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The Dos and Dont’s of Insurance Claims

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

When you are involved in a crash, you will probably have to file an insurance claim to have your vehicle repaired. If you are injured, you will either seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance or, in some cases, your own.

There are several important points to remember when filing an insurance claim. Here are some of the “dos”:

  • Docall your insurance agent as soon as possible.
  • Doreview and understand your insurance coverage before talking to your insurance agent.
  • Domaintain detailed notes of all conversations you have with the insurance company representatives. This includes getting names, phone numbers and job titles of the representatives with whom you speak.
  • Doconsider if you have insurance coverage under other insurance policies as well.
  • Dotake pictures of the crash and damages. This includes pictures of your damaged vehicle and injuries.
  • Dobe honest. Failing to be honest could invalidate your policy or lead to a denial of coverage.
  • Dokeep all receipts for expenses related to your crash including medical bills, meals, lodging, repairs and other purchases made in connection with pursuing your claim or recovering from your injuries.

There are also many points you want to avoid:

  • Don’tgive a recorded or written statement to the insurer until you fully understand your coverage. If you have doubts about your coverage or the crash, do consult an attorney.
  • Don’tautomatically accept the first estimate or appraisal offered by the insurer. Insurance companies often try to get you to accept a low offer that may not cover all expenses.
  • Don’tsign any releases or waivers without obtaining legal advice.
  • Don’taccept any check that says “final payment” unless you and your attorney agree that the payment should be final.
  • Don’tignore time limits set by your policy. If you fail to comply with time requirements you may not get the money you are entitled to.
  • Don’tforget that your insurer has a legal obligation to provide the coverage that was promised to you.

If you have been involved in a crash and must now negotiate with an insurance company for payment for damages and injuries, be sure to have a personal injury attorney on your side. The attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson have the experience and skill you need to ensure you reach a fair settlement with the insurance company. Contact us today to get started.

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