If you've been in a car accident in Stuart or Port St Lucie that resulted in an injury or damage to your car, then you'll want to file a car accident insurance claim. However, filing a car accident insurance claim isn't always as cut and dry as it should be. In fact, there are a lot of things that you could do wrong that could hurt your ability to obtain an adequate settlement. The following are some important tips to keep in mind when filing a car accident insurance claim:
- Know what your policy covers - You'll be in a better position to receive the settlement you deserve if you know exactly what your policy covers. Read your policy as soon as you can following the accident to figure out what your insurer should be responsible for.
- Contact your insurer ASAP - Make sure that you let your insurer know that you were in an accident as soon as you can. You will want to report that your car was damaged and any injuries that you may have experienced.
- Respond to insurer's questions - If the insurance company contacts you with questions about the accident, make sure that you respond honestly. If you don't respond or you refuse to provide the information they request, they can refuse your claim.
- Collect relevant information - Get as many details as you can about the accident. Take pictures of the scene of the accident and of any damage done to your car so that you have visual proof. If there were witnesses to the accident, make sure to get their names and numbers. You will also need to get the name, address, and insurance information of anyone else involved in the accident. Get a copy of the police accident report.
- Keep all relevant records - Keep records of communication that you have with anyone involved with the claim. Write down the date and time as well as a summary of the conversation whenever you speak with an agent, officer, or insurer. Do not delete any emails regarding your claim.
- Save receipts and bills - Save all bills and receipts for medical treatment, property damage, or other losses.
- Review other insurance policies - Check your other insurance policies, such as your homeowner's insurance policy or your workers' compensation. They may cover the specific accident you were in.
- Don't volunteer information - Only answer the questions you were asked. Don't volunteer information to police officers or insurance companies and never speculate. Make sure that you review your policy before providing information in writing to your insurer as well.
- Never admit liability - Even if you were at fault, do not admit liability. Doing so could cost you a fair insurance settlement.
- Get an independent estimate - Don't just assume the insurer is providing you a fair estimate. Get your own independent estimate to make sure it's fair. Additionally, do not accept any payments unless you're sure that the amount provided is fair compensation.
- Never sign a release or waiver - If someone asks you to sign a release or a waiver, do not sign it. If you're unsure if the document that you're being given to sign has a waiver or release in it, make sure that you have an experienced personal injury attorney in Stuart or Port St Lucie look at it before you sign it.
These are a few important tips that you should follow so that you can properly file a car accident insurance claim. To improve the odds that you will get a fair settlement, be sure to hire an experienced car accident attorney. For a free consultation regarding your case, contact us at the Law Office of Gloria Seidule today.
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