Car accidents are very stressful experiences that can challenge even the most veteran driver. Between the accident, damage to the vehicle and any sustained injuries, many people fail to file an insurance claim properly.
Insurance policies contain a lot of complex legal phrasing that can frustrate policyholders. This confusion causes many people file incomplete or false claims. Insurance adjusters can use these problematic claims to convince a court to limit paid damages or assign fault.
Avoid these 7 insurance claim filing mistakes
- Incomplete claim: Even seemingly minor accidents may cause significant damage. Some people may file their claim before assessing the damage to the vehicle or seeing a doctor. Filing a claim before seeing the whole picture can cause an adjuster to deny coverage and award an undervalued claim.
- Unnecessary claim: Some accidents are so minor that filing a claim can cost a victim more money. Claimants will pay out-of-pocket for damage below their insurance deductible. Damage that exceeds the deductible by only a little bit will result in a rate increase that will cost more every month. Only submit claims that keep costs low.
- False claim: Some people at fault for an accident may try to file a false claim with their insurance company. An adjuster will void any false claims and policyholders may face fines or criminal charges.
- No pictures: Pictures can make or break a case. Those involved in an accident should take as many photos of the accident, the road conditions, proximity to traffic lights and signs, etc.
- Lack of information: Adjusters may need more than just pictures though. Claimants should provide a comprehensive list of all damages to the vehicle, including third-party amenities and accessories.
- Excessive information: On the other hand, too much information can lead adjusters astray and cause them to investigate beyond the straight facts. When discussing the accident with an adjuster, stick to the concrete details and avoid explanations or reasoning.
- Commenting on health: Insurance adjusters may inquire about a victim’s health when assessing the accident. Claimants should never tell an adjuster they are “fine” or “good” after an accident. Victims may not feel effects for weeks after the crash, so make sure to leave room for flexibility.
Injured in a crash? Consider working with an attorney
Those filing insurance claims may have questions about policy, process and legality. A lawyer experienced with Chicago’s motor vehicle laws can provide answers, help file a proper claim and secure the necessary damages for a full recovery.