Insurance Claims Dos and Don'ts

Navigating the process of filing an insurance claim after a motor vehicle accident isn’t always easy. There are many pitfalls that you can easily fall into that will prevent you from receiving the fairest possible payout. To help you have the smoothest insurance claim experience with the best compensation, here are some dos and don’ts that it is recommended you follow.

Insurance Claim Dos

1. Do document the entire process during and after your car accident

Part of the insurance claims process will require you to provide evidence about your claim. To help support your claim, it’s important to document everything related to your car accident. At the site of the accident, it’s recommended to collect:

  • Photos and videos of the scene and the damage done to the vehicle
  • Details about the place, time, and description of the accident
  • Badge numbers of any police officers called to the scene
  • Photos of any injuries
  • Names and contact information of all parties involved in the accident
  • The license plate, insurance policy number, and driver’s license number of the other driver
  • Statements from witnesses if there are any

After your accident, continue collecting documents and evidence such as:

  • Details about doctor’s appointments
  • Medical bills
  • Car repair bills
  • Notes documenting all conversations you have with your insurance company

2. Do involve law enforcement

Some insurance companies require police reports to prove a claim, so it’s a good idea to call the police to the scene of your car accident in order to file a report. 

3. Do know your insurance policy well

It’s important to know what is covered and excluded in your insurance policy, as well as what your payout limit is. You’ll also want to understand if you might have supplemental coverage from another auto insurance policy, a homeowner’s policy, or other umbrella coverage. 

4. Do work with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney

Insurance companies have a financial interest in paying you the minimum possible payout or rejecting your claim entirely. Advocating for yourself as an individual can be difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with the workings of the auto insurance industry. 

That’s why it is so important to hire an experienced car accident attorney to walk you through the insurance claims process. They will be able to make sure that you submit as strong of a claim as possible and cover all of your bases so that you ultimately receive fair compensation for your losses. Ideally, retain legal counsel before you begin the claims process. 

5. Do be honest throughout the claims process

If you are at fault for your car accident in part or entirely, it can be tempting to lie in order to avoid having to be held responsible for your actions. However, it’s important to always tell your insurance company the truth. This will save everybody time and effort investigating and will also make sure that you don’t invalidate your own claim.

6. Do seek medical treatment

If you are injured in your car accident and want to be compensated by your insurance company for anything related to your injuries, such as medical expenses and lost wages, it’s important to seek medical treatment. Many insurance companies will not take your claim of injury seriously if you did not see a doctor for it. Even if your pain is minor or you’re used to toughing it out, it’s still a good idea to have it looked at by a medical professional - both for your health and your insurance claim.

Insurance Claim Don’ts

1. Don’t admit fault for the accident

Be careful about the conversations you have at the scene of the car accident. If the other party tries to coerce you into taking fault for the car accident and you do, this can be used against you later on even if you are not truly to blame for what took place. 

2. Don’t negotiate directly with the other driver

If the other driver who was part of your car accident tries to negotiate directly with you at the scene or afterward, don’t be tempted. This can invalidate your claim. Instead, let your lawyers handle the matter through your car insurance providers. If the other driver does not have car insurance, you may be covered through an uninsured motorist policy by your own insurance company. 

3. Don’t miss your insurance company’s deadlines 

Insurance policies have deadlines in place for how long you have to file a claim after a car accident. After these cutoff points, your insurance company can decline your claim. Be sure to file your claim in a timely manner to avoid this outcome. 

4. Don’t sign anything without your lawyer’s approval

Once you have a lawyer helping you navigate the insurance claims process, be careful not to do anything without their approval. This includes:

  • Signing waivers
  • Agreeing to final offers
  • Accepting estimates of loss/damage
  • Accepting a check
  • Giving written or recorded statements

Always consult with your lawyer before moving forward with any of these steps. 

5. Don’t accept your insurance company’s first offer

The insurance claims process most often involves negotiations between both sides before you will be happy with the payout you are offered. In almost every instance, the insurance company’s first offer will be much lower than what you requested. Don’t be tempted to accept a lowball offer. Your motor vehicle accident attorney will be able to walk you through a process of negotiation so that you can get the compensation you deserve.

Related Posts

Attorney At Law is changing how clients connect with lawyers. By providing an innovative platform to lawyers who want to expand their practice’s reach, AAL is bringing law practices into the future.
+1 (888) 529-9321
6142 Innovation Way
Carlsbad, California 92009
© 2022 Attorney at Law | All rights reserved
Some of the content of this website may be considered attorney advertising under the rules of certain jurisdictions. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
crossmenuchevron-up linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram