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Five Factors That Affect Car Insurance Claims

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Five Factors That Affect Car Insurance Claims

Photo by Vlad Deep on Unsplash

Do you know anyone who has been driving for more than five years and hasn’t had a motor vehicle accident of some sort? Even something as simple as reversing into a lamppost, or somebody else driving into you.

If you haven’t experienced a car accident where you were the driver, then chances are it’s going to happen sooner or later.

Now those minor accidents might not matter too much if you don’t take all the correct steps in the process of a car insurance claim. After all, if your vehicle was the only one involved and you backed into your fence at 5 miles an hour, the damage may cost less to repair than your insurance deductible.

If you are slow to make your car insurance claim, you may find delays getting financially compensated, but also be without a vehicle, you may be facing public transport costs and hassles. And when you do get a new vehicle, your insurance premiums might have increased.

But when a collision results in repairs costing thousands of dollars, and if one or more people suffer injuries that need hospital attention, then this accident starts getting extremely serious, very quickly.

Knowing these five factors that make a strong car accident claim could save you, or make you, a lot of money. At the same time, it will also reduce a lot of stress.

1. Who is at fault?

Never, never, never, admit you are at fault.

Even if it seems blatantly obvious you caused the accident never accept fault in the heat of the moment.

You might feel that is being dishonest, but it is in fact, being practical.

Your insurance policy will state that you should never accept fault and doing so could risk voiding your insurance policy. That could mean you are faced with all the damages and any additional costs, like medical fees for anyone injured and loss of income while they can’t work.
Plus, you are not an expert on assessing fault.

It might turn out the traffic lights were faulty, or the other driver was under the influence of an illegal substance, or a mechanical fault meant your car didn’t stop as soon as it should. Or any one of thousands of other reasons

2. How severe were the injuries?

The more severe the injury and the longer it might keep you off work, the more the amount of money you can claim. But even minor injuries like a twisted ankle can incur medical costs and might keep you off work for an extended period if your occupation involves driving.

3. How quickly did you seek medical help?

Even if you feel fine after the accident, get a check-up as soon as possible.

Insurance companies’ marketing indicates they are in the business of paying claims. The reality is they will pay 100% of all eligible claims, but only if they have to. If they can find any reason to decline a claim or pay less, they will quickly grasp the opportunity.

A delay in seeking medical assistance gives the insurer the chance to say your injuries were caused by something else.

4. Be careful what you say and write when describing the accident.

I once described a car accident as applying my brakes and skidding into the other vehicle. By skidding I meant my vehicle still travelled further after applying the brakes.

The other drivers’ insurer took this as an admission of speeding or reckless driving and counter-claimed to make me appear 100% at fault.

The outcome was a decision that both drivers were 50% at fault and I was stuck paying for all my repairs when the other driver had cut the corner and left me with no way to avoid a collision.

Never say or write anything that might appear to imply you are at fault, never say you were uninjured, and never provide a recorded or written statement detailing your version of events.

5. Did you suffer permanent damage from the accident?

Injuries with permanent damage will usually result in higher settlements.

I had a friend who was in a motorcycle accident and had both small toes amputated. While the loss of those particular toes has never prevented him from doing what he has wanted to do, those toes are never going to grow back!

Finally, after the accident, seek medical treatment first, then get legal representation.

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