So you've been in a car accident and you're ready to file a claim with the responsible party's insurance company. You know you're entitled to compensation for the damages to your car or even medical bills and other related expenses. Before you file your claim, however, there are a few costly mistakes you'll want to be careful to avoid.
1. Sharing Your Medical Records With the Insurance Company
First and foremost, make sure you have a physical assessment by a doctor, even if you don't think you suffered from any major injuries during the accident. Should a medical condition arise in the future that can be attributed to the accident, you'll need to have proof that you saw a doctor immediately after the incident occurred.
Furthermore, should the insurance company request any of your medical records, understand that you're under no legal obligation to acquiesce. In fact, you should avoid sharing your medical records with the insurance company, as they could try to use your medical history to blame any problems or injuries resulting from the accident on a past condition.
2. Letting the Insurance Adjuster Price Out Your Repairs
Another thing to be wary of is an insurance company that insists on sending out an adjuster to determine how much it will cost to have your car repaired. Instead, you're better off taking your car to a reputable body shop to have the repairs priced out yourself. This way, you can make sure that the new parts used on your car are original manufacturer parts and not aftermarket ones, which tend to be lower quality and can lessen the overall value of your vehicle.
3. Settling With the Insurance Company Too Quickly
Finally, as a general rule, you should never settle with the insurance company after the first offer. Instead, be sure to meet with a reputable and experienced accident attorney so you can get a better idea as to whether the offer is fair and, if not, how much more you're truly entitled to.
It's not unheard of for an insurance company to make a very low-ball initial offer in the hopes that you'll accept with the desire to get the settlement done with as quickly and easily as possible. By having an accident attorney on your side, however, you can make sure that you have the best chances of receiving every last penny to which you're entitled.