In the wake of a traffic accident, many drivers know to exchange insurance information with the other driver and to wait until the police arrive to file an accident report. Additionally, even if injuries aren't readily apparent, it's imperative to seek medical care and request that a doctor perform a full-body exam. Once back home, an individual is then advised to contact his or her auto insurance provider and report the accident.
While it's important to be honest about what happened, when it comes to reporting a car accident, filing an insurance claim and communicating with an insurance company; there are several important dos and don'ts that, if not followed, could end up jeopardizing an individual's ability to take legal action and recover just compensation.
While it's important to contact one's own insurance company as soon as possible after an accident, it's a good idea to review the terms of a policy with regard to coverage and any applicable exclusions. When speaking with an insurance agent, it's important, to be honest, and forthright. Lying about how an accident occurred will only serve to hurt an individual’s chances of recovering future damages.
While it's important, to be honest, an individual should also take care not to divulge information or details about which he or she isn't asked. Additionally, an individual shouldn't feel pressured to provide a recorded or written statement until he or she has had time to review a policy's coverage terms and to think about what really happened. It's also important not to sign any waivers or releases prior to discussing the specifics with an attorney.
Insurance providers are legally bound to fulfill the contractual terms of an insurance policy. In cases where an individual is involved and injured in an accident and has questions or concerns about an insurer's actions or response, an attorney at Raphaelson & Levine can provide advice and guidance.
Source: FindLaw.com, "Car Insurance Claims: Dos and Don'ts," Aug. 10, 2015