A car accident will always involve insurance companies. The extent of their involvement will depend on the car accident and the type of coverage each party has. If you are injured in a car accident, how you deal with the outcome and the insurance company adjuster will make a difference in how the claim is handled. To ensure that you know what to do, there are some tips that you should know about.
It can often be hard to see which side your insurance agent is on as they sometimes look to be on yours and at other times on the company’s side. Fortunately, there are certain things that you can say and do during conversations with the insurance company to protect your interests and rights. This will begin with looking at 5 pieces of information before you make the first call to the insurance company.
Your Insurance Policy
The first thing you need to do is review your insurance policy for any crucial details about collision coverage and reporting. Each insurance company will have rules that you need to follow when reporting an accident. When you ignore these rules, you will be hurting your chances of getting your insurance coverage. It can also put you at risk of fraud allegations.
You will generally be able to access the full text of your policy online through your provider’s website. You need to look up the reporting rules as well as the type of coverage you have to prepare for the discussion that is coming. You also need to check that your coverage has not lapsed. It is also important to have your insurance policy number on hand when you make your call.
The Details Of The Accident
When the accident occurs, you need to get as much information as you can before you seek medical attention for any injuries. This information includes the name of the other driver as well as their insurance information. Information of eyewitnesses and other important data such as the number of vehicles involved, where the crash happened and the weather at the time also needs to be noted.
If you report the accident to the police, you will need to keep the police report number. When you report the accident to the insurance company, they are going to ask you to describe the accident in detail. The more accurate your story, the better for your case and you should not admit fault during this. All you need to state are the facts of what happened.
Photographs Of The Damage
Ideally, you need to take photographs of the damage done in the accident on the scene. These pictures should be of all vehicle damage, personal injuries as well as any factors that led to the crash such as debris on the road and blocked signs. You can use these pictures to more accurately describe the extent of the damages when talking to the insurance company. You should also tell the agent about the pictures and state that they are available for review if necessary.
There are times when a car accident results in serious injuries and you need to go to the hospital from the scene. If this is the case, you have until you are reasonably able to call and file a report with your insurance company. However, before you make this call, you need to get all of your medical information.
This information will include x-rays, information from the doctors, treatment schedules as well as the costs which you have incurred. The insurance company will often ask for an overview of your injuries as well as an estimate of the costs of medical treatment.
After you have talked to your insurance company, adjusters from the other driver’s company may contact you. If the adjuster seems like they want to close the case as soon as possible, it is likely that they have a quota that they need to fill. You should not let the adjustor convince you to make a statement or to accept a settlement that you are not comfortable with.
If you want more information about what your claim is worth, you should talk to a car accident law firm. This will help you to protect your rights and ensure that you get the most out of your claim. This should be done before you talk to any adjusters.
After you have attended to yourself and others at the car accident scene and prepared for the call, you have to actually make the call. This is necessary, but it is important that you remain as calm as possible. You also need to ensure that you are thinking clearly when you talk to your agent. There are a few things that you do and do not want to talk about.
Avoid Admitting Fault
While it can be tempting to apologize to the other driver or tell your insurance company that you are at fault, you need to avoid this. Even if you believe that you were at fault, you need to wait for the police or a judge to make this determination. There could be factors that you are unaware of that contributed to the crash such as dangerous road conditions.
There are many states that are pure comparative negligence states. This means that you could recover damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident. When you admit fault, you will ruin any chances that you have of getting compensation.
Stick To The Facts
When talking to claims adjusters and your insurance company, you should never speculate. If you are unable to answer any questions, simply say that you do not know. Always stick to the facts of the crash such as how fast you were traveling and the direction.
When you state facts instead of speculation, you will help the investigators recreate what happened and properly assign fault. You could also face legal problems if the insurance company feels that you have lied to them as they will think you are committing fraud.
Do Not Issue A Statement
The claims adjuster from the other driver’s insurance provider may contact you on the same day as the accident according to accidenttampa.com. These people could be an employee of the insurance company or from an independent firm. Their job is to settle your claim for as little as possible.
You will generally find that these people know less about the accident than you do and they will often see over 50 claims each month. This means they only have a few minutes to look at your file and you often have the advantage by refusing to make an official statement. Anything you tell the adjuster can be used against you later.
Wait To Settle Your Case
If you want to accept a settlement as soon as possible regardless of the value of your case, you can accept the first offer that you get from the claims adjuster. However, this will generally be much less than your claim is actually worth. You need to remember that the adjuster does not work for you, they work for the insurance company.
They will often have a maximum limit for what they can offer. You should not fall prey to these limitations. Before you accept any settlement, you might want to contact an attorney to determine if this is the right figure.
Call An Attorney
You will be able to contact an attorney at any stage of your claim process. The attorney will take over all communication with the insurance companies and work in your best interests. They will also be able to walk you through the process and give you advice on what you should be saying.