Over 60 Years of Combined Experience In personal injury Law
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Like other companies related to the financial industry, many are struggling to maintain profits and avoid losses. As a result, many insurance companies work to reduce the amount of money paid in claims. For these reasons, policyholders should not assume that their insurance agent is their friend or looking out for their interest. After an accident, it's important to protect your rights and hold your insurer to the terms of your policy.
In order to avoid being taken advantage of, we've provided the following tips that can help you protect your interests and rights after an accident.
Understand The Terms Of Your Policy
Don't assume you can call your insurance agent and have them identify terms in your policy that will allow you to recover all of your medical expenses, property loss, and lost wages. If you were hit by an uninsured/underinsured driver, your insurer may not even explain what your uninsured/underinsured coverage can be used for.
Additionally, since California is a comparative negligence state, your insurer can decrease your claims pay out by the percentage amount of your fault. If you don't understand the range of your policy coverage when you are partially at fault, you could end up telling your insurer something that they use against you to deny your claim.
Don't Accept An Offer For Your Totaled Car
If you accept a settlement from an insurer for your damaged car, you relinquish ownership rights of it. The insurance company can take possession of the car — and the evidence it contains — and destroy it. Once this happens, any evidence your car contained that could have been used to establish fault in your accident will have vanished.
Don't Release Your Medical Records
If an insurer asks you to release your medical records, refer them to your attorney. If you release your medical records, a doctor for the insurer will likely review them searching for a pre-existing condition or medical issue they can use to dispute your claim.
Avoid Providing A Statement To An Insurance Agent
An insurance claims adjuster will want to talk to you about your accident. While this may seem like standard operating protocol, insurance claims adjusters may record your statement. They also are interested in gathering any information that might implicate you in causing the accident. If a police report was filed, refer a claims adjuster to the police report and your attorney.