Should I Ever Report a Car Accident to My Own Insurance Company?
You should report the claim. If you are in touch with a personal injury attorney whom you plan to hire that same day or within a couple of days, it would be advisable to have the attorney report the claim on your behalf. The reason for that is you are required to put your insurance company on notice when there is an incident as part of your insurance policy. It’s part of the contract that you signed when you got an insurance policy.
It’s best if your attorney does it because a lot of times, when you report a personal injury claim to your insurance company, they will want to get a recorded statement from you at the time. They are entitled to a recorded statement, but it does not necessarily have to be the date of the accident. One reason for not wanting to give that statement right at the time is that usually after a personal injury incident, specifically auto accident cases, your injuries have not materialized fully on the date of the accident because you have adrenaline pumping through your body after such a traumatic event. Some injuries in general just take more time to develop. If you report the claim to your insurance company at the time and give a recorded statement, then that recorded statement can be used later against you. If you are going to report a claim to your own insurance company, I would caution you against speaking about your injuries at all or giving a recorded statement at that time. Seek the advice of a personal injury attorney to schedule the recorded statement later in the claim, if necessary at all.
From that point forward, the insurance company should not be in direct contact with you but should only go through your personal injury attorney to ensure that your rights are protected. So, you should report a personal injury claim to your own insurance company, but the way you do that depends on the situation and whether you’re going to hire a personal injury attorney. In any fashion, I would caution anyone who reports the claim to hold off on giving a recorded statement until some time has passed to ensure that everything included in the reported statement is accurate.
What Can a Personal Injury Attorney Do for Me That I Cannot Do for Myself?
When you hire a personal injury attorney, you’re first creating separation between the insurance company and yourself. You’re hiring a professional who has the necessary experience to understand the value of your case and make sure all of your injuries are fully addressed. Attorneys go through rigorous schooling and testing because the law is very complex and can have serious consequences on a person’s life. It’s similar to going to a doctor: you want to hire the professional who has the experience, the knowledge, and the licensing to be able to provide you with the best medical care possible—and that’s the same thing when you hire a personal injury attorney.
A personally injury attorney will also determine all the available insurance coverage for your claim that a lay person may miss. For example, a non-attorney would not know that the insurance company must provide you with stacked uninsured motorist coverage equal to your bodily injury limits if they cannot produce a form where the insured affirmatively rejected the coverage. That alone has resulted in millions of dollars of available insurance coverage in my cases that the ordinary person would not have discovered.
Another thing our firm does that a lot of firms don’t, is we assist in your property damage claim, as well for free. We help to get you in a rental car faster, get your car repaired quicker, or get you a check quicker in the event your car is totaled so you can move on with your life quicker.
A personal injury attorney will also ensure the strict time frames in a personal injury claim are adhered to. If you blow these strict time frames, you could seriously jeopardize your claim or even extinguish it.
At the end of the day, by hiring a personal injury attorney, you are essentially leveling the playing field between billion-dollar insurance companies and individuals. By hiring a personal injury attorney, you will keep the insurance company accountable and make sure they do right thing in your case.
For more information on Reporting a Car Wreck to Your Insurance, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (727) 900-7324 today.
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