Car Accident:

Auto Insurance Dos and Donts

After an auto accident, it can be overwhelming to learn how to deal with your auto insurance company and the insurance agents of others involved in the car accident. By filing an auto accident insurance claim, you are making a written claim that asks for some type of compensation for the damages you have suffered. The process of filing an auto insurance claim is not simple, and a car accident lawyer can help you handle the insurance issues that arise in the aftermath of a car wreck. Listed below are some general tips for handling auto insurance claims after being involved in a motor vehicle collision. By following these auto insurance guidelines, you can save yourself time, money, and additional legal complications.

The Dos:

  • Do speak with a car accident lawyer to get legal advice about your case
  • Do notify your auto insurance company immediately if you are involved in a car accident
  • Do take pictures of your auto accident damages and the auto accident site if possible
  • Do review your insurance policy to find out what is covered and what is excluded
  • Do look into whether you have additional insurance coverage from another auto insurance policy, a homeowner’s policy, or umbrella coverage
  • Do take notes when you speak with your insurance company, including a list of the names, job titles and phone numbers of the representatives you speak with, the date and time of the call, and what was discussed
  • Do be honest with the insurance company. If you fail to tell the truth or withhold information, it could invalidate or reduce your coverage.
  • Do understand what the difference is between replacement coverage and depreciated or actual cash value
  • Do save the receipts for rental cars, medical bills, and any other expenses incurred as a result of the auto accident

The Don'ts:

  • Don't admit to any fault for the car accident; simply relate the facts without expressing any opinion
  • Don't accept the insurance company’s estimate of your losses and damages until you have done some calculation on your own or with the help of a car accident lawyer
  • Don't ignore the time limits set by your auto insurance policy. If your car insurance claim has not been handled fairly, many insurance policies give you only one year from the date of loss to bring a legal action.
  • Don't give the insurance company a recorded or written statement if you do not understand any part of your auto insurance policy or claim. It is important to note that you are not required to allow the insurance company to record your telephone conversation.
  • Don't sign a release or waiver until you have consulted with an auto accident lawyer about your case
  • Don't accept a check (especially one that says Final Payment) from your insurance company before obtaining legal advice from a qualified auto accident attorney
  • Don't forget that your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurer, and your insurer has a legal obligation to provide you with the coverage you were promised