If you’ve ever been involved in a car accident, you might be familiar with how it works to report your accident to your insurance company. As part of the terms of service of your car insurance policy, you will report the accident to them promptly. Every insurance company has its own time period for reporting the claim. Regardless, you should notify them as soon as possible after any immediate medical needs have been addressed.
You either call the number on your insurance card or go online or use your insurance policy’s app. You provide your full name, insurance policy number, the expiration date of the policy, date and time of the accident, driver’s license and license plate numbers, and a general description of what happened. From there, the insurance company will begin processing your claim, and if necessary, arranging inspections or investigations.
What to Say and Not Say In Your Initial Call
- Say You’ve Been Injured: If you’ve been hurt, even if you are just feeling minor pain, you should tell the insurance company that an injury exists. Don’t diagnose your injury or classify it. Keep in mind that some injuries have delayed symptoms and how you’re feeling now might not be how you’ll feel the next day. If you say you just bumped your head slightly, but have debilitating headaches starting the next day, the insurance company may revert back to your statement about just bumping your head slightly, and try to discredit you.
- Don’t Give Written or Recorded Statements: You are not required to provide a recorded statement. Although some paperwork may be required to process your insurance claim, be very careful about what you are providing and make sure you understand how it may be used.
- Do Not Speculate: Stick to the facts only. Insurance adjusters may ask things casually, but remember they are collecting information, and they are incentivized to use that information to process your claim for as little as possible. Do not admit fault, speculate, or provide theories about what happened. Any inconsistencies or disproved theories may be used to discredit you later.
- Do Not Agree to a Quick Settlement Offer: You should never accept a settlement offer without talking to a knowledgeable and experienced car accident attorney first. Once you accept an offer, you waive all rights to go back for additional compensation, even if your injuries worsen.
Dana and Dana Attorneys at Law are available to help you after a car accident in Rhode Island and can provide guidance on these insurance communications, or in some cases, do the communicating for you. Contact us for a free consultation. Video and phone consultations are always available.