If you were recently involved in a car accident, you are probably quite anxious to start the process of filing an insurance claim so that you can either repair or replace your vehicle. While your anxiety is normal and understandable, it is important that you take the time to review the dos and don'ts outlined below before you pick up the phone to call the insurance company.
Do Seek Medical Attention
Perhaps the most important thing you need to do after being involved in a car accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you do not initially believe yourself to be seriously injured, you should still get checked out by a qualified professional in order to ensure you have not suffered any internal injuries which may not be immediately apparent.
When visiting your local emergency room, be sure to let them know that you were involved in a car accident and provide them with your insurance information so that the bills are sent to the insurance company rather than being sent to you.
Don't Make Any Statements Regarding Liability
In some ways, an insurance claim will be investigated in a manner similar to the one used for investigating crimes. For instance, just as anything you say can be used against you in a criminal proceeding, any statements you make even at the accident scene can be used by the insurance company to challenge liability. Therefore, it is important that you do not make any statements to the other driver or to law enforcement regarding your fault in causing the accident.
Do Contact An Auto Accident Attorney
Before you file an insurance claim, be sure to consult with an auto accident attorney. Completing this step before filing a claim will give your attorney the best opportunity to control the flow of information between you and the insurance company. If either your insurance company or the other driver's insurance company contacts you for a statement prior to your scheduled consultation, simply inform them that while you are happy to cooperate with the claim's process, you will not be making any statement until after you have spoken with an attorney.
Don't Accept Any Payment From The Other Driver
You should never accept any type of payment from the other driver in order to prevent you from filing an insurance claim. This is very important since accepting any payment for damages to your vehicle can be seen as a legal settlement and may prevent you from filing a claim if you later discover that the payment you accepted does not in fact cover your expenses. Accepting this type of settlement may also interfere with your legal right to seek compensation for any injuries that you may have suffered as a result of your accident.
Contact an auto accident attorney for more information.