What NOT to do When Filing a Car Accident Claim
- October 14, 2014
- Car Accidents
If you are a motorist, chances are that you will eventually be involved in a car accident. For the most part, these accidents are relatively minor and they do not result in serious injury to any of the parties involved. With that being the case, most people do not have experience with filing a car accident claim related to automobile accident injuries and this can often lead individuals to make mistakes that could compromise their legal rights.
In the moments following a car accident, it is very unlikely that you will have the services of a Dallas car accident attorney available to you from the very moment that the incident occurs. However, you are going to need to contact your insurance company to report the accident. The representative from the insurance company may seem friendly and helpful, but it is not their job to look after your rights. In the interest of helping you to protect your rights in this situation, we would like to provide some helpful tips on how to handle this situation.
Now, it should be clear from the beginning that most insurance companies handle these situations within the boundaries of the law. If an insurer does use some unethical or illegal means to deprive the claimant compensation, it would fall under the category of bad faith laws and this has a legal remedy unto itself. However, there are legal ways that an individual’s right to compensation can be compromised and that is what we are talking about here.
They Cannot Record Conversations
The first thing that you should understand is that you do not have to allow the insurer to record your phone conversations. It is very common for a representative to inform a claimant that the telephone call is being recorded. If they insist upon recording the phone call or if they demand a written statement, it is advised that you consult with a personal injury lawyer before you proceed.
Don’t Sign Anything
The insurer may also try to get you to sign a release or a waiver. This would be another step that you should not take without receiving legal advice. Insurance companies often take advantage of the fact that car accidents and injuries are often accompanied by financial distress. It is not uncommon for them to try to use this as leverage to get the claimant to accept lower compensation. You want to make sure that you understand the complete value of the damages before you accept a deal from the insurer. If they are trying to pressure you into signing anything, you should take the information that you have and contact an attorney.
Speak with a Car Accident Lawyer
If you have been injured in a car accident, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible. In this first contact, you want to be as honest and forthcoming as possible, but you do not have to agree to anything or make any firm statements right away. Before you sign anything, you want to understand your coverage and the complete scope of the loss that should be covered by the policy. In some situations, this may require the advice of a Dallas car accident lawyer.