Tips for talking to your insurance company after a car accident
One of the most common post-accident missteps is admitting fault. (Photo: Getty Images/moodboard RF) It's your "good neighbor." It's "on your side." But after a car accident, some drivers fear their insurance company won't be such a pal. Continue reading at usatoday.com
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* Orlando Car Accident Lawyer explains 9 simple things to do after you have been in a car crash. Get more great tips at http://theorlandocaraccidentlawyer.com/car-accident-attorney.html
These are the following steps you should take after a car accident.
File a police report – Call the police immediately after the crash. Police reports usually have the names of the people involved in the car accident, their contact information, insurance information, and if any traffic laws were violated. Official documents like these are very handy in court.
Seek Medical Attention – Whiplash, headaches, and bruising are common symptoms that do not appear until a day or two after the accident. By going to the hospital after the accident, a medical record will be established even if you don’t think you are hurt. Medical documents are very handy in court.
Write Down What Happened – In your own words, type or write down your version of the incident. Try to include dates, times, and locations to the best of your knowledge. Court dates often do not happen until months or even years after the accident and details offen become harder to remember. A self written report will help jog your memory and can even be possibly used in court.
Photograph The Scene of the Accident – Even though the police are suppose to handle documenting and taking pictures of the accident, it does not always happen. If you are not physically able, have a friend take pictures when the accident is still fresh. You can even use your camera phone.
Complete Your Medical Treatment in Full – Don’t skip or miss appointments. You need to follow through with your doctor’s recommended treatment. If you stop treatment the defense may argue that your wounds were not as severe as initially thought. If your doctor recommends you physical therapy twice a week after the accident, go to physical therapy twice a week until told otherwise.
Before You Sign Any Legal Documents, Know What You Are Signing – The insurance company of the at fault driver may approach you with a liability release form, that if signed, releases them of all liability. This means you would not be able to pursue them for any damages. Don’t sign anything you are not sure about without consulting with your attorney first.
Give Your Doctor The Full Truth About Your Injuries – Doctors need to know what symptoms are associated with the car accident and which are not. If you were suffering headaches prior to the crash and now they are worse, your doctor needs to know about it as the accident may have exacerbated your illness. If we can prove that your previous injuries were made worse as a result of the accident, your compensation may be increased.
Don’t Talk To The At Fault Driver’s Insurance Company – Be careful when speaking to insurance companies after an accident. They will want to ask you about the accident, how bad your injuries are, and if you have medical insurance. Take their number and tell them you will have your attorney give them a call. Giving them too much information may hinder benefits in your claim.
Don’t Settle With The Insurance Company Before Finishing Medical Treatment – It may seem like a nice gesture from the insurance company of the at fault driver to get you paid quickly. It’s not. Do not accept any settlement until you have finished medical treatment for your injuries. It would be unfortunate if you were to sign an insurance release form only to find out you still have large medical bills coming in.
*Recommended* Contact An Attorney That Specializes In Auto Accidents – Even if you do not retain council, an experienced accident attorney will be able to give you a few simple tips when dealing with the insurance company. However, if you want to increase your chances of recovering all your accident related expenses, hire an attorney.