Car Accident Insurance Claims do’s and don’ts
Driving a car in Calgary requires you to have car insurance. This insurance covers damage compensation after an accident. When situations are challenging, you can make an insurance claim. But the process can be even more complicated. So, to keep yourself in a safe zone, getting help from an experienced car accident lawyer will be a great option.
It is essential to know what to do in an insurance claim. Car owners should also know which acts to avoid. Car accident insurance claim settlement can end up way less than what you expected.
So, it would help if you were ready for the insurance claim process for car accidents. Knowing the car accident insurance claims do’s and don’ts can save you much trouble.
What Can I Claim For After A Car Accident?
Car accidents are always frightening. You have incurred several damages to your car, and you may have also incurred physical injuries. There are so many expenses to cover. How will you be able to manage all these?
If you have insurance, you can recover monetary losses from an accident. Your insurance provider will make an accident benefits settlement. But before that, you have to make a claim. Here are 5 claims you can make after a car accident.
Property Damage Claim
Damages to the property are a widespread outcome of accidents. You may incur severe damages to your car. Also, your private belongings may be damaged inside the car. You can make damage claims for all these.
But you will need to prove damages to make a claim, and the best evidence of this is taking pictures. It is best to take photos of your car and other damaged goods. You can also keep repairing bills to show when asked.
Medical bills are something that you will incur in any moderate to serious accident. This includes hospital bills, prescribed medication bills, and operation treatment bills. You may also need therapies after receiving complete treatment, and all these expenses can pile up every day. You can make an insurance claim for the medical costs you incur after an accident.
Loss Of Income
Your injuries may end up being very serious. In this situation, you will need recovery days. And your employer may not agree to a paid leave.
Another situation may arise when you are so severely injured that you can never return to work. In such a situation, your employer has no choice but to lay you off. In both cases, you have lost your source of income. You can make an insurance claim for the lost wages due to the accident.
Pain And Suffering
Pain and suffering are non-economic losses. This involves mental stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other traumas from the accident, and you may need psychotherapy for the rest of your life.
These therapy sessions are not cheap. And nobody knows when you can completely recover. Thus, it makes you eligible to claim monetary benefit for pain and suffering.
The final topic on this list is wrongful death. Many accidents can lead to the death of co-drivers or passengers in the car. You may experience death to someone you love.
This includes several costs like medical expenses, funeral bills, and emotional pain. You can seek compensation for these as well, and this is called claiming the “Pecuniary value” of the people losing their lives.
You can also claim for loss of companionship. Another name for this is loss of affection. You can make this claim when your wife, children, or parents die.
Car Insurance Claims: Do’s and Don’ts
The insurance claim process for car accidents is very complex. In most times, the insurance company will try to hand you a low compensation. If you make some mistakes with them, you will not get any chance to negotiate a higher settlement. Thus, you must know what to do and what not to do.
Do’s: Car Insurance Claims
We often become very confused and scared after an accident. Of course, it is not possible to prepare yourself beforehand. But there are things that everyone should know to do. We will be looking at 5 dos of an insurance claim to help you get the best settlement.
Put Safety First
Safety is always the first and most important thing to ensure. Any automotive accident will include some form of damages. Your first job is to remain calm and make yourself safe from further danger.
Accidents involve damages. They can come in the form of vehicle damages, physical injuries, and mental trauma. If you let yourself suffer, you will not be able to think clearly. And this will result in unwise decisions while making an insurance claim.
So, there is nothing more important than beginning with putting safety first. Make sure you have brought your car back to safety. After that, check yourself for any injuries. You can seek medical support immediately if needed. Then, get out of the vehicle and check for vehicular damages. Also, make sure no other person on the road is any way at risk.
Review Everything Before And During Your Car Accident Insurance Claim
The first step in making a claim is the easiest one. Yet, it can seem the hardest step to take after an accident. So, be ready before you finally make a call to the insurance company.
The smartest choice is to review everything before making the call. You will need several pieces of information and accident details, including the other party’s driving license number, car plate number, and insurance provider’s name. You can create a doc file to be better prepared.
You must also make sure to file the claim as soon as possible. Once you do this, you can now relax. The insurance company will notify you about the next steps. It will likely involve an insurance adjuster to review and investigate the details of the claim.
Be Communicative During Your Car Insurance Claim Process
You are now involved with the adjuster. A lot will depend on how well you work with the adjuster. It would be best if you treated the adjuster well and communicate properly.
But this does not mean that you have to agree to whatever the adjuster asks you to do. The main job of the adjuster is to communicate with you about accident details. Thus, you will need to provide important information. The adjuster will review the information you provide.
The best thing you can do during this time is to be patient. If there is any confusion, openly ask about the process. If you want to know about further steps, the adjuster will notify you about everything. There is no harm in asking questions and being updated about the process.
Get Reimbursed For Your Car Accident Claim
Reimbursement means the money you receive for your claim. This is the most exciting part. But it can be quite challenging too.
There are two types of reimbursement that you can receive. Firstly, you can get the repairing costs of the vehicle. If your car is moderately damaged, you can get the total repairing amount. This will enable you to fix your vehicle and operate it almost as well as before.
The other type of reimbursement is the value of the vehicle before the accident. The accident can damage your car to the point where repairing is more expensive than the price of the car. So, the insurance company will settle the pre-accident value of the car.
Your job in this step is to understand which reimbursement you are getting. You should make sure that the car value is correct. You should also ensure that the repairing costs will cover the damage repairs.
Understand The Repairs
In most cases, you will likely get the repairing money. This will come from the repairing estimation you give to the insurance company. So, your job is to ensure that a repairing shop checks your car.
Your insurance company might also want to send your car to their partner repairing shops. You can consider taking up the offer. Those repairing shops work with the insurance company. So, they will offer you quality services.
All you have to do is ensure that the bills are correct and cover the car’s complete repair.
Don’ts: Car Insurance Claims
You now know what approaches you should take when making a claim. This will enable you to get the best settlement. It is time to learn the things you should avoid. This will ensure that you do not lose money from your claim. Here are 5 things to avoid when making an insurance claim.
Panic About Your Car Accident Claim
The first biggest mistake victims make is to be anxious and nervous. It is prevalent not to be calm and composed after an accident. But you cannot do that when making an insurance claim.
Being calm is very important to make intelligent decisions. Insurance claim requires you to be wise. You will have to be on your toes to outsmart insurance companies. Remaining calm can assist you in navigating for further plans.
Understanding fault can be a complex part of an insurance claim. It can confuse almost everyone involved in the accident, and many factors can work to determine fault.
The insurance company will use the factors to determine who is at fault. It can be the other party who is completely guilty. It can be you who is eventually proven to be guilty. Finally, both the parties involved in the accident can share fault.
Your job is not to misunderstand what being at fault means. This also includes how faults can change insurance rates. It would help if you cleared out how much it can affect your insurance claim. If you are sharing a fault, your driving record will show the fault.
It is also essential to know when you can disagree with the outcome. Some facts will not allow you to challenge the decision. And there can be situations when you can challenge the insurance company.
Accepting A Settlement Without Consulting An Attorney
You might want to get done with the insurance claim process. It takes a lot of your time. And it can be a huge hassle to your everyday life. Thus, you may end up accepting a settlement as soon as you get one.
But that is a huge mistake, and you should never accept a settlement without consulting your attorney. There are many legal procedures involved with signing a settlement. What if you need to change some things? What if there are minor legal restrictions against your name? Your lawyer will be able to tell you your rights.
Let the attorney evaluate the agreement. Once your lawyer gives a green signal, you are good to go.
Your medical records are crucial evidence of the insurance claim. Often, the victims end up giving medical records to the other party. This can backfire in many ways.
The insurance company can use this against you. They can claim that you already had the injury before the accident. As a result, you will end up losing valuable compensation money.
Giving An Official Statement
The last thing to avoid is giving a recorded statement. This applies to both the insurer and the other driver. It would be best if you did not give any oral and written statements. You never know when the other party uses this against you.
You should only give an official statement in front of your lawyer. Your attorney can tell you what you can say and what you cannot.
What Other Expenses Can You Recover As Part Of Your Claim?
Apart from the obvious expenses, you can recover other costs after an accident. These are the out-of-pocket expenses you incur from the accident. Here are 3 types of other expenses you can recover.
Damage to Clothing Or Personal Effects
You can claim reimbursement for the clothes you were wearing while driving. They could be costly and branded clothes. Also, you can claim recovery for accessories on your body. For example, you might have been wearing a sunglass or a powered glass. You can claim reimbursement for all these personal belongings during the insurance claim.
Damage To Goods Inside the Car
You might have been carrying a laptop in your bag. Or you could have had valuable electronics in your car. After an accident, you claim compensation to recover all these goods as well.
This category also includes vehicle-related goods. For example, your car’s GPS tracker can get damaged. Other goods like child safety seats, goods in the trunk, spare tires, etc., can get damaged. You can recover all these from the insurance claim.
Alternate Transportation Costs
Your car could be the only mode of transportation for you. When you give it to repair, you will have to use other modes of transportation. This will cost you out-of-pocket expenses. You can claim to recover this type of expense as well, including bus or taxi fares, parking fees, Uber services, and other costs.
Car accidents can ruin the rest of your life. Even a minor accident can cause a lot of trouble to your money bank. Making an insurance claim needs to be perfect and correct.
So, you need to know the car accident insurance claim’s do’s and don’ts. It is always best to consult with an experienced lawyer before making your claim. Attorneys are the best guide in this process.