From taking care of your physical health to getting your vehicle repaired, there are many things you’ll have to get done following a traffic accident. One of the most stressful may be dealing with your insurance company.
While you may assume that your insurance company won’t hesitate to pay for your covered accident, it’s important to remember that they don’t make money by paying out claims. That’s why ensuring you take the proper steps when dealing with insurance adjusters and other company representatives is crucial. Start with these five essential tips.
Gather as Much Evidence as Possible
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed immediately after a car accident, but keeping your wits about you is also essential. The evidence you gather at the scene will play a critical role in substantiating your claim.
If you can, try to speak to any witnesses and get their contact information in case you need to follow up. Take as many photos as possible, including pictures of each vehicle from multiple angles, street signs, and anything else that might help support your case.
Make sure to keep all your receipts and document all accident-related expenses. Keep copies of your repair estimates, police report, medical records, doctor’s recommendations, and other documentation related to your accident.
When you speak to anyone regarding your accident, take detailed notes and be sure to record the person’s name as well as their extension or a callback number.
Think Before You Speak
When you’re speaking to any insurance company representative, remember that anything you say can be used to support a claim denial, reduce the amount the insurance company will pay, or try to prove that you were negligent.
It’s important to communicate clearly and tell the truth, but do not admit fault and do not make accusations. Provide the facts while also being careful not to give more information than necessary. If you’ve hired a lawyer, you can request that the company address their questions to your attorney.
Be Careful About Signing Documents
After a vehicle accident, there’s a good chance your insurance company may ask you to sign some documents. Be very wary of doing so. Often, these documents will restrict or limit your legal rights and they may prevent you from being able to get the total amount of compensation you deserve. Be sure to have an attorney review all settlement offers and other documents before you put pen to paper.
Retain Legal Counsel
While you certainly can deal with your insurance company without the help of an attorney, hiring a legal expert will help you avoid some common mistakes that could cause your claim to be reduced or denied. An attorney will be well-versed in all the “tricks” that insurance companies commonly use and will help you avoid inadvertently damaging your case.
The personal injury attorneys at Gallagher & Hagopian have over 75 years of experience and have won over $250 million for our clients. If you’ve been in a vehicle accident, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free case review either in-person or by video chat.