Life can be complicated enough after you have a traffic accident. You will have questions about injuries, car repair, how to contact the police and how to make a claim to the insurance agency-not to mention the scare and the adrenaline rush-all of this is going to bombard your senses and leave you unable to make clear decisions. That’s why it’s worth finding out in advance how to deal with the insurance company after a car accident.
The first thing you should do at the site of the accident is to determine the extent of the injuries of the driver and passengers. If the accident was just a touch, emergency medical care might not be necessary. However, if you have any doubts, call the ambulance.
If your first call went to emergency care providers, your second call must be to the police. The police will advise you if you must move the vehicles to one side and a research officer shall take the statements of the drivers, and passengers involved.
Even if the facts of the accident are embarrassing or detrimentes to you, tell the truth. If you change your version later, or do not disclose relevant facts, the insurance agencies involved will find out. That could affect you negatively; The insurer could refuse to pay or blame you.
It’s not your role to accuse someone of being guilty, better stick to declare the facts. In the same way, you should avoid saying “I’m sorry” because that can be interpreted as admitting your guilt. Insurance agencies and investigative officers will determine who is to blame.
In addition, you must obtain the contact information of the research officer for future reference. Your report will not be available at the site of the accident.
A picture is worth a thousand words!
It’s a good idea to have a disposable camera in your car. After an accident, a set of photos of both vehicles can protect you from a claim from the opposing party stating that the damage to your car was more extensive than you reported. In addition, the photos can help you with your own insurance agency to document the damage done to your vehicle. Make sure that after a car accident, the inspectors write in detail and correctly as was the dynamic of the accident!
A good way to notify your insurer is by calling your agent, especially if the accident is low-gravity. Insurance agents often have the authority to resolve claims of damage to low-gravity property and can make a check on your behalf. However, if the accident caused major injuries and damage to vehicles, and you are insured by an agency that hires “exclusive” agents, do not expect your agent to pressure the insurance adjuster on your behalf. Exclusive agents sell policies only for an insurer, and are prohibited from interfering in the claims process.
Independent agents are another story. They can often “fight” for you with the auto insurer’s claims adjuster. Today most insurance companies are looking for independent agents to sell their products because they do not want to ruin a relationship with an independent agent for a claim.
It is extremely important that you ask the adjuster for a complete copy of the file of the claim-self-adhesive notes and so on-this is because lately it is more common for the insurers to destroy the documents because they want to become an “office without papers.”
Insurers are mistaken every now and then and you may be charged higher rates after an accident even if it wasn’t your fault. If you do not have a copy of the claim file, it is very unlikely that your insurer will have the documents for when you notice the surcharge-sometimes weeks or months after the accident.
You have the right to look for what you consider to be appropriate medical care. A car insurer cannot direct you to a certain medical provider unless you have signed a discount contract from the organization’s vendors. Remember that if you exaggerate your injuries or look for unnecessary treatment this could make you look suspicious in the eyes of the insurers:
you must be prepared in case your insurer sends you a letter saying that you will not pay all your medical expenses if you have resorted to Extensive treatments for a low-severity lesion.
Apart from this, use your right to choose the car repair shop. By finding a repair shop that does a quality work independent of your insurer saves you the haggling for repairs with a repair shop that works directly with your insurer (DRP.)
Although there are many DRP workshops that make quality repairs, they also sign agreements with the insurers to give them discounts for the parts, the work and procedures in exchange for sending the cars collided to them. In short, DRP workshops may not act in your best interest.
The critical points to remember to ensure a good claim after an accident are: Be honest with the insurance agencies, even if the facts of the accident seem to be against you. Make sure you know where you will get medical treatment and repairs to your car. Get as many documents as possible to support your claim. Following these simple tips you will be half prepared to face what follows, after a car accident