You were just in an auto accident and you have insurance. Follow these tips about filing a claim with your insurance company to maximize your available insurance benefits:
1. Notify the company right away. Call your agent or your insurance company’s hotline as soon as possible. Don’t let the bills or receipts pile up. Your policy might require that you notify the insurance company within a certain time frame and failing to make the claim right away may result in a denial of benefits for your accident. When you make the claim be sure you provide complete and accurate information.
2. Know about the repair language in your policy. Some automobile insurance policies require you to make temporary repairs to protect your property from further damage. Your policy should cover the cost of these temporary repairs, so keep all receipts. Also, maintain any damaged personal property for the adjuster to inspect. If possible, take photographs or video of the damage before making temporary repairs. Don’t make permanent repairs without talking to your insurance company first. The insurance company may deny a claim if you make permanent repairs before the damage is inspected.
3. Don’t settle too early. If you have been injured or sustained property damage, the insurance company may offer you a settlement. If the first offer made by an insurance company does not meet your expectations, be prepared to negotiate to get a fair settlement. If you have any questions regarding the fairness of your settlement, contact an attorney.
4. Obtain documentation from a physician or medical provider if you are injured. For accident claims, ask your physician to provide your insurance company with details about your treatment, medical conditions and prognosis. If you suspect a provider is overcharging, ask the insurance company to audit the bill and verify whether the provider used the proper billing procedure. Be sure the medical provider’s information is clear and relates your injuries to the accident.
5. Ask questions. If there is a disagreement about the claim or a settlement, ask the questions about the policy language, the nature of the coverage and the information obtained by the insurance company. If a disagreement results in a denial of your claim, make sure you obtain a written letter explaining the reason for the denial and the specific policy language under which the claim is being denied.
If you have been injured in an accident and need assistance making a claim, call us. We can help. Our car accident attorneys are available for you at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information.