After being involved in a car accident, it can be difficult to take a step back and think rationally. If you have suffered serious injury, the situation suddenly becomes even more stressful and confusing. When making a claim with your auto insurance provider, it can be easy to fill something out improperly or leave out important information. These mistakes can end up costing you the compensation you deserve for property damage and injuries. One way you can reduce the impact a car wreck will have on your future is by hiring an experienced Miami auto accident attorney. The following are some of the most common auto insurance claim mistakes that can lead to your claim being denied.
Not taking photographs or gathering important evidence at the accident scene.
Immediately after the accident, after insurance and contact information is exchanged between drivers, we recommend you take photographs of the accident scene and any injuries you have sustained. Most drivers have smartphones on them with the ability to take pictures, and this evidence can be vital to your insurance claim. Keep in mind that your insurance company will want to deny your claim or reduce it, if possible. By documenting the condition of the car, any contributing factors, such as road debris, construction, the weather conditions, and any other important evidence, you are strengthening your claim. It can also help to document what the vehicle damage was prior to the cars being moved. Insurance companies often deny claims made by accident victims by saying that other factors contributed to the accident, and they may attempt to use these factors to mitigate the claim. Having photographic evidence will help prevent this from happening.
Other evidence can also assist in proving your claim. For example, if the accident victim had made certain improvements to the vehicle that increased its value prior to the accident occurring, the insurance company may be less willing to pay a claim to pay for damages based on the car’s increased value. In this type of situation, you should submit proof of the car’s condition prior to the accident, as well as any other evidence that can help prove your claim.
Failing to seek medical treatment in a timely manner.
Car accident victims in Florida have only 14 days after the accident to seek medical treatment, or they will not be able to recover Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits under their policy. Florida Statute 627.736 is the no-fault insurance law, that requires accident victims seek medical treatment within 14 days of the crash. In addition, waiting weeks or even months to seek medical treatment, will only strengthen the insurance company’s claim that your injuries are not as severe as you might claim.
Statements on your condition.
Immediately after an accident, insurance adjusters will reach out to you, asking what may seem like perfectly harmless questions. How you answer these questions, however, could result in a denial of your claim. Even a simple question, such as “how are you feeling? can be misleading. You may automatically answer with, “I’m doing fine.” But that simple answer could be used against you later to say your injuries are not as severe as you claim. Be extremely cautious when speaking with insurance agents regarding your physical and emotional condition. Keep in mind that they will be looking for anything and everything to reduce what they end up paying. You may not think your statement is significant, but it could be enough to completely throw out a claim for injuries.
Making false claims about the accident.
Along those same lines, we never recommend making any type of false statements about what occurred during the accident. Insurance adjusters are trained at looking at the evidence from a car accident and determining what happened and exactly how it happened. Additionally, with the advancement of technology, it can be easy to obtain live evidence of what happened. It is always best to be truthful when providing information regarding the accident for this very reason.
Providing too much information.
While we recommend you be truthful in providing information to the insurance adjuster, you should also be sure to not provide ‘too much’ information. Telling too much irrelevant information can result in the claim being denied. The best rule of thumb is to answer only the questions that are asked.
Not being 100% truthful with your attorney.
You should always be honest and upfront with your attorney. Insurance companies do not have a duty to act in your best interest (even your own insurance company). Only an attorney must act in your best interest. If your actions played some part in the accident, for example, if you glanced down at your phone or swerved shortly before the accident occurred to avoid something on the road, disclose this to your attorney.
Delgado Trial Attorneys have spent more than a half century fighting for the rights of the injured in every type of accident imaginable, but especially accident victims injured in motor vehicle collisions. Whether you were involved in a rear-end collision that was not your fault, t-boned while turning or cut off by an aggressive driver ignoring the rules of the road, we’ve helped countless victims in your situation and will use that experience to obtain the best results possible for your specific case. When you hire the Delgado Trial Attorneys, we guarantee to fight for your rights and your affected loved ones to the maximum extent allowed under the law, including the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to by the at fault party(s). Call us today at (877) 372-0817 for a free consultation. Virtual Sign-Ups Available.