I know that most people have never been in an accident. And that is a good thing. Hopefully most people will never be in an accident. But when you are, through either your fault or someone else’s fault, you need to know the process. Here are 5 common mistakes you can avoid during the automobile insurance claims process:
1. DO NOT TALK TO THE OTHERPERSON
Nothing good will come from this. Do not talk to the other person. You haveinsurance and they, hopefully, have insurance. Let the insurance take care ofit.
2. MAKE CALLS TO THE ADJUSTER,DO NOT TAKE CALLS
Adjusters are much better when they make the outgoing call. Why? Becausethey are prepared and they know what they want to get from you. If they call,tell them you will call them. Instituting the call puts the ball in your court!
3. DO NOT SIGN PAPERS
I have said this before, and I say it again: DO NOT SIGN ANYPAPERS! You may not fully understand what you are signing. Stop, let someoneread them, and do not sign them until you understand every last word.
4. STOP READING THE INTERNET
The Internet is great for some things, but it is bad forpersonal injury claims. (Of course, the exception is my blog!) There is a lot ofgarbage out there. Do not read the Web sites about this insurance company orclaim settlement formulas. Stay away!
5. TALK TO AN ATTORNEY
Even if you decide not to retain an attorney, one can helpyou evaluate your case, who is at fault, and explain your options. Get aconsultation – most of them are free. Then, when you are informed, you can makea better decision for yourself!
None of this is rocket science. You probably already knew it. But it is a good reminder to make sure you are not making a mistake that can hurt you. Plenty of people call me after having made a mistake and want a miracle cure. While some errors can be fixed, like agreeing to the insurance company’s estimate, some mistakes, like signing a release cannot be fixed.
There is no rush to make a decision the day of the accident or the week of the accident. But talk to an attorney and learn what you need to do for your specific case.