The aftermath of a car accident can be difficult to deal with, especially if you have been injured and/or you have never been in a car accident before. Although you may be focused on physically recovering and repairing the damage caused by a traffic collision, one of the other important things you will have to do will be to contact your insurance company and report the accident to get your claim started.
Given the fact that insurance companies are not typically on claimants’ sides after traffic accidents (because insurers are, instead, generally looking out for their own profits), what you do and say when filing a claim is important to:
- Protecting your rights and interests
- Avoiding giving insurers “reasons” to undervalue or deny your claim
- Getting the payouts you likely deserve.
So, below, we’ll point out some of the most important mistakes to avoid making when it comes time to dealing with insurers after traffic wrecks.
When Submitting a Car Accident Claim, Do NOT…
1 – Wait too long to contact your insurance company
Auto policies usually have strict time limits for reporting accidents to insurance companies. In some cases, these limits can be as short as 48 to 72 hours after a collision.
So, don’t procrastinate contacting your insurer after a collision to report the accident.
2 – Give an official statement to an insurer if you are not prepared to do so.
When you first report a collision to an insurance company, your agent may be eager to get you to make an official statement (i.e., a recorded statement) regarding the collision. You should know, however, that:
- You can refuse this request.
- You should refuse to provide such a statement if you are not prepared.
This is because your statement can be used against you later to try to undercut or possibly even deny your claim. If you aren’t prepared, there are far greater chances you will say something you don’t mean to (like giving an accidental admission of fault) or possibly forget important details.
3 – Accept a settlement check before speaking to an attorney.
Insurers can be tricky, and one tactic they can use to try to get people to accept lower settlements is to simply send them checks. Upon these checks being cashed, the insurer considers the claim closed.
So, if you receive a check from an insurer after a car accident, do not sign it or deposit it before you speak to an attorney who can tell you if the offer is sufficient (or if you are being low-balled and should hold out for the full amount you deserve).
4 – Accept a claim denial for a valid car accident claim.
Not all claim denials are legitimate, and appealing wrongful denials can be crucial to getting the payouts you deserve. So, if your car accident claim has been denied by an insurer, it’s time to contact an attorney and find out what the next steps are for standing up to an insurance company and fighting for the compensation to which you are entitled.
Contact a Littleton Car Accident Lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker
Have you been hurt in a car accident caused by negligence? If so, it’s time to contact an experienced Littleton car accident lawyer at Bahr, Kreidle & Flicker.
To get more information about your potential case and rights, meet with us for a free, no obligations initial consultation. To set up a meeting, call us at (303) 794-7422 or email us using the form on this page.