One of the often overlooked benefits of our ever-advancing technologies is improvements in car safety. As auto manufacturers work to increase the safety features of their models, chances of losing your life in a car crash have dropped significantly.
Unfortunately, your chances of being in any kind of collision haven’t dropped in the slightest. No matter how diligent a driver you are, it’s likely you will be involved in some kind of accident during your lifetime.
According to auto insurance industry experts, the average driver files a collision claim approximately once every 18 years. The younger the driver, the more likely a crash will occur.
Every driver knows they are legally required to have car insurance to operate a vehicle. Not every driver knows how to handle the insurance adjuster once you have to file a claim. That’s why it’s strongly recommended you contact an attorney any time you’ve been involved in an auto accident.
What You Need Before You Call
Collecting the right information immediately after your accident, when possible, is vital to protecting your interests. Be sure to gather the following information to help expedite your claim:
- name, address and date of birth of the other driver
- their license plate number
- the year, make and model of their vehicle
- passenger information
- their insurance company and policy info
- the vehicle owner’s name, if they were not driving
- the police accident report
- photos of the damage to both vehicles
- weather or road conditions at the time of the accident
In addition to collecting the right information, it’s just as important to omit certain information while on the scene. Please do not at any time admit fault for the accident, even if you genuinely feel the fault is yours. In most instances, the police report will be the deciding factor in determining who is at-fault.
Questions for Your Insurance Company
Your coverage options will be included in your policy. If you have it on hand, review it before calling your insurance carrier. If you do not have a copy, this should be the very first thing you ask for. You’ll need to know exactly what is covered by your policy and what specific factors affect your insurance claim.
Connecticut has comparative negligence laws that may largely determine how much compensation you can receive for damages. Ask you insurance adjuster if the burden of proof has been satisfied, either by the police report or by any evidence they may have collected. This will give you a better idea of what your settlement offer will be.
The Flood Law Firm can assist you with getting a police report, if you have been injured. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Insurance Tip: When purchasing insurance, a traditional collision coverage policy will provide more reimbursement than a liability policy. In fact, a liability policy only covers injuries and damages to the other person’s car when you are responsible for causing the accident. It will not cover your injuries or damages to your car.
10 Questions to Help Protect Yourself
It’s highly likely the other party’s insurance adjuster will contact you after an accident. Remember that you can politely refuse to talk to them. You should do this if you already have an attorney representing you, or are considering one. Allowing an attorney to negotiate with insurance companies can help protect your best interests.
Many insurance adjusters are trained in tactics to break you down and frustrate you with red-tape and bureaucracy until you accept their offer. And what they offer is usually the lowest settlement possible.
Our verdicts page has examples of insurance offers and our recoveries for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
Should you decide to forgo hiring an attorney, the following questions may protect you from being taken advantage of by the insurance company: