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After A Car Accident: Insurance Claim Dos And Don’ts

If you have been involved in a car accident, you are likely concerned how to handle your insurance claim. By being prepared, you can avoid making any potential errors that could jeopardize your claim.

What You Should Do after an Accident

In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you should first seek any necessary medical help. Once you have ensured that you and your passengers have been cared for, there are several important things that you can and should do to ensure your insurance claim and all other matters related to your accident are handled properly.

  • Do contact your insurance company right away. After you have sought medical treatment (if necessary), contact your insurance company to notify them of the accident as soon as possible.
  • Do take thorough notes of your conversation with your insurance company. Be sure to list the names, titles, and phone numbers of everyone you speak to.
  • Do have a clear understanding of your insurance coverage prior to speaking with the insurance company. Also, consider if you have any additional insurance coverage available. You may want to check your homeowner’s policy, or an umbrella policy for instance.
  • Do take pictures of the damage to your vehicle, the scene of the accident, and your injuries if possible. Your cell phone is excellent for this purpose.
  • Do contact a qualified Missouri car accident lawyer for advice. It is important to speak to legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected.
  • Do keep records of all of your expenses associated with pursuing your claim. This would include all receipts, purchases for lodging, and car rentals during the time of the accident until the time your claim is settled.

What you Should Not Do after an Accident

Conversely, while there are several things you should do following an accident, there are things that you need to make sure you avoid as certain actions or neglect to take certain actions can compromise your equitable treatment and settlement following an accident and filing an insurance claim.

  • Don’t automatically accept an offer made by your insurance company. Insurance companies will likely offer you the lowest possible dollar amount, which may not adequately cover your losses.
  • Don’t immediately give a written or recorded statement to your insurance company. Be sure you completely understand your coverage first. If you are in any doubt, seek legal advice first.
  • Don’t sign a waiver or release without consulting legal counsel. Emotions often run high during this time, and you may be tempted to close the claim and settle for an amount less than your actual loss.
  • Don’t ignore any time limits set in your policy. Many policies require a proof of loss be filed within a certain time frame for instance. Also, if your claim is not being settled to your satisfaction and the clock is ticking, speak to legal counsel immediately.

By taking these important steps, by contacting a reputable, professional injury lawyer, and by doing and not doing the right things when filing an insurance claim following an accident, you can ensure your case and your rights will be well-represented in procedures following a motor vehicle accident.