• DO notify your insurance company as soon as possible after an accident. Failure to notify your insurance company in a timely manner could be grounds for denial of your claim. Preserve your claim by telling your insurance company what happened.
  • DO get contact information for other people involved in the accident. Generally, you want the name, address, telephone number, email address, and insurance information from other drivers or people who may have contributed to the cause of the accident. For witnesses, getting a name, address, email and telephone number is good.
  • DO take pictures of your damaged vehicle, the accident scene, and your injuries. You may need these photos as evidence to support your claim.
  • DO read your insurance policy. It’s important to know what your policy does- and does not- cover in the wake of an accident.
  • DO take notes when you talk to the insurance company or its adjuster, or anyone else involved in the claims process.
  • DO follow your doctor’s advice for treatment of your injuries. If you fail to follow your doctor’s advice and your injury doesn’t heal properly or worsens, the value of your claim may be lessened or you may lose your chance at compensation.
  • DO talk to a lawyer. Representation from a personal injury lawyer with experience handling insurance claims will give you the best chance at getting the compensation you deserve.

Insurance Claim Don’ts

  • DON’T admit fault. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you may be in shock or confused. You may think you know what happened, but the investigation could uncover a different set of facts. If you admit fault early on, you may actually be wrong- and you may have cost yourself the chance at a claim for compensation when it turns out your injuries were caused by someone else.
  • DON’T try to negotiate directly with the person who caused the accident. An individual isn’t likely to be in a position to properly assign a value to your claim. His or her goal is going to be to get out of the situation as painlessly as possible. Submit your claim to the person’s insurance company. You’ll be in a much better position to get your claim paid if you go through insurance than trying to deal directly with the person who caused your accident. If the person doesnt have insurance, talk to your own insurance company. You may be able to get your bills paid through your own insurance and then let your insurance company go after the person who caused the accident. Above all, talk to a lawyer. you’ll get the best outcome when you let a layer handle negotiations for you.
  • DON’T automatically accept the insurance company’s estimate of the value of your claims. The company’s job is to minimize the amount it pays out. Your claim may in fact be worth more. DO talk to a personal injury lawyer about the potential value of your claim.
  • DON’T miss doctor’s appointment or engage in activities that might make your injuries worse or delay your recovery. This could affect your ability to receive full compensation for your injuries.
  • DON’T sign any settlement document or cash insurance checks without consulting a lawyer first. If you sign a settlement or cash a check, that’s the end of your claim and you may still have ongoing or future medical expenses that will then come out of your own pocket. A lawyer can help determine whether the settlement offer is fair and whether you might have a claim for additional expenses.
  • DON’T delay exploring whether you may have a possible claim.

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