Car Insurance Claims: Mistakes to avoid

Annually, Ohio residents are involved in hundreds of thousands of traffic accidents. During 2015 alone, the Ohio Department of Public Safety responded to a total of more than 302,000 traffic accidents, many of which resulted in those involved suffering painful and debilitating injuries.

If you are involved in a traffic accident, you should alert your car insurance company as soon as possible. In fact, most insurance policies include information related to mandatory timeframes for reporting accidents. While many drivers may assume that their insurance company will be on their side and look out for their best interests, unfortunately this isn't always the case.

Mistakes made during the car accident claims process can impact your ability to recover compensation to make vehicle repairs and to pay medical expenses. The following are five common mistakes that drivers make when communicating with their insurance company after an accident.

  1. Failing to review your policy - Prior to calling to report an accident, it's important to understand the terms of your coverage. For example, does your liability coverage extend to another driver who is operating your vehicle?
  2. Failing to take notes - When communicating with your, and potentially another driver's, insurance company it's important to take detailed notes about what is discussed. Additionally, it's wise to obtain the names, titles and direct extensions of the individuals with whom you speak.
  3. Providing a recorded statement - You aren't required to provide a recorded statement and an insurer's request that you do so may be a red flag.
  4. Signing releases or waivers - It's in an insurance company's best interest to settle claims as quickly and for as little money as possible. While when faced with vehicle repair and medical bills, it can be tempting to accept a settlement, it's always wise to consult with an attorney prior to doing so.
  5. Failing to hold an insurer accountable - You've upheld the terms of your policy and contract and now it's time for your insurance company to do the same. Period.

Often when attempting to deal and negotiate with an insurance provider, it makes sense to consult with an attorney. An attorney can answer questions, provide advice and represent your best interests in recovering compensation for repair and medica

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