Car Insurance Claims Do’s & Don’ts

Here are the best information about Whose insurance pays in a car accident public topics compiled and compiled by our team

Reviewing damages after a car accident

The personal injury attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. have decades of experience helping car accident victims. A core component of these cases is effectively dealing with insurance coverage and the insurance companies that provide it.

Auto insurance claims can involve complex legal issues. You cannot count on insurance company representatives to provide you with accurate information since they are ultimately interested in protecting their employer’s bottom line.

By paying close attention to the following dos and don’ts of car insurance claims, you can protect your right to collect full and fair compensation for the car accident damages you sustained. To learn more about what to do after an accident that is not your fault, you can contact Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. and speak to one of our skilled personal injury attorneys during a free consultation.

Do’s of Car Insurance Claims

Here are insurance claims dos following a car accident:

Do Report the Accident

You are legally obligated to report any auto accident that results in:

  • Death
  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage of $1,500 if all vehicles are insured or $500 otherwise

When police officers arrive on the scene, provide factual statements about the moments leading up to the car accident.

Do Seek Medical Treatment

Car accidents can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Some injuries like internal organ damage may not be obvious immediately after a car accident. Promptly seeking medical treatment is the best way to protect your health following an auto accident.

Do Collect Information

Collect information while you are at the accident scene, including the other driver’s insurance information, address, driver’s license number, and vehicle information. Also, collect the names and phone numbers of any witnesses.

Do Take Pictures

The accident scene will be cleaned up quickly after the accident, so you only have a few minutes to preserve evidence for your auto insurance claim. Take pictures of the following:

  • The other cars involved
  • All property damage
  • The accident scene
  • Cross streets
  • Skid marks, broken auto parts, tire treads, or other physical evidence at the scene of the accident
  • Any signs (like speed limits) that might be relevant to the insurance claim

Do Review Your Insurance Coverage

Check your insurance policy to see what is covered. Review both the “Coverage” and “Exclusions” sections of your auto insurance policy. If you have a good understanding of what your policy covers, you can fight to receive the full value of benefits you are entitled to under your car insurance claim.

Do Save Receipts

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be expensive. You may be able to receive full and fair compensation for your accident-related losses, such as:

  • Medical bills
  • Costs to repair or replace your vehicle
  • Future medical treatment
  • Lost wages and reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental distress

Save receipts for all of your out-of-pocket expenses so you can be reimbursed for them.

Do Take Advantage of a Personal Injury Attorney’s Free Consultation

Contact a qualified auto accident attorney as soon as possible. At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we provide a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options following a car accident. If you choose to hire us, we will also:

  • Communicate and negotiate directly with the insurance provider
  • Thoroughly review every insurance policy that applies to the case
  • Represent you through all aspects of the car insurance claim
  • Recommend which type of legal action is most likely to yield the results you are looking for

Don’ts of Car Insurance Claims

Standing after a car accident

And here are the don’ts for car insurance claims:

Don’t Speculate or Volunteer Extra Information

Although you were involved in an accident, you may not know exactly why things happened the way they happened. So, don’t speculate. When police officers or insurance agents ask questions, answer them honestly but answer only with facts – not with your opinion.

Don’t Admit Fault

Even if you suspect that you were at fault for an accident, you may be wrong. Determining liability is complicated. It involves looking at many different factors. Allow the police and investigators to do their jobs and reach their own conclusions about fault. If you admit fault, you may not receive a fair settlement for your claim – even if you were not actually the cause of the accident.

Don’t Negotiate Directly with the Other Driver

The other driver is not in the position to determine the fair value for your claim. If you negotiate outside of the insurance process, you may fail to get fairly compensated for your damages and injuries. If the other driver has insurance, you (or your lawyer) will deal directly with the driver’s insurance company. If the driver lacks insurance, you can talk with your own insurance company about available coverage.

Don’t Give the Insurance Company Written Statements Before Reviewing Your Policy

Before you submit any information in writing to your insurance company, make sure you review your policy and understand fully what your coverage provides. Also, avoid giving any type of written or recorded statement until you understand your obligation (if any) to do so.

Don’t Do Anything to Make Your Injuries Worse

If you suffered injuries in a car accident, make sure you seek medical attention and go to any follow-up appointments. Follow the instructions the doctor gives you in order to ensure that you reach maximum recovery (and receive maximum compensation for your injuries).

Don’t Accept an Insurance Agent’s Evaluation Without Question

When an insurance adjuster reaches a conclusion about the value of your claim, do not assume that the adjuster is correct. The insurance company has a vested interest in minimizing the amount that the company pays out in insurance claims. You can try to get your own damage estimates or talk to a lawyer to help you do it.

Don’t Sign a Settlement Without Consulting a Lawyer

If you sign a written waiver and cash a check that says “full and final payment,” you will be unable to get any more compensation. The compensation that the company offers you may be unfair and fail to cover future medical expenses that result from your accident. A lawyer can help you to determine what a fair settlement would be and try to negotiate the best possible settlement for you with your insurance company.

Don’t Sign a Blanket Medical Authorization.

An insurance company representative may want to see your medical records. However, the insurer is not entitled to any records beyond the medical records related to your accident. If the insurance company tries to access your records beyond that, it is a violation of your privacy. If you have any questions about the authorization, talk to a qualified attorney.

FAQs About Car Insurance Claims

Someone hit my car – Whose insurance do I call?

Illinois is an at-fault insurance state. This means that the driver who was at fault for the accident is responsible for the damages their negligence caused. An injured victim generally receives compensation following a car accident by filing a claim with the insurance company that provides coverage to the other driver. However, if the driver is underinsured or uninsured, you might file a claim with your own insurance company.

Do I need an attorney to make an insurance claim?

While you are not technically required to hire a lawyer to make an insurance claim, you may want a lawyer’s help. Anything you say to the insurance company may be used in determining the value of your claim, so you might want a lawyer there to help protect your rights and guide you.

What do I say to my insurance?

What you say to your insurance company after an accident can make the difference in whether you receive any compensation for your insurance claim and how much. It is important that if you speak directly to your insurance company that you only provide accurate, factual information. You should not admit fault or speculate on the cause of the accident. If you need help providing a statement to your insurance provider, our lawyers are here to help.

What if the accident was partially my fault?

Even if you are partially at fault, Illinois’ modified comparative negligence law still allows you to file a claim against the at-fault party as long as you were not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident. Additionally, you may not know all the factors that contributed to the accident. A lawyer can investigate the claim and fight for all compensation you are owed.

Contact Salvi Law Today To Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve

Being in an accident can be emotionally and physically taxing. You may just wish for the insurance company to handle your claim as quickly as possible. However, your vigilance and attention to certain details will help you pursue full compensation.

If you talk to a car accident lawyer about your accident, the lawyer can advocate for you and push for you to receive fair compensation for your damages.

At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our Chicago car accident lawyers know how difficult it is to deal with the aftermath of an accident. However, we also have extensive experience with insurance companies and the ways they try to minimize claims. We will make sure your rights are protected. Put your mind at ease. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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