Car accident patients often ask how they can help support their personal injury claim. Of course, every collision is different which means there is not one simple answer. However, there are a few simple pitfalls to avoid after any motorcycle, car or semi-truck accident. Simple mistakes can lead to prolonged recovery and pain, and could damage your personal injury case.
Time is not on your side after any accident
For starters, you should always remember that time is very important after any automobile accident. Better said, the insurance company will keep track of everything you do after your car wreck. They will know if you seek treatment or if you choose to delay medical care. Moreover, your personal injury claim will be largely measured by the decisions you make in the weeks and months following your accident.
On the other hand, you can utilize your limited time to create a bullet proof case supported by pictures, documentation and medical care. A good injury clinic will carefully document all of your injuries, any treatment provided and is prepared to represent your case in court. While most injury claims get settled long before court, you should always be prepared for all worst-case scenarios.
How to satisfy the Insurance Company after your accident
As mentioned, the insurance company will patiently watch all of your actions after your collision. Documentation is going to be your best defense when dealing with the insurance company. For this reason, we recommend starting an accident journal, taking pictures of everything at the accident scene and always request a copy of the accident report. Following these simple steps will satisfy the insurance company and helps support your injury claim.
With this in mind, the most important step you can take after any car wreck is to seek medical care from a team of Doctors, not just a chiropractor. Proper documentation will outline your current and future medical needs, and substantiates the pain and suffering involved. Generally speaking, your personal injury claim will be based on your pain and suffering, and the medical care received.
Delays and Gaps for Car Accidents
Let’s start with delays in medical car after a car wreck. Obviously, the insurance company will be interested to see if you are truly injured after your collision. Failure to seek treatment sends a signal that you may not be injured, and therefore will not require a large personal injury case. Seeking medical care will help satisfy the insurance company and provide documentation for your personal injury claim.
Next, we need to discuss gaps in treatment after your collision. Missing Doctor appointments will be labeled a “gap” in your treatment. Similar to delayed treatment, gaps could damage your personal injury case. Moreover, gaps in treatment commonly lead to prolonged pain and suffering. Make sure to contact your Doctor if you need to reschedule an appointment, and document the reasons behind any missed appointment.
Seeking medical treatment could be the best thing you can do to help build and support your personal injury claim. We all know that time is limited after any collision, and the insurance company is not kind when it comes to delays or gaps in medical care. Also, make sure that your Doctor understands the documentation required for collision injuries, and is willing to explain your treatment in court.
What if I already have a gap in treatment after my car wreck?
To begin, seeking immediate medical care is the most important thing you can do after any car wreck. However, you can still get treatment if you have postponed medical care but the limits largely depend on your state. For example, California allows up to two years to file an insurance claim. Whereas, Florida and Utah allow up to four years to file and several states give as long as six years to file a personal injury claim. You should always check the insurance claim limits in your state if your accident was more than one year old.
With this in mind, there are situations where your claim could be denied outside of delays in treatment. Common reasons for accident claim denials include:
Insurance Fraud – This commonly involves lying to the insurance company. Fraud may lead to your claim being denied, discontinued coverage and possibly legal problems.
Insufficient Coverage – The insurance company will not provide coverage beyond your policy limits. Make sure that you understand your policy limits and what is covered.
Excluded Drivers – There are situations where a driver is explicitly excluded from operating a vehicle. In this case, you could be personally liable if an excluded driver is found at fault while driving your vehicle.
Delayed Filing – Failure to report an accident may jeopardize your claim as the insurance company cannot properly investigate the car wreck.
Non-Payment of Insurance Premiums – Your automobile insurance coverage could be dropped or limited due to late or missing payments.
DUI and/or DWI – Your insurance company may limit or deny your claim if you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated.
However, you still have rights if you feel that your claim was unfairly limited or denied by the insurance company. For starters, contact your insurance company to report the appeal. Many well-known insurance companies will have an appeal process in place. Your second option is to contact the insurance commission in your state. And finally, you can always contact an attorney who specializes in Personal Injury Claims.
Common Insurance Questions
Notifying the Insurance Company – Every car wreck is different, which is why it is up to you to seek treatment and file an insurance claim. However, you should always notify your insurer if any of the parties involved sustained notable property loss or physical damage. Otherwise, you can always get an estimate before filing a claim with your insurance company.
Will my insurance rates rise? – The general answer is yes; your rates are calculated based on your risk of being involved in a car collision. Stated differently, the insurance company believes that one accident is oftentimes a sign of future accidents, regardless of who was at fault. For example, the average premium rate increased by $98 per year after a no-fault collision in 2017.
Single Car Accidents – Single car accidents such as backing into a pole or sliding off the road do not always require an insurance claim. As a common rule, if the damage to your vehicle and/or personal injuries are greater than your deductible, then you should generally submit a claim.
Multi-Car Accidents – Many automobile collisions involve more than two vehicles, making it difficult to identify the at-fault party. Make sure to get a copy of the accident report as this will identify the at-fault driver and helps keep all parties honest after the collision.
Uninsured Drivers – Uninsured drivers are handed differently depending on where you live. For example, Florida provides up to $10,000 in PIP coverage for all accident passengers, regardless of who was at fault. However, many states will default to the conditions of your automobile accident insurance policy. Call today if you have questions regarding the uninsured policy limits in your specific state.
In summary, all accident victims have rights after any car wreck. However, it is up to you to seek the help you need and deserve after any car wreck. Contact us today if you or someone you love were injured in a car, semi-truck or motorcycle accident. Our network of Doctors understands how to treat and document complicated collision injuries, and we accept all forms of third party billing.