You've paid a liability insurance premium in order to drive your vehicle since you first got your license and a car. You may have gone decades without needing to file a substantial claim for coverage. Thanks, in part, to slick advertising copy that emphasizes how insurance companies are there for their clients after a crash, many people assume their insurance company will seek to protect them when they file a claim.
In reality, insurance companies will often do whatever they can to limit their liability on a claim. That can include tricking policy holders into admitting some degree of responsibility for a crash or offering offensively low first settlement offers. In the wake of a motor vehicle collision, you need to take great care when interacting with your insurance provider.
File a claim and seek treatment in a timely manner
Mobile apps and the ubiquity of smartphones have made it much easier for people to quickly file claims related to crashes. You can take photos of the actual accident scene with your phone and upload them to your insurance company within minutes of the collision.
If you have any reason to suspect blunt trauma injuries to your core or any kind of shaking of or blow to the head, you should seek medical care as well. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, may take time to display symptoms. The sooner you seek care from a medical professional, the easier it will be to tie the symptoms you develop to the collision.
When another driver causes the crash, that is important information for your insurance provider. While they will likely wait until they have a copy of the police report about the crash, including details about what caused the crash can protect you as the claim unfolds.
Be prepared to reject low settlement offers
Most insurance companies want to do everything in their power to limit the financial liability tied to serious motor vehicle crash claims. One of the simplest and fastest ways to do this is by offering a settlement. People who suffer injuries in a crash may not be able to work. At the same time, they have to pay all their normal bills, as well as medical bills. There's also the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle involved in the crash.
Insurance companies know people recovering from injuries are often in serious financial situations. They will take advantage of that situation by offering a settlement that is far below the total expenses you will incur in the long run. Don't let desperation to cover your bills lead you to agreeing to a settlement that won't cover all your costs.
You should take the time to add up all the current costs, as well as likely future expenses. Make sure that your insurance company is fairly pricing your vehicle and medical expenses. If the settlement doesn't cover that and more, you should politely decline.