and door knocker.

These are all budget-friendly ways to help sell your home fast. Purchasing a few bright-colored plants will also add appeal to your home. You want your guests to see themselves living in your home, and so creating the best first impression possible, is one of the most effective ways to do that.

Repairs

No busy professional couple, or family of five desires to move into a home where there is heaps of things that need fixing or replacing. Because of this, be sure to make your home functional, by sorting out urgent repairs quickly such as damp in your home.

Whether you have a noisy boiler, creaky doors, or cracks in the walls, focus on these repairs, you can either hire a professional or spend some time putting your DIY skills to use to keep costs down.

Neutral Decor

It’s fair to consider that your decor efforts may not be to everyone’s taste. Because of this, you may want to tone down any bright colors on the walls and change it for something more neutral such as cream, or white. A blank canvas will give potential buyers a clean slate to put their own stamp on their home, and it means less work for them having to change the decor to which is appealing to buyers.

To sell your home quickly, doing what you can in the time available to repair any problems, neutralize the decor and create curb appeal is essential. A home with too many repairs and outdated or garish decor shall decrease the value of your property and most likely only appeal to those who specifically want a fixer-upper.

These Are The Reasons You Need An Emergency Budget! (& What To Do If You Haven’t)

If we went about thinking of the worst possible scenarios that could happen in life, things would get pretty miserable pretty quick. However, that doesn’t mean we can breeze through life, ignoring them either. Especially when most catastrophes involve our financial stability as well as emotional stress. To that end, it is essential to consider what could go wrong. At least in terms of the economic impact, it could have, something you can get some guidance within the post below.

Your pet is injured.

For most people, pets are more than just animals we own. In fact, they are a part of the family, meaning that if they get injured, we will want to do everything in our power to return them to health. Of course, just like the costs involved with a human patient, treatment for your pet can set you back a great deal of money. Something that it can be tough to find out of nowhere. 

Happily, if you have been topping up your emergency budget regularly, there should be enough in there to cover this sort of situation. Although, it is also possible to pay into a pet insurance policy that will cover the costs of most the treatment instead. Something that may actually work out to be more economical than finding the entirely of the sum from your own savings. 

You experience trouble with the law.

If you have ever experienced any trouble with the law, you know that it is no joke! You will also be well aware that any legal difficulty can cost you big time if you are not careful. In fact, there are many potential costs involved. These may include legal representation, the compensation you are instructed to pay to the other party, and even the amount you are required to pay for bail. Something that you cannot be released from prison without. 

Of course, those with a healthy emergency fund will immediately be in a better position should such a situation arise. The reason being they will have at least part of the money needed to cover these costs. However, some people can help, even if you do not have the required funds to hand. 

These being businesses such as Freedom Bail Bonds that can lend you money to secure your release. In addition to those lawyers that offer their services on a no-win, no fee basis. Something that means you do not need to worry about payment at all, as they will take their percentage from the compensation you receive. 

Your need to move home. 

The issue with needing to move home is that it can be very costly. Something that can be problematic if all of your spare capital is tied up in your residence. After all, you cannot access the money you need to pay for renovations and realtors fees before you have sold your house. 

Luckily, those with an emergency fund can use the money they have there and then replace it when their house has sold. While an alternative for those without funds is to get a loan against the value of their home. Something that may decrease the profit they can make on the sale, but also help them out of a financial bind in the short term.

Financial Turmoil We Struggle To Get Out Of

Struggling financially is one of the most common struggles that people have. And struggling financially then leads to so many other struggles that people have to try and deal with, such as problems with a social life, eating right, and mental health problems. It literally controls our life to the point where there’s not much that you can do without it.

So when you find yourself in a bit of financial turmoil, it can literally be one of the most stressful times of your life. When you feel like all you’re doing is borrowing money to pay off other bills, it’s a never ending spiral that ends a lot of people up in debt. Debt is such a serious problem in this world at the minute, that it’s estimated that two thirds of people are actually in debt right this minute.

So before it even gets to that point, we want to try and get you out of the turmoil that you’re in. There’s so many ways that you can work your way to financial freedom, where you don’t feel like you’re being consumed with debt and all of the other problems you might be facing. So if you’re desperate and looking for a bit of help, look no further. Here’s how you can get yourself out of the sticky situation that you’re in.

Battling With Debt

We wanted to start this by talking about debt, because debt is one of the biggest problems this world is facing. It’s not just those that are dealing with debt in terms of personal finances, it’s literally the whole world. Even those businesses that you think are doing so well, are struggling with debt behind closed doors.

So find comfort in the fact that you’re not alone, and there are plenty of things you can do to get away from it. The first thing that we’d recommend that you do, is go and talk to a financial advisor to help you out. Financial advice from a professional who is used to dealing with people who are struggling with debt at the minute is so important.

They can help you formulate that all important plan that will get you back into steady waters. The second thing that you can do, is cut access to all of the areas that you’re borrowing from. Half of the reason we’re in such growing debt, is because there’s so many access points to borrow money.

But if you ring those companies and ask them to freeze your account so that you can borrow no more, it cuts the ties that you’ve began relying on so heavily. It’s a simple solution that not enough people are trying!

When You’re Left Out Of Work

Being left out of work is one of the quickest ways to find yourself in debt. People can be left out of work for so many different reasons, but one of the most common at the minute is an injury at work. Especially those that are involved in a lot of manual labour, there always seems to be some sort of safety hazard, and there always seems to be someone out of work.

The Derrick Law Firm is just one firm you can turn to if you ever find yourself out of work due to personal injury that you know isn’t your fault. It can happen for any reason, but if you know that accident would have been preventable if the company had better measure in place, and you’re off work unpaid for a few weeks, then what have you got to lose.

You could win a case that would give you the finances you need to carry on living, whilst you can’t work!

Dealing With The Emotions That Come With It

The emotions that come with it is something people don’t talk about enough. People love to talk about the financial situation they’re in, but not truly how it’s making them feel. But the emotions that come with it can quickly lead to mental health problems, and it’s those that you need to try and combat.

So to make sure that you stay on top of your mind through all of this, make sure that you’re speaking to those around you about how it’s making you feel, rather than the situation itself. It’s so good to speak out about issues!

Even if it just be a free help advice service that you’re talking to because you don’t want to talk to those that you know, it’s still good to get it out in the open!

How Putting Your Safety First Will Protect Your Money

Protecting your money is something you should be doing anyway, but did you know it’s not always in the most obvious ways that you can do this. Staying safe in all aspects of your life will protect your money because if you a reckless, it costs money.

Stay Safe Online

This is one of the obvious ones, but still very necessary. IF you’re someone who uses the same password for all your accounts – Amazon, eBay, Asos, then if you have ticked the box for ease, then your card details will be saved, and if someone can manage to guess one password, then they have access to everything. Test how secure your password is via howsecureismypassword.net.

This will give you an estimated time for how long it would take a computer to crack your password, and it also offers hints on how you can improve it. Then once you know this, it’s important to up your security by using a password manager such as LastPass.com which can store all your log-in details and also protect them with just one single master password. It also enables you to automatically change your existing passwords to a random series of symbols, numbers and letters without having to visit each particular website.

As well as passwords, make sure that you scan for viruses and spyware regularly, You can buy premium antivirus software, but if you want a free one PC Advisor magazine recommends Avira.

Stay Safe On The Road

This isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to protecting your money, however, if you think of it from the other side, if you are not safe on the road and you have an accident it will cost you a lot of money.

It could cost a lot to repair the car, getting a new car, repairs to a car you hit, if you are injured it could mean that you need to have time off work and will lose out on money there. You may also have to pay for services from somewhere like NBA Law Firm who has gained a reputation for high-value value settlements and verdicts in car wreck cases.

Stay Safe While Travelling

fun

As a tourist, you are already susceptible to thieves and pickpockets, so you have to take extra care of your money and possessions. One of the best ways to protect your money while you are travelling is to use credit and limit the use of cash. While it is easier to stick to a budget when using cash, cash isn’t replaceable, and if you lose your wallet or someone steals your money, you can lose all of your travel funds.

However, if your credit card is stolen, then you are not liable for unauthorized charges. Even with a debit card, your bank will refund any fraudulent purchases. It’s a good idea to bring some cash on your vacation, but just don’t carry too much.

It’s also a good idea to avoid secluded ATMs. Instead, go to cash machines located inside your hotel or near busy areas but don’t visit them at night or in the early hours of the morning. 

Stay Safe In Your Home

dream house

Keeping your home safe will also keep your money safe. If someone gets in your home, not only will you need to replace valuable items if stolen, but a thief will no doubt be able to find all the information about your bank accounts from inside your home. 

Start off by getting a security camera. It is invaluable to have another set of eyes looking out for you and your home. Having a security camera means that you can check on what’s happening when you’re away from home as they are usually smart these days and you can see what’s going on from an app on your phone. They also act as a deterrent and can force a burglar to think twice before targeting your house.

Another smart idea is to get yourself a smart doorbell which can give the impression you’re at home even when you’re not. They are usually easy to install and highly affordable and come with live video streaming, remote viewing apps, and two-way communication that lets you see and talk to whoever is at your door.

This provides extra security, and it also helps you protect yourself from a home invasion or other violent attack when you are home. Forget having to get up and look through the peephole—these doorbells allow you to see who’s at the door from wherever you feel safest.

Building A Financial Safety Net

Saving is really important, but most people don’t realize just how important it is until the time comes and they haven’t got anything saved. When financial emergencies arise, and they do, there is nothing worse than knowing that you aren’t covered. You need to take loans, borrow money, and hope for the best. It is actually a terrifying situation and can pile the stress on really quickly. 

In fact, many financial emergencies are why many people end up in dangerously high debt and in some cases, financial ruin. For example, imagine you were in a car accident and unable to work? Aside from needing a settlement calculator, you’re going to need some cash to be a cushion until you are back on your feet. 

Emergency Fund

These are the funds that you tuck safely away in an ISA or any other locked account. You need to be able to access these funds at a moments notice. Ideally, you will have at least 6 months worth of money in there that is free to use if anything should happen. So when you make the decision to save, this is where you want to start putting your money. You should set a budget to work out what you can safely put aside. It might mean that for a little while you’re going to have to make some cutbacks on what you buy and the entertainment options you have. But this is worth it. Where possible, create an automatic savings plan, so that the heavy lifting is out of your hands. 

“Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.” 

Warren Buffett

Life Insurance

So many people skip this thinking that it won’t matter if they have it or not. Assuming that they have time to arrange it all. But the truth is none of us know when that time will be up. And if you already have dependents, or you are planning to in the future, then they will need financial security. If you have a house that is currently being paid off via a mortgage, then you are seriously going to want to think about what will happen if you can no longer make those payments. 

Long-term Disability Insurance

If something happens and you aren’t able to make a regular income any more due to injury, then you’re going to be very happy that you have this. The safety net isn’t there for fun, it’s there for the what-ifs. Many people think this coverage is a luxury, but it should be considered a necessity if you have housing repayments, children, a significant other, and of course, medical bills stack up thick and fast. 

Retirement Plan

You should sit down and work out how much you will need to put into your pension from the age you are now, to the age you want to retire – and see if it is going to be possible. Where possible, take advantage of any government schemes to match what you are putting into your own pension pot. You’ll also do well to take out other long-term savings that can be accessed after a period of years. Keep rolling that cash up, and cash outcome retirement time. The fact is that most people can no longer finish as early in life as the once could, and retirement really needs a lot of consideration.

Savings

A general savings pot for rainy days is undoubtedly something you’ll want to do too. You don’t need to put a lot of money into this. Instead, you are going to be looking to skim off the top of what you are spending elsewhere. There are many apps that will now do this for you, and they have a low yearly charge to do so. There are some that will also automatically calculate what you can afford to save and put it into a savings pot for you. 

Even a penny jar emptied once a year and put into an account over the space of a few years will give you a little bump. 

Your financial safety plan has more to do with the people you love and want to look after than it does with you. But, that safety net will be the thing that keeps a roof over their heads and food in their bellies when it really counts. So if you aren’t saving and you don’t have those vital insurances – make those changes today, you never know when you’ll need them. 

4 Things Everyone Should Know About Cars and Driving

There are plenty of advantages to owning a vehicle, as we all know; indeed, that’s why so many of us fork up the cash to get a nice set of wheels in the first place. However, sometimes, that’s where a person’s knowledge of their vehicle ends.

They can tell you the color and the manufacturer, but not so much more and this can have consequences, especially financial consequences. If you’re going to be a responsible car owner and driver, then there are some things you’ll need to know. Below, we take a look at four such examples. 

What Are You Driving?

First thing’s first: what are you driving? Not all cars run the same, even though that’s generally what people think. It’ll be in your best interest to read the manual.

It’s not the most exciting of tasks, sure, but there is a reason why they put one in the vehicle: they’re full of useful information that might just save you some money further on down the line. It’ll tell you the correct way to drive it, the type of gas that it needs, and so on. 

The Maintenance Schedule

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a brand new vehicle or one that has been driven 100,000 miles: it’s hyper important that you’re staying on top of the car’s maintenance.

Like with most things, it pays to be proactive. Your car might have a small issue that is easy and inexpensive to fix when it first presents itself, but which, left alone, could turn into something much more problematic. Some of the tasks you’ll be able to do yourself, but others will require the hands of a professional.

It never hurts to take your car into a service every few months or so. There’s also value in finding and building a relationship with a trusted mechanic. 

If Something Goes Wrong

All going well, you’ll have a relatively straightforward driving career, in which you won’t be involved in any incidents. However, there are no guarantees.

As such, it’s important that you know what to do after a minor car accident. This will help you to get treatment for any injuries that you sustain, and also ensure that any financial compensation that is owed to you comes your way.

Nobody expects to be in a car accident, but they do happen from time to time, and as such, the best way to ensure nothing bad comes from it is to be prepared.

Changing Tires

If you own a vehicle, then you should know some basic car-related maintenance tasks. Take changing a tire, for example. This is something that is very straightforward if you know how to do it.

There’s nothing worse than leaving work, and realizing that you can’t get home because you have a flat. If you don’t know how to change the tire, then you’ll need to call someone out and wait for them to arrive.

If you can do it yourself, you’ll be on your way in fifteen minutes or so and you’ll have saved some cash, too.

Protecting Your Investment When Buying A Vehicle

The vast majority of us depend on a vehicle of some description to get us from A to B. Whether you have a motorcycle, a car, a truck, or a pushbike, it’s always wise to think about protecting your investment. There are ways to save money on driving, and it’s also possible to reduce the loss of value when buying new cars and bikes. Here’s a handy guide to help you ensure the decisions you make on the forecourt benefit your bank balance. 

Old versus new

One of the most pressing questions people ask when they’re looking to replace a car or a motorcycle is ‘should I buy a new or an old vehicle?’ Many people like the idea of getting a shiny new bike or car straight off a transporter, but the reality is that often, buying brand new is a move that won’t make financial sense. The value of a car, for example, will drop the moment you drive away from the dealership. If you do want to invest in a new model, it’s worth waiting a few months or a year and buying nearly new instead. This way, you’ll pay less for the car, you get the thrill of driving around in a sparkling vehicle, but you won’t be losing money as fast. 

Investing in classics

Old cars aren’t usually worth much, but there are some vehicles that buck this trend. Classic cars and motorcycles that have a distinctive brand name and a sought-after style can be worth a fortune. There’s a limited number of relics from ages gone by around now, and collectors and passionate drivers and bikers are willing to pay a premium. Old-fashioned cars and cruiser motorcycles like Harley Davidson bikes are in demand, and if you’re looking to invest in an asset that has a better chance of appreciating than a brand new model, this could be an avenue worth exploring. You might have to do a bit of patching up and look for parts on sites like Solomotoparts to restore an unpolished gem to its former glory, but your commitment will be rewarded. If you’re not au fait with the inner workings of an engine, it’s best to seek professional advice. 

Looking after your vehicle

car

For many people, buying a car or a motorcycle marks the second most significant financial investment after purchasing a house. If you’ve spent thousands on a vehicle, it makes sense to protect your asset. If you take good care of a car, for example, you’ll save money on repairs, you’ll increase the chances of the vehicle holding its value, and your car will be more marketable if you do choose to sell. Keep up to date with regular services and checks, drive carefully, and get any suspicious noises checked out as a priority. 

Picture taken from https://pixabay.com/photos/harley-davidson-harley-davidson-2651708/

Are you looking to buy a new car, or are you thinking of adding to your collection of motorcycles? Many of us are excited about driving a new car, truck or bike, but it’s important to use your head as well as your heart and take steps to protect your investment. 

Essential Mobile Phone Tips

A mobile phone is a device which pretty much everyone should have in their arsenal, and it is something that also allows us access pretty much any computing tool we could possibly need out and about in our daily lives. If you have a mobile phone and you are looking to make the most of it, here are some of the best tools and tips you can use. 

Sharing data across devices

The first thing you will want to do on a mobile phone is share data. Whether it be an image or video, or a document to share with friends or colleagues: data transfer is an essential feature to take advantage of. There are many ways to transfer and share data such as through email and message, through Dropbox or Google Drive, or even via Airdrop if you have an iPhone. If Android file transfer not working on Mac, take a look online for some handy tips and then you’ll be able to make the most of this feature. 

Digitise your documents

Gone are the days where we print every single document out and file it in our cupboards. These days, the best way we can make use of our mobile devices is to create and edit documents directly to screen. Tools such as Sheets, Docs, OneDrive and OneNote can be used effortlessly on your mobile phone to allow you to make full word or spreadsheet documents no matter where you are. If you are a writer or someone who needs to work on the go, this is a helpful thing to do. 

Emergency contact

If you have an iPhone, the most important thing you can do is to add your emergency contact process to the lock screen. This is a clever feature which links up with the health app on your phone and will allow the emergency services to gain an insight into any health issues or medication you have if you are injured and unconscious. This is a feature you may not immediately know about but it could save your life. 

Control your computer with your phone

We all know the situation. You have left the house or the office, and you have just realised that you need a specific file or you need to shut down your device. This can be a huge annoyance, and to save you having to head back to the office to fix the issue, you can instead control your computer from your phone. Teamviewer is a helpful app which you can install on both your phone and computer, and it will allow you to access your computer via your phone if you are ever out and about. 

There are many amazing tips and tricks for using and making the most out of your phone, so make sure to take a look at these tips today and delve deeper into your phone settings to see if you can find something new. With these different features, you can make the most out of your mobile and utilise it for many things.

How Can You Save the Most Money on Repairs After a Car Accident?

Car accidents can be costly. In addition to getting treatment for your injuries, you also need to worry about your car, which may be your only means of transportation.

Even a relatively minor crash can cause major cosmetic, structural and mechanical damage to the vehicle. As a result, you may suddenly face expenses for a rental car, extensive vehicle repairs or a new car. The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to get yourself back on the road. Here are a few suggestions to follow:

Review Your Insurance Coverage 

If another driver caused your accident, you can file a property damage claim against that driver in addition to your claim for bodily injury damages. Texas law requires drivers to carry at least $25,000 in property damage liability insurance. In some cases, an insurance company may offer to settle a property damage claim and even pay for your rental.

However, you will likely have to file a property damage claim with your own insurance company if:

  • The other driver’s insurance company refuses to accept liability
  • The other driver has no insurance or has insufficient insurance
  • A hit-and-run driver caused your crash
  • You were largely at fault for the accident.

You should review your own insurance policy as soon as you can after your accident. You will want to see whether your policy includes coverage such as:

  • Collision – This insurance will pay for the repair or replacement of your car, regardless of who was at fault. Still, you will likely need to pay a deductible. This coverage is different from comprehensive insurance, which covers non-collision vehicle damage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage – This coverage will kick in if the at-fault driver has no insurance, has insurance that fails to fully cover your property damage or fled the scene after the crash and cannot be located.
  • Towing and labor – This form of coverage pays only for towing your car if it is so damaged that it can’t be driven away from the accident.
  • Rental reimbursement – This coverage will pay for renting a car while your car is being repaired. If an insurance company declares your car to be “totaled,” and you accept the insurance company’s offer to pay you the actual cash value of your car, then you can expect the rental car coverage to end within a matter of days after you accept the offer.

If you cannot understand your auto insurance policy or have questions about it, you should speak with a lawyer. Many attorneys will handle a property damage claim in addition to handling a bodily injury claim.

Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate with the Insurance Company

Typically, when you file a property damage claim, an insurance company will use one of its local “preferred” repair shops to estimate what needs to be repaired on the vehicle and what it will cost. The insurer will then offer to pay that amount in repairs, or it will declare the car to be a “total loss” if it finds that the cost of repairs is too close to the car’s actual cash value. However, you don’t have to accept the insurance company’s determination.

You can negotiate. For instance, you can ask one or more other repair shops to inspect your car and give you a repair estimate. If you disagree with the insurance company’s determination of your actual cash value, you can get written price quotes from local car dealers or other sources to show what you think is the right price. With this information, you may be able to negotiate a better deal for the repair or replacement of your vehicle than what the insurance company offers.

Talk with an Attorney Before You Talk with the Insurance Company

Unfortunately, insurance companies often take advantage of car accident victims. After all, they are in a for-profit industry. Often, an insurance company will contact a victim within days or maybe even within hours after a crash and make a settlement offer. If this occurs to you, then you should wait before you say or do anything with the insurance company. Instead, you should contact a lawyer.

An experienced auto accident attorney can review the facts of your case to determine not only liability but also the value of your potential personal injury and/or property damage claim. The attorney can provide a solid advice that is ultimately aimed at getting you the maximum amount of compensation for your losses.