How to Protect Your Rights When Filing a Car Accident ClaimMay 13, 2020
After a Crash in The Woodlands, Take These 8 Steps to Set a Claim Up for Success
From Woodlands Parkway to Research Forest Drive, the roads threaded through The Woodlands, TX see their fair share of car accidents every year. When you’re involved in one of those wrecks, the steps you take immediately after—and what you do in the days and weeks that follow—can impact:
- The strength of your claim
- The potential challenges you may face moving forward
- Your chances of securing the full financial recovery you may deserve
To help you take the right steps when it’s time to file a claim for an auto accident in The Woodlands, TX, here’s what you should do when dealing with insurance companies:
- Contact your auto insurance provider ASAP to report the crash.
- Don’t assume insurers are on your side.
- Only report the facts.
- Don’t automatically agree to give an official statement.
- Get the ongoing medical care you need.
- Follow all doctor’s orders.
- Keep everything.
- Talk to a lawyer.
8 Tips to Help Set Car Accident Claims Up for Success
These tips can help you avoid mistakes as you file and proceed with a car accident claim.
Step 1: Contact your auto insurance provider ASAP to report the crash.
While your top priority should always be emergency medical care if you’ve been hurt, reporting the crash to your insurer—as soon as your health is no longer in danger—is also essential.
That’s because your policy may have strict requirements about reporting wrecks. In fact, some auto insurers require policyholders to report car accidents within as little as 48 to 72 hours after a crash. Failing to comply with these requirements could give insurers room to raise challenges or possibly deny your claim later.
Step 2: Don’t assume insurers are on your side.
Assume they are NOT on your side. Insurance adjusters have no obligation to inform you of or protect your rights. Instead, they tend to be focused on protecting the insurance company’s interests and profits. Often, that means finding ways to avoid or minimize payouts.
Step 3: Only report the facts.
This should only include the details that you are 100% sure of. It may include (and does not have to be limited to):
- The weather at the time of the crash
- The road conditions and/or visibility
- Who else was involved in the crash
- What you were doing or noticed (heard or saw) before, during, and/or after the crash
If there is a question you can’t answer or a detail you don’t know, you can say that you don’t know, you can’t answer that, or you’re not sure. Never share assumptions or answer with guesses.
Step 4: Don’t automatically agree to give an official statement.
These statements are recorded. The answers and details you provide during them can be used to try to challenge, reduce, and/or deny your claim later if you say the wrong things. So, if you aren’t ready to talk about the facts of the accident, don’t agree to give an official statement.
Step 5: Get the ongoing medical care you need.
Don’t skip doctor’s appointments. Follow through with all ongoing treatment recommendations. This can help your overall prognosis. It may also help limit the risk of insurers challenging the nature or severity of your injuries.
Step 6: Follow all doctor’s orders.
Outside of attending all appointments and getting ongoing medical treatments, it’s also important to follow doctor’s recommendations outside of medical facilities. This can mean (and is not limited to):
- Not returning to work before doctors give you the green light you do so
- Abiding by any movement, lifting, and/or lifestyle restrictions
This can help you avoid giving insurers room to argue that your failure to follow doctors’ orders caused you to worsen your injuries.
Step 7: Keep everything.
Accident scene photos, doctors’ bills, letters from the insurance companies, and anything else you have related to the crash—keep it all. Ideally, keep everything in one spot, and find ways to create backups (like through pictures or digital files). The more evidence you have to support your claim, the better your chances may be of recovering the full compensation you may deserve.
Step 8: Talk to a lawyer.
An attorney can explain your rights and what else you should be doing for the best chances of successfully resolving your claim. Given that insurance companies are not on your side after a crash—and that your physical recovery can depend on the outcome of a car accident claim—an attorney can be the ally you can need when dealing with insurers and seeking financial recovery.
The Amaro Law Firm Can Help You After a Car Accident in The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands car accident lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm are the advocates you can trust when it’s time to recover from a crash. We can explain your rights, answer your questions about a potential claim, and provide you with exceptional advocacy moving forward.
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At the Amaro Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping car accident survivors navigate the road to recovery. We know that financial recoveries from car accident claims can help victims pick up the pieces and rebuild their lives. That’s why we work tirelessly to champion our clients’ rights and help them seek the justice and financial recovery they deserve.