car accident scene

Car Insurance Claims – The Dos and Don’ts

Handling a car insurance claim after an accident can be a complicated and sometimes stressful process. Knowing what to do and what not to do in handling a claim can help Chicago motorists make their way through the insurance system effectively and ensure a smoother experience. If you’ve been in a car accident, it is beneficial to consult with an experienced car accident attorney for advice.

I’ve Been in a Car Accident, What Should I Do?

After an accident, your adrenaline is pumping and you may have suffered an injury. Your car may have been damaged. Here are some steps to take to make your insurance claim stronger and optimize the best result. 

  • DO: Report the accident promptly. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Let them know about any damages, injuries, or property loss that occurred. By reporting in a timely fashion, you can help move the claims process along more quickly and make sure that you comply with your policy’s terms and conditions.
  • DO: Document the scene. Take pictures of the accident scene, damage to your car, injuries, and any other relevant details. The more evidence you provide, the stronger you make your insurance claim. Try to include photos and videos of the accident scene, the surrounding area, road conditions, traffic signs, and any other contributing factors.
  • DO: Collect Information from everyone involved in the accident. Make sure to get names, phone numbers, addresses, license plate numbers, and insurance details. Also important is getting the contact information of any witnesses as well. Lastly, the official police report will be an important record of the accident.
  • DO: Seek medical attention. If you or anyone involved in the accident requires medical attention, get help immediately. Prompt medical treatment is crucial, as it ensures the well-being of all parties while creating a medical record of injuries sustained. Keep all medical records to help back up your claim and to ensure receiving proper compensation.

Actions That Will Not Help Your Insurance Claim

Immediately after an accident, your mind will quite possibly be racing a mile a minute processing what has happened. You will have to deal with the other driver, any witnesses, and the police. Later on, you will have to go through the insurance claim process with your insurance company and possibly the other driver’s insurance company. Here are some tips on what not to do in these interactions in order to help your insurance claim.  

  • DON’T:  Admit fault. Avoid admitting fault or assigning blame at the accident scene, as it could negatively impact any future legal case. Allow the insurance companies and police to investigate and determine fault based on evidence and testimonies. Stick to factual information when discussing the incident.
  • DON’T:  Settle with an insurance company without consulting with an attorney first. Accepting their first offer may not provide adequate compensation for your damages. Once you accept an offer, you cannot pursue more damages from them.
  • DON’T: Exaggerate or misrepresent information. Be honest throughout the claims process. Do not exaggerate injuries, damages, or losses. Providing false or misleading information could lead to severe consequences, including the denial of your claim and potential legal repercussions.
  • DON’T: Delay filing the claim. Most insurance policies have a time limit for reporting accidents. Failing to stick to this timeline may result in your claim being denied. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident to initiate the claims process.

Contact a Chicago Car Accident Attorney for Questions about Insurance Claims

If you were involved in a car accident, you may have a lot of paperwork on your plate. Typically, there are medical bills and property damage that you will need to file an insurance claim in order to be compensated for expenses.

It’s smart to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side. Call as soon as you are able for a consultation.