If you are injured in a serious motor vehicle accident, you shouldn't hesitate to learn more about your legal rights. Even though your primary concern is your health and recovery, you shouldn't delay in filing an insurance claim and fighting for the compensation you deserve.
It's easy to assume that your insurance agent will handle the entire claims process for you. While you can put all the power in their hands, doing so could result in receiving less compensation than you deserve.
There are many steps you can take to ensure that you get everything coming to you, as defined by your policy:
- Call your agent right away: Once you're stable, call your agent to start the claims process. If you're unable to do so, ask a loved one to take control of the process for you.
- Review your policy: This is when you learn more about your coverage, including a detailed understanding of what is owed to you. Pay close attention to both the coverage and exclusion sections of your policy, as these details are likely to receive a lot of attention.
- Take notes: Any time you have a conversation with an insurance company representative, take detailed notes outlining whom you spoke with, the day and time, what you discussed and the next steps in the process.
- Take and save pictures: Most importantly, take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your vehicle and your injuries.
- Stick to the facts: You don't have to say too much to your insurance company, but when you're speaking it's important to stick to the facts. Lying will only complicate your claim.
- Keep receipts and bills: For example, you may have receipts for lodging and meals. And you'll definitely collect medical bills. Keeping all of these in a safe place is important.
Even if you have a good relationship with your car insurance agent, don't assume that they're going to go to bat for you. Insurance companies will do whatever they can to minimize the amount of money they pay.
If your insurance company and/or agent is giving you the runaround after an accident, review your policy in detail and learn more about your legal rights. You may have to take legal action to ensure that you get the money you deserve.