Five Ways to Wreck Your Car Accident Insurance Claim
Posted on June 10th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
Motor vehicle crashes make up most of my law practice. I talk with many individual every day in various stages post-car crash.
There are several mistakes you can make following a car crash that can wreck up your car insurance claim. Since they are so common, I want to share several of them in hopes you will not make one of the mistakes:
Number One–Fail to Call the Police
Always contact law enforcement immediately after a car accident. While police do not determine fault, the report is documentation the crash occurred and important when making a claim. Plus, the time that you waste calling 911 could the difference in life or death for a victim.
Number Two–Fail to Report the Crash to Your Insurance Carrier
Sometimes people try settle the crash damage without involving insurance companies and this is a bad idea. Actually, you should be suspect of anyone who doesn’t want to call the authorities and notify insurance. The other driver may tell you they are going to pay for damages, however, that is rarely successful.
Also, what might initially seem like small damage or minor injury could quickly escalate into a major problem or injury. Failing to report the accident could jeopardize your right to have an insurance company pay your claim. It is best to follow the rules and not give your insurance carrier a reason to deny your claim. See “How skilled are insurance company adjusters at negotiating claims?
Number Three–Fail to Seek Medical Treatment
You should get checked out by a medical professional right away. Whiplash is a good example of an injury with potentially delayed symptoms. Brain injuries and internal injuries can become life-threatening if you don’t seek medical treatment. Don’t wait for the other driver’s insurance to “approve” your treatment or it may never happen.
Get the treatment that you need. When you are examined by a doctor, you are preserving your right to make a claim for damages plus you are doing the best thing to ensure your healthy well-being.
Number Four – Accepting a Settlement Too Soon or an Unfair Settlement
If you have been injured, we recommend that you not consider discussing any type of bodily injury settlement for a minimum of 60-90 days. You have to know the full extent of your injuries before even thinking about settling your claim. Property damages can be settled right away.
You should not sign any medical authorizations or discuss your injuries with an adjuster. You do not want to settle and walk away with less compensation than what you need and deserve.
Number Five- Fail to Get the Help of a Car Accident Attorney
There can be many legal minefields in obtaining compensation after a car accident. You need to thoroughly understand your insurance policy and the laws. You will need to include all possible defendants or responsible parties in making a claim (truck accidents get especially complicated). As well, you need to be careful about anything that you say to an adjuster.
This is the beginning of the list of things to do in addition to focusing on your medical treatment and restoring your daily life! Most people do not understand how to navigate the system which is not an indicator of intelligence.
You hire an expert for the service you need. IE: I go to a doctor if I’m sick, I take my car to a mechanic if it’s broken and I hire an electrician if I have electrical problems at my house. Some things should not be left to “searching out the answers on the internet” See “Why Do I Need an Attorney?”
Insurance companies hope that you come to consider yourself your own attorney and expert through internet research. The internet is a great source of information, however, insurance companies treat individuals differently than they do represent individuals—there is no internet research equivalent.
Seek Legal Advice and Make Informed Decisions
We represent seriously injured victims of motor vehicle crashes. Physical injuries can be life-changing and it can be an incredibly difficult process for you in of itself. When we represent individuals, we take that negotiation and legal worry load off of your shoulders so that you can focus on healing and recovering.
We seek to obtain for you the compensation you need following an injury. Consultations with our experienced car accident attorneys are free and we hate to see someone injured not get the information they need in order to make an informed decision.
Call us at (314) 276-1681