The aftermath of an Alabama car wreck can be as disorienting and confusing as the accident itself. This is especially true as you deal with insurance companies and attempt to have your claim paid. If you are not careful, your claim could be denied, leaving you to face the costs of your accident alone.

Having your insurance claim paid promptly is crucial to getting your car repaired or replaced. Unfortunately, there are a number of missteps you can inadvertently make that prolong the processing of your claim or potentially lead to a denial. The top 10 mistakes include:

Mistakes to Avoid with Car Insurance After a Wreck

1. Not Reporting the Accident to Your Insurer

You may have various reasons for not wanting to call your insurance company after a car crash. However, it is crucial that you do so. Reporting accidents involving you or your vehicle can be a material term of your policy. Your insurance carrier could cancel your coverage and deny any claims filed in connection with the accident.

2. Giving a Recorded Statement

Most insurance companies want a recorded statement from you after an accident. They will specifically want you to describe the details of the accident and your injuries. By recording your statement, the insurer locks you into a version of events that they can then try to disprove. If they are successful, the insurer may deny your claim. 

3. Saying You Are Okay After a Wreck

When you speak to an insurance agent about your claim, they will likely ask how you feel. This is not a question fueled by genuine concern for your welfare. Instead, if you say that you are doing “okay” or “not bad,” the insurer can use this statement to limit the amount of compensation paid on your claim. You should also avoid saying that you:

  • Are doing better
  • Are feeling alright
  • Just have a stiff neck
  • Have had worse days

Instead, accurately describe the pain and symptoms you are experiencing. Avoid using any language that minimizes your injuries. You also shouldn’t exaggerate them.

4. Giving Away All Your Medical Records

The insurer processing your claim may also ask to see your medical records and request that you sign a release. Read the release carefully before signing. Some releases allow insurers access to all your medical records, even those that have nothing to do with your accident. These records can expose preexisting conditions, leading the insurer to deny your claim.

5. Failing to Return Calls in a Timely Manner

Once you submit a claim, a claims adjuster from the insurance company will contact you with additional questions. Do not ignore this phone call. Either you or your lawyer will need to cooperate with the adjuster’s investigation for your claim to proceed. If you do not speak with the adjuster, your claim will likely be denied and closed.

6. Not Making Your Car Available for Inspection

As a part of processing your claim, the adjuster will need to examine your vehicle and see the damage. If your car is in your possession, the adjuster should try to schedule a convenient time to look at the car’s damage. If you do not allow them to do so, the insurer will not process your claim.

7. Seeking Payment From the Wrong Insurer

Alabama is an at-fault car accident state. This means that the insurer of the driver who caused the crash pays for the damages. If you did not cause the accident, you should file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. Conversely, if you caused the accident, then you need to file your claim with your own insurer.

8. Saying You Are Sorry or Made a Mistake

When discussing the accident, refrain from admitting fault or expressing remorse. It is the insurance companies’ job to determine who was at fault and how the accident happened. Any apology or admission of wrongdoing will be considered an admission of liability.

9. Settling Your Claim for Too Little

The insurance companies will likely attempt to negotiate the amount it will pay on your claim. Be firm about the compensation you need. Do not accept a settlement that is too low. If you are uncomfortable standing up to the insurer’s haggling, enlist the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer.

10. Not Filing a Claim in Time

Search for “file car claim after an accident in Alabama,” and you will see how little time you have to file your claim. The statute of limitations requires that you file a car accident claim within two years of the car accident. However, you should consider filing your claim much sooner. The faster you file your claim, the greater the likelihood that evidence will be available and witnesses can be contacted to support your claim.

Consider Joining AlaWreck as a Service Provider

Are you an auto insurance provider licensed to operate in Alabama? If so, and if you enjoy helping Alabama drivers protect themselves and recover following accidents, consider joining AlaWreck as one of our service providers. It is a great way to promote your business and help Alabamians simultaneously.

Drivers in Alabama looking for quality auto insurance options will see you and be able to contact you about your products and services. In the event of a car wreck, you can help them recover and put the pieces of their lives back together. Connect with AlaWreck to learn more about becoming a service provider with us.

Turn to AlaWreck for Comprehensive Help Following an Alabama Auto Accident

Car accidents can be difficult and intimidating, and things do not always get better once the accident is over. Dealing with insurance companies and filing claims can be equally intimidating. AlaWreck is here to help you get the information you need to take decisive action. We provide you with:

Visit AlaWreck today for assistance navigating the aftermath of your accident.

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