The disorder and confusion following a motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming. Accident scenes can be noisy and frightening, with sirens, emergency vehicles and rescuers racing around. There may be crowds of onlookers and people asking you questions. If you have suffered an injury, the pain may cause even greater confusion.
Despite all the chaos, you know you must think clearly. Even in your disorientation, you probably realize how important your car insurance is going to be at this time. Although you may not know exactly what to do, you want to be sure not to say the wrong thing and make a costly mistake.
Say this, not that
While it is a sad truth that you must be concerned about money at a time like this, the fact is that medical care following a car accident can be expensive enough to devastate a household budget. Even if your injuries are minor, you may still face mountains of bills for treatment, medicine and follow-up appointments. If you suffer major injuries, it's even more difficult to know what the final cost will be.
You will certainly want to contact your insurance company at the earliest opportunity to inform them of the accident. However, you need to know that insurance adjustors are looking for reasons to minimize their payout to you. While lying to an insurance agent is never recommended, it is a good idea to take a cautious approach. It is important to answer questions honestly and simply, but it's recommended not to do any of the following:
- Volunteer information the adjustor doesn't ask for
- Add details of which you aren't certain
- Agree to having your conversations recorded before you are ready
- Admit fault
- Complain of whiplash
- Say you feel fine
Not every injury manifests itself right away. If you have suffered internal injuries, head trauma or spinal injuries, your symptoms may not show for days after the accident. Telling the adjustor that you are okay, even in the course of being polite, may result in the insurance company denying your claim or reducing your benefits.
Even if you do feel fine after an accident, a physical exam by a doctor is a prudent course of action. Your doctor may notice injuries that you don't, injuries that may cause you difficulty in the future. Your insurance company will require medical verification of injuries before paying on a claim. When filing a claim, you have the right to fair coverage according to your policy. Even if you have faithfully paid your premiums, it is possible that you may have to fight for what you deserve.
If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, waste no time in contacting a personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer can handle your case and work to maximize your compensation -- all while you focus on healing.