When a traffic collision happens, filing an accident claim with an insurance company will typically be part of the recovery process. Although you may have had fair and easy dealings with your insurer at every point up until this time, when it comes time to file an auto accident claim, you may find that:
- The insurer is more difficult to deal with.
- The insurer is not necessarily on your side or willing to honor the terms of the policy you have.
- You face some challenges getting the payouts you may deserve.
To help position your claim for success, below are some of the more common mistakes to avoid making during the claims process.
When Filing an Auto Accident Claim…
- Do NOT put off filing the claim for too long after the crash – Your policy may have specific terms about claim filing deadlines following collisions, so do your best to report the crash as soon as reasonably possible after it occurs. Missing the reporting deadlines may complicate your claim.
- Do NOT forget to submit all of your evidence to the insurer – This can include the names/contact info for the other involved drivers, the names/contact info for any crash witnesses, any pictures of the accident you may have and/or any damage estimates you may have already received. Of course, keep copies of everything you submit; it can also be helpful to document when you submitted this information (in case your claim ends in a dispute with the insurer for any reason).
- Do NOT accept fault for the collision – And don’t try to assign blame for the accident either. Instead, simply report the facts of the crash. If you are asked to make a formal (recorded) statement to the company, don’t agree to do so until you are ready. This is because anything you say to insurers could be used later to try to reduce the value of your claim.
- Do NOT accept the first settlement offer made to you – In most cases, first offers are less than the value of a claim, as insurers may be hoping that claimants don’t know how much they are entitled to and/or won’t fight back to get the payout they deserve because they need the settlement ASAP. So, if you are made a settlement offer, consult a lawyer before accepting or denying the offer to see if you should hold out for more.
- Do NOT let a claim denial be the last word – If your claim has been denied, contact a lawyer ASAP and find out if filing an appeal may be the right move for you. There can be strict deadlines for filing appeals, and moving forward sooner (rather than later) can help you protect your interests and potential rights to compensation.
Columbia SC Personal Injury Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a traffic accident and/or have been fighting an insurer for a payout you may deserve, contact the Columbia SC personal injury lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for effective legal advocacy moving forward.
Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.
From our six office locations throughout South Carolina, our attorneys provide the highest quality legal services to injured people and families in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.