There are an estimated five million motor accidents that occur each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you are involved in an accident, would you know what pertinent information is in your auto insurance policy? Would you know who to call or what costs you may be forced to cover? If you are like the vast majority of drivers in Chicago, you probably are unaware of the details in your insurance policy – and this could cost you when an accident occurs.
Before you accept an insurance policy, you need to read the fine print. You should fully understand what you are insuring, the coverage you’re receiving, and also realize that coverage is for the vehicle; not the driver. You should keep a copy of your policy inside your car with your registration – so if you are involved in an accident, you can refer to the policy immediately.
You must notify your insurance provider right away about the accident. You do not need to provide them with an official statement, but you do need to notify them that the accident occurred. While it is chaotic and stressful after an accident happens, not sharing information with the other driver or your own insurance could cost you in the end.
You can use the WreckCheck app, which was developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to go step-by-step through the post-accident claims preparation process.
After you have filed the initial claim, the insurance claims adjuster will contact you. You may be in the hospital or at home recovering from your injuries, but they will press at you to speak with them. They may even tell you that they are on your side and want to help resolve the claim so that you can get back to focusing on recovery. Regardless of what they say, realize that claims adjusters have one goal: To obtain facts to lessen your settlement. If it is the other party’s insurance claims adjuster, you will want to be even more cautious, because they are working to deny or lessen your settlement value as much as possible.
The adjuster will follow a series of steps before they make an offer, which include:
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, you need an attorney before you speak with an insurance claims adjuster. Your attorney can handle statements, gather evidence, and negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Contact Malman Law today to discuss your pending claim toll-free or schedule a free consultation online.
Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.
Years of experience: +30 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2023
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