If you find yourself facing the aftermath of a car accident, it's easy to assume that your insurance company will take care of everything for you. This way, all you have to do is sit back and wait for things to unfold.
Unfortunately, you can't rely on your insurance company to do what's best for you and your future. Even if you trust your agent, he or she is going to do what is in their best interest. As a result, this doesn't always work out in your favor.
- Don't provide a written or recorded statement. You are not required to do so, as you need to first learn more about your coverage and legal rights. If you're asked to record a statement, tell your insurance company that you're not comfortable with this at the present time.
- Don't accept an appraisal or estimate without first understanding what it's all about. Insurance companies want a client to accept their first offer, as this makes life easier on them (and also saves them money). But once again, you're the one who loses in the end.
- Don't sign anything. It's not out of the question that your insurance company will ask you to sign something, such as a release or waiver. You need to read everything in great detail before providing your signature. If there is something you don't understand, you are under no obligation to sign.
- Don't accept a check for final payment. Doing this means that you are more or less throwing most (if not all) your rights out the window. A final payment is final payment, so you need to be careful.
- Don't take your time. You need to focus on your health, but that doesn't mean you should put the claims process on the backburner and hope that you can pick up the pace when you want. There are time limits associated with your policy, so make sure you know what they are.
- Don't let your insurance company bully you. You have been paying for coverage. With a contract in place (your policy), you should fight for what is yours. Giving in is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Making one of these car insurance claim mistakes could turn a bad situation worse.
Fortunately, when you understand your policy and legal rights, you won't go down the wrong path. The best thing to do after a car accident is to consult an experienced personal injury attorney.