Insurance Claims Dos and Don’ts
Auto accident attorney, Frank M. Eidson, has decades of experience with helping victims of car crashes, truck accidents and motorcycle accidents in Orlando, Winter Park and throughout Florida. A central aspect of these cases is dealing with insurance coverage – and the companies that provide that coverage.
As he knows from experience, auto insurance claims can involve complex legal issues. Additionally, insurance companies often make it difficult for accident victims and their families to recover the compensation they deserve.
By paying close attention to the following “Dos and Don’ts,” a person can protect their rights to full and fair compensation after a crash. To learn more, please feel free to contact Orlando car accident attorney, Frank M. Eidson, P.A., by phone or through our online form. We would be glad to provide a free consultation.
Insurance Claim “Dos”
1. Gather as many details about the accident as possible. Please see our page on “What To Do After A Car Accident” for more details on what you should at the accident scene. Your main goal should be to get the other driver’s contact and insurance information, witness information, the police report number and, if possible, to take photos of the cars involved and the area surrounding the crash.
2. Read your insurance policy. Take time to closely review your auto insurance policy. You should understand the types of coverage you have purchased and the amounts of that coverage. The types include:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) – Covers your medical bills and lost wages up to the policy limit. This is required in Florida. You must have a minimum of $10,000 in coverage.
- Property Damage Liability (PDL) – Covers property damage you cause in a crash. This is also required in Florida. You must have a minimum of $10,000 in coverage.
- Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) – Covers injury you cause others in a crash.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) – UM covers your losses if you are in a crash caused by a driver who has no insurance. UIM covers the difference between another driver’s coverage and your UIM limit.
- Collision – Covers damage to your vehicle that is caused by an accident.
- Comprehensive – Covers damage to your vehicle that is not caused by an accident such as storm-related or vandalism damage.
3. Contact your insurance company. If you fail to report your accident, your insurer may cite it as grounds for denying your claim. You only need to provide basic facts. Make sure to keep a written account of any conversations and dealings with the insurance adjusters, agents and any other people involved in the claims process.
4. Save receipts and bills. You need to document all expenses arising out of your crash, including rental car and/or vehicle repair expenses and medical costs. It is advisable to keep all documents in a special file or folder.
5. Pay attention to any time limits on your insurance claim. Many insurance companies require you to file a claim within a specific period after an accident or injury. You should contact an attorney well in advance of that deadline in order to give the attorney sufficient time to review and prepare your case.
Insurance Claim Don’ts
1. Don’t admit or assign fault. Whether you are speaking with another driver at the crash scene, police officers or insurance adjusters – never admit or assign fault. The reality is that fault can only be determined after a careful analysis of the evidence. Stick to the facts without expressing any opinion.
2. Don’t give a recorded statement to insurers. You simply should not give a recorded statement, orally or in writing, to your insurance company or another driver’s insurer, until after you have first spoken with your lawyer.
3. Don’t take everything that your insurance agent tells you as the last word. An insurance company claims adjuster or agent may represent to you what is covered in your policy (or the other driver’s policy) and may even give you an estimated “value” of your case. Rather than simply accepting their estimates, contact a lawyer first.
4. Do not sign a release or accept a settlement without legal representation. An insurance company may make a settlement offer and ask you to sign a release shortly after your accident. You should not sign a release, which would bar you from taking further legal action, or accept a settlement offer until it has been reviewed by an attorney.
Contact an Orlando Auto Accident Attorney
At Frank M. Eidson, P.A., we provide free consultations because we want accident victims and their families to protect their rights. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash, we encourage you to contact us and allow us to review your case, including all insurance policies that are involved and any settlement offers that have been made to you. Our goal is simple: We want to make sure you are fairly and fully compensated for all of your losses so you can move on in life.