Navigating the claims process after a car accident can seem like a maze of paperwork, lost time and endless jumping through hoops. While most drivers only have to cope with insurance claims a time or two throughout their lives, insurance adjusters and accident investigators spend their lives dealing with this process and attempting to maximize the profits of their employers in along the way. Following is a list of four things to avoid along the path of making an insurance claim after an accident.
Avoid Saying You’re Sorry
The moments following an accident can be shocking, and it’s easy to feel like you owe the other driver an apology, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. However, saying anything such as, “I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t see you there,” can be construed as an admission of guilt. Some insurance companies may ask if there were specific things said and these terms can be used against you and your claim.
Avoid Signing Anything Before Carefully Reading
In the aftermath of a crash, everyone involved wants to get back to normal as soon as possible. Claims forms, damage estimates, and narrative statements can all run together, but it strongly behooves anyone involved to carefully read every document and consult an attorney with any questions. It is not uncommon to settle a vehicle damage claim prior to any potential injury claim, but one should carefully examine the paperwork to make sure a waiver of claims is limited to the vehicle.
Avoid Settling Injury Claims Quickly
Insurance adjusters are highly motivated to settle claims and close files. For this reason an adjuster may offer to settle an injury claim within a day or two of the accident. Some soft tissue injuries don’t fully present themselves for a couple of days after a traumatic event and it can take much longer to know the full extent. It is always prudent to wait a few weeks at a minimum to make sure an injury hasn’t occurred. If an injury has occurred, never settle a claim before reaching the point of maximum medical improvement, whether that means full recovery or not.
Avoid Delays in Treatment
An essential element of an injury claim is clinical documentation of an injury. Often, people assume “it will get better” and put off going to the doctor. If medical treatment is delayed, insurance companies may use the delay in treatment to complicate the settlement process. It is always prudent to obtain clinical documentation of any injury sustained in a car accident.
At The Daspit Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping clients protect their rights and options after a car crash. Our Houston auto accident attorneys want to help injury victims seek the maximum compensation to which they’re entitled. Let us provide a free consultation of your potential case and explain how we may be able to help you.