This past July, Katie Holmes and her daughter Suri Cruise were in a minor accident in New York City when a garbage truck hit their chauffeur-driven Mercedes. Minor accidents such as this — with or without the chauffeur — are common in New York, and it is important to know how to deal with your insurance company when making a claim.
Research shows that NYC residents are 41% more likely than the average American to get into a car accident. Since most people are involved in accidents at least once every 10 years, there is no reason not to know how to best handle the claims process:
Review your insurance policy now. It is crucial that you understand what your policy covers and what it doesn’t.
Immediately after a crash. If you were not seriously injured, use your cell phone to take pictures of the damage, the scene of the accident, license plates and injuries (if any). Always call 911 and get a police officer to come to the scene. A police report will be helpful with your claim.
Report the accident to your insurance company immediately. Most insurance companies will deny a claim if the accident isn’t promptly reported. Be ready to provide them with basic information such as what happened and the names and insurance information of everyone involved.
Don’t admit any degree of fault. Insurance companies are more concerned about their bottom line than your well-being. Never admit fault, and don’t discuss the accident in depth with them. Don’t record a statement without consulting your attorney first.
Keep records. Maintain a notebook with all paperwork concerning the case, including the police report, photographs, vehicle repairs, medical records and billing. Keep a log of the dates you spoke with your insurance company, the name of the representative you spoke to, and a summary of what the call was about.
Don’t accept their settlement. Don’t readily accept a settlement offer from an insurance company — it is most likely far less than what you are entitled to receive.
Our attorneys are experienced with insurance issues and can make sure that you collect what you deserve. Calling our office as soon as the accident occurs may be the best way to handle your insurance company.
Posted in Personal Injury
Tagged car accident, claims process, insurance claim, personal injury attorneys