| Read Time: 4 minutes | Car Accident

What To Do (And Not To Do) After A Car Crash

A car accident can turn your usually quiet life into a tornado of problems and difficulty. An insurance company is supposed to make the accident less stressful for you, but they often have the reverse effect, unfortunately. Understanding what you should do and should not do can take a significant amount of stress out of the process and may make the return to your normal life easier and quicker.

What to do after an automotive accident

Car crash damage
You should ensure that you understand your own insurance policy in detail. The “coverage” and the “exclusion” sections will be particularly important after an accident. You should understand your coverage before you call your insurer.
You should call your insurance agent as soon as possible after an accident and after you have read your coverage. Calling them immediately after an accident will help you remember details about the crash that may be helpful.
Record detailed notes of all the interactions you have with your insurance company after an accident, and keep the notes where you can easily find them. Write down the names, phone numbers, and job titles of the people you speak to after your accident.
You may have more than a single insurance policy that can cover your accident. It is not uncommon for people to have several policies that can cover their accidents, and one plan may take better care of you than another. Homeowner policies, “umbrella” policies, as well as the reading material that comes with your credit card, maybe places to look for other plans you have but are unaware of.
crashed carTaking pictures after any serious accident is always a good idea. You should take as many pictures as you can after your car crash. Ensure that you get a good photo of the damage to your vehicle, the scene where the accident took place, and any injuries you may have sustained.
You need to be honest and upfront with your insurer. Lying or intentionally keeping information from your insurer may invalidate your policy and cause you to be denied coverage.
It is important you comprehend the difference between your replacement coverage and actual cash value. If your insurance policy does provide replacement coverage, do not settle a personal property loss for actual cash value.  You may not get reimbursed for your lost property until you rebuy it yourself if you have replacement cost coverage.
Keep every receipt you get while pursuing your claim or while recovering from injuries. The receipts you should keep may include lodging, meals, and any purchase in connection with the accident. It is possible that you may be reimbursed for the money you spend.

Things you should not do after an car accident

semi-trucks on Georgia highwayYou should not give your insurer any recorded or written statements until you understand your insurance coverage. You are under no obligation to allow your insurance company to record the phone call you have with them. If there is a part of your policy that you do not understand, you may want to consult an attorney.
You do not want to accept the insurance appraisals at face value. Insurance companies will attempt to have you allow their contractor’s repair or replacement estimates. The contractor’s estimates are often lower than normal.
It is unadvised to sign any waivers or releases until you obtain legal advice. You may feel pressured to accept a premature offer due to your situation, but you may remember other destroyed items later after it is too late.
You should not accept any checks that say “final payment” until you are certain you are prepared to do so.
You cannot ignore the time limits that are set by your policy. Policies often require signed proof of loss within a given period or else the claim will be voided. You must comply with those time limits unless you obtain an official waiver from your insurance company saying otherwise. Policies often also only give you a maximum of one year to bring legal action against them if you feel like your claim was not reasonably adjusted. If you have been fighting with your insurance company over your claim for eleven months, you should seek legal help from an attorney immediately before you lose the option and right to sue.
You should remember that you and your insurer have a contract. The insurance company is contractually obliged to provide the coverage they promised you within the contract. You should be insistent in forcing them to fulfill their obligation.
If you are finding that your insurance company is not holding up their end of the contract after a car accident, you need a personal injury attorney on your side right away to help you recover the compensation you deserve after a car accident in Covington.
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Michael Geoffroy’s law practice focuses on auto collisions, premises liability, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury, and he stands up for the cause of justice throughout Georgia and on behalf of his clients every day. He is a leader in both the courtroom and the community, having been recognized numerous times for his involvement in each.