Dos and Don’ts for Filing an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident
You’re no doubt devastated and in a lot of pain after being hurt in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. It seems to add insult to injury when you must go through the process of filing an insurance claim. The Mississippi Insurance Department does offer helpful information for consumers, but these details aren’t always useful as guidance on what you need to do to protect your right to compensation. These dos and don’ts should provide some direction on how to handle your claim, but you should discuss your specific situation and options with a Biloxi, MS car accident attorney.
DO know the difference between a first party and third party claim. When you file a claim with your own insurance company to cover the costs after a car accident, you’re a first party claimant; a third party claim is one you submit to the other driver’s insurer. Mississippi is a “fault” state, which means you can turn to the at-fault party for compensation instead of your own. This is likely the preferred strategy, since it won’t affect your own insurance rates.
DON’T wait to file your claim after the accident. You should file your third party claim immediately after the car collision to preserve your rights. The statute of limitations on personal injury cases is three years, and you’re barred from filing a lawsuit after that time period passes.
DO take pictures and document the car accident. Pictures are powerful evidence in a car crash case, as they can help you prove fault and the extent of your injuries. You should also document the incident by jotting down notes about the weather conditions, traffic, where you were going, and any other details that may be important when filing your claim.
DON’T provide statements to the insurance company until you understand your rights. Anything you say to an agent when filing a third party claim may negatively impact your claim. You may accidentally reveal that you were slightly at fault, or that your injuries weren’t too serious. An agent can use these statements to reduce your compensation amount.
DO consult with a lawyer before signing any release or waiver. Even if you’re able to reach an agreement to settle your third party claim, you should have an attorney review all documents presented by the insurance company. You don’t want to unintentionally sign away your rights through a release or waiver you don’t fully understand.
A Biloxi Car Accident Lawyer Can Help with Insurance Claims
You put your right to compensation at risk by working the at-fault driver’s insurer on a third party claim, as these companies have access to extensive resources and legal teams. Plus, they have their eyes on company profits, not your best interests. At the Law Offices of Judy Guice in Biloxi, MS, our clients are our priority. We’re dedicated to ensuring you get the highest compensation you deserve under the law, so please contact our law offices today. Our auto accident lawyers are happy to answer your questions or set up a free case assessment to discuss your options.