You will almost certainly need to file an insurance claim after a serious car accident that left you seriously injured. The process of getting compensated for your medical bills and auto repairs can be complicated. A mistake can delay your settlement. The insurance company could even deny your claim because of an error.
If you keep certain things in mind, you can minimize the risk of a mistake and show the insurer that you are entitled to maximum compensation. Here are four tips.
- Evidence matters. If you can, begin gathering evidence immediately after the accident. Use your phone to take pictures of the vehicles involved. Ask the other driver and any witnesses for their names and contact information. Also get the other driver’s auto insurance information. Call 911 so that a police officer will arrive and write an accident report, which can be an especially important piece of evidence that the other driver is to blame.
- Don’t admit fault. Be careful what you say to the other motorist and the police. The insurance company might use anything you say that can be interpreted as an apology or admission of fault as a reason to deny your claim.
- Have your doctor bill your insurance. Don’t wait to get checked out by a doctor, even if you don’t feel injured. Some collision-related injuries are not immediately obvious to the victim. While you are getting treatment, ask your doctor to bill your insurance instead of waiting for the settlement check to arrive.
- Talk to an attorney. Despite how they portray themselves in commercials, the auto insurance company is not your friend. They use a variety of tactics to try to avoid paying claims, including valid ones. If the insurance company has denied your claim or made an inadequate settlement offer, a conversation with a personal injury lawyer can help you decide how to proceed.
If you handle the matter properly, you should expect to receive a fair settlement offer. However, while rare, a trial is sometimes necessary.