Written on Oct 7, 2020 10:17:30 AM
Top Questions To Ask Your Insurance Company After An Auto Accident
Recovering from a recent auto accident is no simple process, and all the legal, financial, and claim terminology can easily overwhelm some drivers. To streamline the recovery and claim process, it often helps to ask insurance companies the right questions: questions that help you receive the compensation you need, and better prepare you for future incidents.
Find out below what auto insurance questions to ask (and what not to ask) after you’ve been in an auto accident.
What Information Do I Need To Prepare?
Immediately following an auto accident, the most important thing for you to do is gather all information possible related to the incident. This includes anything to refresh your memory of accident conditions and specifics that may have affected the situation. Important information to gather mat look like personal notes or photographs taken after the auto accident, formal reports, and damage records.
At this point, objectivity is key! A straightforward and unbiased factual approach is the best way to start off insurance conversations. Have any information regarding weather conditions, location, and time readily available for your insurance company, as well as specific details about damage to your vehicle and the other vehicle involved. Your goal here is to provide your insurance company with a clear and comprehensive outline of the auto accident.
For the most effective auto insurance assessment, it’s helpful to give your insurance company any information you can on the other involved party in an auto accident, including:
- Their name, address, and date of birth
- Their license plate number
- Vehicle make, year, and model
- Passenger information
- Their insurance company and any policy information available
- Their vehicle’s perceived traveling speed
- If applicable, information on the vehicle’s owner (if not the driver)
Any witness information you can gather should also be given to your insurance company. Essentially, any and all information you can provide for your insurance company should be prepared, no matter how insignificant it may seem. One small detail on your accident could change how your entire claim is handled, and provide you much greater and appropriate coverage.
What Does My Auto Insurance Cover?
When dealing with your insurance company immediately after an auto accident, it’s important to know what exactly is covered under your policy and what accident-specific factors affect your auto accident insurance claim.
In most cases, your insurance company will offer either the flat, pre-accident cash value for your vehicle or the cost of appropriate repairs; whichever option is cheaper. Your coverage options (liability insurance, collision coverage) are included in the specific policy with your insurance provider, and knowing what this policy covers can better prepare you for accident claims.
Traditionally, collision coverage policies provide the greatest reimbursements for auto accidents and damages, as repairs and are paid through your own insurance company regardless of fault.
How Much Does My Auto Insurance Cover?
Asking your insurance provider beforehand about policy specifics, or making proactive adjustments to your policy for future incidents, can greatly improve your overall coverage and returns.
Fault plays a significant role in liability insurance claims, as the other party’s insurance company will be required to pay for damages and repairs if their client is deemed responsible. In these cases, determining fault take notable processing time, and require much in terms of supplementary information. This is where the previous point becomes particularly important, as a thorough compilation of accident information can effectively pay for your auto repairs by determining fault.
Will This Accident Affect My Insurance Rates?
One of the top auto insurance questions you may have is how your accident will affect your insurance rates. However, if another driver is at-fault in an accident, it should not affect your insurance rates.
Your insurance premiums may rise in the case where you are found to be at -fault in a car accident or partially at-fault.
Your auto insurance rates are determined by several factors besides your driving record, including the type of car your drive, where you live, and how often you’re on the road (you’re charged less for the less time you drive).
What Do I Do Next?
First and foremost, you need to ensure the health and safety of yourself and those involved in the accident; this is where proper action and medical attention can save lives. If you feel you may need to speak to a medical professional, do not worry about immediate costs, but rather get the attention you need immediately. In many cases, you may receive compensation for these medical expenses later on by corresponding with your personal attorney.
If you have not already done so, it is important for you to contact your experienced personal attorney and evaluate your specific situation. These professionals are there to serve your needs in the wake of an auto accident and will help you get the reimbursements and services you need.
Personal injury attorneys can significantly ease the stresses and confusion following an accident, and help you determine many factors that affect accident recovery, including:
- Anticipated insurance coverage details, fault, and compensation
- Professional representation and the benefits of successful cases
- Proper handling of claims and legal actions
- Compensation for medical expenses, disability compensation, and social security benefits
Your personal attorney should be able to greatly ease the recovery process after an auto accident, no matter the cause (rain, distractions, reckless driving) or type of accident (hit-and-run, highway collisions, head-on collisions).
What Can I Do Better The Next Time An Accident Occurs?
The entire auto accident recovery process can be significantly streamlined by knowing exactly what to do and how to react in future cases. Fortunately, there are effective preventative measures you can take to ease the recovery process and get the most out of your insurance coverage in any future accidents.
For example, many wary, proactive drivers keep a notepad in their vehicle to physically write down all factors and conditions involved in an accident. Doing so allows for a much clearer and detailed accident description. When dealing with insurance claims after an auto accident, objectivity and promptness are key. Accident recollection fades quickly in the time following an accident; having this information readily available and written down can save you from insurance hassles later on.
While there may not be much you can do to prevent an accident, there are proactive ways you can better prepare for insurance claims and coverage in later incidents. Consulting your insurance provider and personal attorney immediately following an auto accident can not only give you the monetary compensation you need, but also peace of mind. Be transparent with these professionals, provide them with everything they need, and don’t be afraid to ask the important questions
What Not To Say To An Insurance Company After A Car Accident
It’s incredibly important to remember that insurance companies are not your friend - they are looking out for their own interests. You need to be careful what you tell an insurance company as they can use your statements against you in the future when it comes to paying your claim.
Don’t Make Any Statements Right After An Accident
Right after an auto accident, you may be in shock or confused. If you make a statement right then, you may say something that you’ll later regret. It’s important to wait to make a statement until after consulting with a personal injury attorney so you don’t say anything that insurance companies can later use against you.
Don’t Admit The Auto Accident Was Your Fault
Only describe what happened without immediately saying your opinion on who was responsible for the accident. If you don’t know the answer, then don’t try to estimate.
Don’t Say You Have No Injuries
When you are in an accident, there is a lot of adrenaline involved, and you can be too tense to realize you may be injured. While you may feel fine now, in many case injuries only expose themselves days to weeks after your auto accident.
How Lowman Law Firm Can Help
While there may not be much you can do to prevent an auto accident, there are proactive ways you can better prepare for auto insurance claims and coverage in later incidents. Consulting your insurance provider and personal attorney immediately following an auto accident can not only give you the compensation you need, but also peace of mind after a frightening experience. Asking the right auto insurance questions is key to providing you with the compensation that you deserve.
To learn more about the role your insurance company - or a personal injury lawyer - takes after an auto accident, contact us today.