If you are part of a car accident your immediate attention should turn to your health and well being. Do you have serious injuries? Do you have minor injuries that still require medical attention?
It's essential to focus all your efforts on your health, as there is nothing more important than this.
From there, once time allows, you'll want to contact your car insurance company to discuss the accident and file a claim.
While this sounds easy enough, especially if you have a good relationship with your agent, it can be more difficult than you think.
Here are five of the most common car insurance claim mistakes, all of which you need to avoid if you find yourself in this difficult position:
- Giving a written or recorded statement before you review your policy. You should first read through your policy, and then contact your insurance company to file a claim. If you don't understand your coverage it's easy to be taken advantage of.
- Accepting the first estimate of your losses. You hope that your insurance company will treat you fairly, but this is not always the case. You need to do what's best for you, and that often means rejecting the first estimate.
- Signing a waiver or release. Be careful about signing your name on the dotted line, as you could give up some of your legal rights if you aren't careful.
- Accepting a check marked as final payment. You have the right to accept this money, but remember one thing: It may really be the last bit of compensation you can seek from your insurance company.
- Ignoring time limits. Although you have to focus on your health, you shouldn't wait too long to contact your insurance company. You need to act in a timely manner, as you don't want to miss a time limit set by your policy.
It's easy to say that you will avoid these car insurance claim mistakes, but if you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of an accident you could easily get off track.
The most important thing to remember is that you have legal rights. You should protect them at all costs, as this will go a long way in helping you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages resulting from the crash.