IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
When turning in the claim to the insurance carrier several key components are needed:
- When did the accident happen?
- How did it happen?
- Where you injured?
- Where is the car now?
Answering these questions sounds simple. But insurance companies are not in business to simply pay claims day after day and look for ways to breakdown your answers into arguments of defense.
WHEN DID THE ACCIDENT HAPPEN:
Be specific. Include, the date, the location, the weather, the time, and the environment in which the accident occurred.
HOW DID THE ACCIDENT HAPPEN:
Insurance Companies loves to let you tell a story and then poke holes in it. For example, if you were going home from the grocery store, came across the intersection and where hit by another car coming from the cross street the insurance company would ask in a recoded statement if you saw their driver. Not thinking, you would say, “no, I was just driving home, he came out of nowhere.” The insurance company would then claim that you had the responsibility to observe your surroundings and did not and therefore did not act evasively enough in an effort to avoid the accident. They would claim your partially responsible for the accident and not pay for your full damages. And the simple truth was that you were just going home.
WHERE YOU INJURED:
Insurance companies love to get recoded statements as soon as possible. They always ask you if you are injured. Outside of immediate and obvious injuries, it takes most people 24 to 72 hours to begin to feel the effects of soft tissue injuries. And for many it can be even longer. Listen to your body and answer honestly. When the adjuster asks and you know it might be too soon to really tell, tell them that.
When answering questions about your injuries remember, you are not a doctor. You can’t diagnose yourself. You can only tell the adjuster where you’re having pain and how intense that pain is or has been.
WHERE IS YOUR CAR NOW:
It is very important to tell the insurance carrier exactly where your car is as soon as possible. This is a fact that will help resolve issues such as rental, loss of use, and storage fees. Please understand that Texas law requires people to mitigate their damages, which means you have a responsibility to act within your power resolve all issues as fast as you can, including using your own insurance company to take care of the damages until liability is determined. With over 700 miles of Freeways and Expressways in the Houston, Metropolitan area, accidents happen. Which is why it’s important to follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones as well as preserving as much of the situation as accurately as possible.
Remain at the Scene
Check on the condition of the People involved in the crash;
Call 911 and report the accident and remember to indicate the type of emergency services needed.
Exchange information with other drivers.
Get any contact information from any witnesses.
Take pictures – cautiously. Although it’s important to gather information and take pictures, do so only when safe.
If your car is disabled and requires a tow, ask the police officer for a Police Tow. If you have a place to tow the vehicle to prevent storage charges, then do so. In order to do this, you may have to pay the record driver directly and seek reimbursement from the insurance carrier later.
If your vehicle is towed to a storage yard, be VERY CAREFUL about what you sign. Do NOT sign documents that allow for the vehicle to be torn down.