How Does Insurance Help in a Car Accident?
Many consumers buy an insurance policy to protect themselves from risks in the future. Typically, these policies have to do with car accidents, home or property damage, or illness and injury. When someone needs benefits to help pay for damages or bills, they have to file a claim with their insurance company. This can be an intimidating process for policyholders because what you tell an insurance company may affect your chances of getting benefits.
If you are unsure of how to handle your insurance claim following a car accident, contact an attorney for help. They may be able to communicate on your behalf and let you know your rights when talking to the insurance carrier.
How to Correctly Report a Car Accident
Your car insurance policy should state how long you have to report a car accident once it happens. Sometimes, you may only have 30 days to file a car accident claim with an insurance company.
Typically, you can call the insurance company to file a claim. The person you speak with will ask the facts of the accident:
- How it occurred
- Where it occurred.
- Your injuries
- If you received any treatment
Answer the question completely, but you don't have to offer any additional information besides what they are asking about.
Interacting With the At-fault Driver's Insurance Company
If you were not at fault in your car accident, the other driver's insurance company may try to "speed up" the claim by contacting you directly. Keep in mind that their idea of "speeding up" a claim may be to settle quickly and at the lowest amount possible.
Do not talk to the at-fault driver's insurance company. They may try to send you documents to sign or even a check to settle your claim. Do not sign anything. Do not cash the check. If the at-fault driver's insurance company contacts you, contact an experienced car accident attorney. You might feel stuck in this situation, and they can help you get out of it.
How Do I Answer Recorded Statements to an Insurance Company?
During a car insurance claim, your insurance company may ask you to give a recorded statement to the adjustor. This helps them sort out the details of the claim and how it has affected your life. The recorded statement is actually recorded on tape and made into a transcript.
The recorded statement is conducted by the insurance company from which you are requesting personal injury protection benefits. In Florida, that is the driver's own insurance company because the state has a no-fault insurance system. These are usually done over the phone, and your case manager can be on the call with you to make sure everything goes smoothly.
The recorded statement is a series of questions that the insurance adjustor asks you about your car accident. Be honest and answer the questions they ask, but don't give them additional information. Although the adjustor may be from your own insurance company, they may try to deny or minimize your claim by using your statements if they are inconsistent or exaggerated.
Tips For Speaking With A Car Accident Insurance Company
Anything you say to an insurance adjustor can be used in your claim, whether it's good or bad. If an insurance company is trying to deny your claim, they may try to use loopholes to avoid covering you for some damages you may be entitled to. Giving the insurance adjustor more information than they ask for can be a slippery slope towards giving them grounds to deny your claim, so pay attention to each word you say to them.
Your best bet for getting the benefits you need is to be honest in your statements, thorough in your description of your injuries, and concise when discussing the incident with the insurance company. If you find that resolving your claim is too much to handle on your own, contact an experienced car accident attorney.