If you are part of a motor vehicle accident there will be many things going through your mind. While your safety, health, and well-being should be at the top of the list, there are other details that deserve your attention (when the time is right).
After you receive medical treatment and have a clear idea of what types of injuries you have, you'll need to turn your attention to making a car insurance claim.
It sounds simple enough to make a car insurance claim, but this is not always the case. There are many roadblocks to contend with, all of which you need to overcome in a timely and efficient manner.
Here are a handful of car insurance claim mistakes that you need to avoid:
- Don't provide a written or recorded statement until you understand your policy and legal rights. If you say the wrong thing up front it could come back to harm you down the road.
- Don't assume that the first offer you receive is the one that you have to take. Your car insurance company will do whatever it takes to pay you the least amount of money possible. You need to watch out for low ball offers.
- Don't sign anything. Just the same as a written or recorded statement, you shouldn't sign anything unless you know exactly what it is.
- Don't accept a check until you clarify what it's for. For example, cashing a check that is marked as "final payment" means that you're willing to bring your claim to an end.
- Don't shortchange yourself. You'll have a lot to contend with after a car accident, so you may want to put the insurance claim process in the past as quickly as possible. You don't want to let your insurance company off the hook. Read your policy and make sure you're getting everything you should.
It's easy to believe that your car insurance company will do what's best for you, but this isn't typically the case. Even if you have a good relationship with your agent you can't assume that he or she is on your side. You must do whatever it takes to protect yourself, starting with reviewing your policy and understanding your legal rights.