Crash. Dust settles. Now, what? Whether you’ve found yourself in a car wreck, injured by someone else’s negligence or by a defective product, one of the first things you’ll do afterward is wade through the murky waters of different insurance claims. Before you jump in, it’s important to educate yourself on the typical protocol. But, don’t worry. Our team here at EHM can help!
If you’re in a truck or car wreck, you’ll need to report the wreck to your insurance company and the other person’s insurance as soon as possible. Both companies will want you to provide information about the cause, the fault, and the extent of damage or injury. Be aware, no matter how nice these companies are, their job is to pay only valid claims. But, more importantly to them, to pay as little as possible. The other person’s insurance will be looking for any crack or weakness in your statement to undervalue your claim. Be truthful, but very cautious in dealing with them.
You have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company in their investigation of the claim. As in all things, truthfulness is a must. Make sure you follow all the instructions of your insurance company. They could possibly deny your claim if you don’t follow each step just as they require.
It’s important to remember (especially in a car wreck) to take photos of the scene. Take photos before any vehicles are moved. Make sure all parties have had a chance to inspect your car before you get rid of it or repair it. If a defective product injured you, keep the product in a safe place and don’t let anyone tamper with it.
During this time, all the insurance companies will open investigations. This consists of reviewing liability to determine is responsible for causing the damages, reviewing injuries, calculating how much they have to pay.
Once your claim has been calculated, the insurance companies may begin offering to pay you for your injuries. If you decide the money they are offering is reasonable, you can accept. Be very cautious of signing anything. Once you sign a release, you likely give up any right to further payment from anyone even if you find more or different injuries. Often times, insurance companies will try to make a very low offer at the outset to try to get you to settle fast and cheap. Don’t let them rush you. You have time!
Every car wreck, injury from a defective product, or damage from a person’s negligence is very different. The suggestions here simply can’t be specific legal advice for your situation, and they aren’t intended to be. There are just too many unknowns. These suggestions can guide you, but getting fact-specific advice is a must! These differences and the myriad of traps in insurance claims are why we encourage people to seek out personal injury lawyers who deal with these issues every day. All you need is a team like EHM on your side. We handle personal injuries cases all over northwest Oklahoma.
We hope this information helps as a quick guide in helping you navigate the insurance and injury process. Give us call at (580) 234-4334, we’d love to discuss your case over a free consultation!