We’ve been conditioned to immediately call our insurance company after an accident occurs. We often tend to think that if someone is reaching out to us in an official capacity, such as on behalf of another motorist’s insurance company, we have to interact with them. Neither one of these perceptions is accurate.
Alabama state law gives motorists two years to settle an auto accident claim. You should take a few different steps before initiating conversations with insurance companies to ensure that you achieve the best outcome possible in your case.
Document your accident
Always call the police following an accident to record what happened. Take pictures of the scene and each car’s damage as you wait for the police to arrive if you can. You might want to take pictures of any injuries you have as well. All of this documentation may prove invaluable when filing your claim.
Prepare yourself for an insurer to call
If you don’t screen your calls, then you may answer and find an adjuster on the other end of the line. It may seem like they have only the best of intentions at heart, especially if they’re asking you to tell them your side of what happened. They may use what you say against you later on, though.
You may find it best to let an insurance adjuster who does reach you know that you aren’t available to speak at the moment. You may want to ask for their name, employer and contact information, and let them know that you’ll follow up with them at a later point.
See a doctor immediately following a crash
You should always get checked out following a crash, even if you don’t feel like anything is seriously wrong. You may have some internal injuries that don’t become evident until after it’s too late to avoid life-altering consequences or even death.
Also, if your doctor does recommend further treatment, then you’ll want to receive it. Continue following your doctor’s orders until they release you.
What to know about insurers and auto accident claims
Insurance companies have one mission which is to keep their costs low. They do this by trying to bait you into admitting liability and wrapping up your medical treatment early. These are reasons why you need to exhibit extreme caution when dealing with insurance adjusters. You can best protect your rights by not rushing to settle your case.