30 Tips to Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

Recover Auto Wreck Expenses: It is truly amazing the expenses you will incur after an auto accident takes place.

If you were injured, there will be medical bills, lost income from not being able to work, car repair expenses, and car rental fees.

Depending on how severe the accident, there may be additional expenses not included here.

What does a victim do to recover these expenses? After all, you were not at fault for the accident.

So why should you have the burden of all the costs associated with the event?

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Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

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1. Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

There are millions of car accident claims every year.

Getting the most out of your car accident claim from your insurance requires that you know a little about the process and the people involved.

The time period after a car accident can be filled with an overwhelming amount of stress.

With patience and organization during this time, you will be able to confidently navigate the claims process.

Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

2. Retain Legal Representation

The most important thing you can do after notifying your car insurance company of the event is hire a local car accident attorney to represent your case.

Hiring an attorney that is familiar with the area in which the accident occurred will be beneficial to your case.

Their familiarity with the area can be crucial to proving why the event was not your fault.

And determine if there are other parties responsible for the accident other than the other driver.

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3. Stay calm.

In order to maximize the amount that the insurance company will pay for your claim.

It is very important to pay attention at the scene of the car accident.

Getting into a car accident is a stressful situation, but try to stay calm.

Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

4. Check to see if anyone is injured.

If you or the other driver is injured, help as much as you can until paramedics arrive.

  • While you are not typically required by law to give it.
  • It is possible that an injured party could sue you for not helping them.
  • If it turns out that the accident is your fault.

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5. Call the police.

Make sure that the other driver or a witness has called the police.

Speak with the police and provide an honest statement about what happened.

  • Often, insurance adjusters will talk to police officers if there is any question on fault.
  • Not calling the police to the scene could reduce your insurance claim amount.

6. Do not argue with the other driver.

Even if you believe that the accident is completely their fault, do not yell or argue with the other driver.

Arguing with the other driver or letting your anger get the best of you will not fix your car.

Instead, it might make the other driver angry enough to blame the accident on you.

The other driver also might not cooperate with the insurance company.

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Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

7. Get the other driver’s information.

If you want to be compensated by the other driver, you must get the following information:

  • The other driver’s name and driver’s license number,
  • The other driver’s vehicle type and license plate number,
  • The name of the other driver’s car insurance company, and
  • The other driver’s insurance policy number.

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8. Check on the other driver’s insurance policy.

Usually, after a car accident, two or more insurance companies will potentially be involved in the claims process.

There will be an insurance company for each driver that was involved in the accident.

  • Make sure that the other driver’s policy isn’t expired. If the insurance policy is not under the driver’s name, get the insurance policy holder’s name and contact information.
  • You will use this contact information to get in touch with the other driver’s car insurance company. Then you will be able to start a car accident claim.

9. Keep a record of the accident.

As soon as possible after the accident, write down an account of the accident.

Make notes on how you believe the accident happened and any other details you remember from the crash.

For example, make sure that you write down the road conditions at the time of the accident, and exactly what you were doing when the accident occurred (i.e., I was stopped at a stop sign when the other car rear-ended me).

  • Take pictures of the scene. You can show these to your insurance company later. Use your phone or get your camera. If you don’t have access to either of these, ask a witness to take pictures.

10. Find witnesses.

Find people who saw the accident can confirm your story.

Ask for the witnesses to give you or the police a statement.

Get contact information from the witnesses to use if necessary.

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11. Go to the hospital.

Get checked by a doctor to document any injuries you may have received in the accident.

Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured, you should verify with a doctor.

  • Most major insurance companies use a software system called Colossus to determine your claim’s value.  The Colossus system is largely based on the contents of your medical records, and assign “severity points” to your injuries to determine how much you are entitled to. Broken bones and other easy-to-verify injuries are given a higher value. Soft tissue damage such as sprains and strains are given a lower value.
  • If you do not go to the hospital immediately after the accident, your claim will be given lower value.
  • The insurance company may ask you to visit a doctor of their choosing. You don’t need to visit their recommended doctor. In fact, you probably shouldn’t see someone who may be biased in favor of the insurance company.

12. Ask your doctor to evaluate you for accident-related injuries.

Certain types of injuries will increase your settlement.

The Colossus software will also take these into account.

These include:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Dizziness
  • Radiating pain
  • Headaches
  • Restriction of movement
  • Nausea
  • Vision impairment
  • Neurosis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

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13. Keep track of all medical treatments.

After your accident, make sure you keep careful documentation about all medical treatments you receive.

Treatments by specialists are given a higher value by the insurance company’s Colossus software system.

  • Document all physical therapy. Getting physical therapy for a period of 1-90 days is considered 1-3 months of treatment. When you have at least 91 days, you will be considered as receiving 3-6 months of treatment. The longer the treatment, the higher the settlement value.
  • Keep track of all medications. The Colossus system takes medication into account when determining settlement value.

14. Keep track of all expenses related to your accident.

It is important to document any costs or expenses that occurred as a result of the accident.

Keep all documentation in order, including receipts, reports, and estimates.

Put papers together in a file so that when you need them, they are easy to find.

  • Keep track of claim numbers and people with whom you have spoken.
  • Include missed work and medical costs. These should be part of the total settlement you receive, so include every related expense. This documentation can take the form of medical records or work excuses from your doctor or work supervisor.
  • If you plan to claim an expense as part of the damages or loss from your accident, you will need to provide documentation of the expense.

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15. Inform the Insurance Company

When you have been involved in a car accident, your insurance company.

Or the insurer of the at-fault driver, will begin making contact with you to start negotiating a settlement.

It is very important that you do not provide the insurance company with any type of written or oral statement prior to consulting with your attorney.

All information gathered in these statements will be used to reduce your settlement or have it denied.

16. Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

If the insurance company contacts you for a statement.

Politely inform them that you will need to speak to your attorney before providing any information to them.

If they say that it is harmless questions they have to ask.

Assure them that you will return the call after speaking to your lawyer.

While this may seem a little frustrating to them, it will protect your rights and your case.

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Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

17.Do not immediately describe the accident.

When you call the insurance company, tell them that you are starting a claim.

Do not give an exhaustive description of the accident.

  • However, if the other driver was clearly at fault in the accident, it is appropriate to briefly explain the circumstances. For instance, you can tell the adjuster that the other driver ran a red light. In this case, your insurance company can contact the insurance company that covers the other driver and being building a claim against the other driver.

18.Do not give names of witnesses.

Often, the insurance company will want to catch you off guard.

So you make a statement that might not help you.

  • For example, if you immediately disclose the identity of the witnesses to the accident.
  • The insurance company could go and speak to them and pressure them into changing their statements.

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19. Do not say that you were not injured.

You will not know whether you are injured until you see a doctor.

Even if you don’t think that you were hurt, do not tell the insurance adjuster.

If you discover later that you do have an injury from the crash.

The insurance adjuster can hold you to your past statement.

  • Instead, tell the insurance adjuster that you are unsure about the extent of any injuries.
  • Tell them that you will go to a doctor to get checked out.

20. Don’t immediately share your medical records.

An insurance company may want to go through your medical records to blame any injuries.

That you may have on something other than the car accident.

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Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

21. Don’t admit to any fault.

Even if you think that you may be slightly at fault in the accident.

Do not say that to the insurer when you call them.

The blame for the accident has not been determined yet.

If you make a statement indicating that you may be the one at fault.

It could be used against you by the insurance company at a later time.

  • This likely won’t matter if you live in one of the no fault auto insurance states.
  • Still, it can’t hurt to avoid admitting to fault.

22. Don’t give an estimate of damages.

Refrain from estimating what you think the damages from the accident may be.

If you estimate how much it will cost to repair your car.

This is what the insurance company will offer you.

If your repairs cost more, the company will not give you more.

  • The insurance company may suggest cheaper alternatives to repair your car, which will lower your overall settlement value. Make sure you get estimates for the same parts that were damaged on your car, not these cheaper alternatives.

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Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

23. Call the other driver’s insurance company.

If you do not live in a no fault state.

You may choose to choose to speak with the insurance company for the other driver.

You may do so in order to find out the terms of the other driver’s insurance policy.

This way, you will have a better idea of what you’re dealing with.

  • If the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
  • You may be able to get coverage from uninsured motorist coverage.

24. Expect an interview.

In most situations, the claims adjusters for both your insurance company.

And the other driver’s insurance company will want to interview you.

The adjuster will ask you questions about the accident.

  • This interview may happen over the phone.
  • If there is a local office, you might have an interview in person.

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25. Write down an explanation of what happened.

Before you have your interview with the insurance company.

Write down what happened in the accident.

This way, you will be able to clearly communicate your views without getting flustered.

By questions from the claims adjuster.

Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

26. Have documentation handy.

Bring any paperwork, receipts or other documentation that you have gathered relating to the accident.

If you’re talking over the phone, make sure to have all documentation handy.

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27. Get your adjuster’s name and phone number.

Get the name and direct number for the person who is assigned to your claim.

You will be talking to this person about your claim, so you should try to get to know them.

  • Knowing this person’s contact information will allow you to check on the status of your claim.

28. Be polite and friendly when talking with the insurance representative.

Even though dealing with an insurance company.

Especially after a car accident, can be stressful, be sure to remain polite.

Angering the person who is handling your insurance claim can slow down the settlement process.

This may reduce your chances for a large settlement.

  • You want the insurance adjuster to be on your side.
  • At the very least, don’t give him a reason to place your claim at the bottom of the pile.

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Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

29. Frame certain factors in your favor.

Each car accident is different and presents different circumstances.

So insurance companies do not have a precise mathematical formula that they use to determine the settlement amount.

However, there are certain factors that the insurance company considers when determining a settlement value.

When talking with your claims adjuster, describe these factors in your favor.

These factors include:

  • The type and nature of the property damage from the accident:
  • Talk about how your car was damaged by the other driver’s negligence.
  • Whether or not an injury is involved: Talk about your own injuries, medications, and therapies.

30. Watch out for “blaming” questions.

During the settlement process, the fault of the accident has not been allocated.

However, the insurance company may try to ask questions that force you to admit that the accident was your fault.

  • Being found to be “at fault” for a car accident will increase the costs of your insurance payments going forward, even though your insurance company will pay for the costs of the accident.
  • For example, the company may ask you something like, “How could you have avoided the accident?” You should respond, “The accident could not have been avoided because the other driver hit my car when I was stopped,” or something similar that fits with your situation.
  • If you are responsible in any way for the accident, the evidence will show this. But don’t assume you are responsible from the outset. This will lower the value of your settlement.

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31. Focus on the other driver’s conduct.

Focus your answers on the other driver in the accident.

This will help you avoid “blaming questions,” instead emphasizing the other driver’s conduct.

  • For example, don’t say “Driver X and I were in a car accident.” Instead, say, “Driver X hit my car when I was stopped at the intersection.”

Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

32. Don’t speculate about causes.

If the adjuster asks you questions that you do not know the answers to, simply communicate that.

Do not speculate about the cause of the accident.

  • If you don’t know an answer or don’t remember something from the accident, just say, “I’m not sure,” or “I don’t remember.”

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33. Don’t feel pressured to take the first settlement offer.

It is likely that the insurance company could offer you a settlement quickly.

In hopes that you do not realize the extent of your possible damages.

  • While settling quickly may save you some convenience, you may end up paying out of pocket if the settlement doesn’t fully cover your medical bills, car repairs or other costs from the accident.
  • Do not accept a settlement until you know for sure what all of your costs will be.

34. Ask the insurance company to send offers in writing.

If the insurance company offers you a settlement right away.

Ask that they mail the offer in writing.

This way, you will still have to agree to the settlement later.

You won’t feel pressured to make a split-second decision.

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35. Hire a local attorney

It is even more important to hire a local attorney if you are from out of state when the accident occurs.

Personal injury law is regulated on a state level.

And you will need an attorney that is familiar with the laws of the state.

In which the accident occurred so that you can receive full and fair compensation.

Once you hire an attorney, they will discuss with you the types of compensation you may be entitled to under state law for the accident.

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This may include one or more of the following types of compensation:

– Car rental fees

– Pain and suffering

– Loss of consortium

– Medical expenses both current and future

– Car repair expenses or replacement of vehicle

– Damages for personal items damaged during the accident

– Retraining for new employment if you have become disabled

– Lost wages both current and future that is the result of your injuries

There may also be other things that you can claim compensation for under the laws of the state in which the accident occurred.

You will also need to actively track other expenses that may be associated with the case.

Which include mileage costs to and from medical appointments.

Cost of medical supplies purchased over-the-counter.

And other miscellaneous expenses that your attorney will tell you to track.

36. Don’t rush into a settlement.

While it may be tempting to hurry your settlement along, rushing can result in a lower settlement.

You may not receive the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled.

Make sure you take care of yourself and address any medical issues relating to your accident before agreeing to a settlement offer.

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Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

37. Make sure you have car insurance.

All states require every registered vehicle or licensed driver to have some vehicle liability insurance.

  • Even if it was not required by law, drivers should purchase liability coverage to protect them in the event of a car accident.
  • Twelve states have no fault auto insurance. In most cases, in these states, you will only be making claims to your insurance companies.

38. Look at the types of damages covered by your policy.

If you are at fault in a car accident, your car insurance pays for the damages that you cause to the other driver through liability insurance and pays for any damage to your car or yourself through collision insurance.

  • Liability insurance covers bodily injury expenses including medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and lost wages. It also covers property damage expenses including the repair or replacement of anything belonging to the other driver of the car.
  • While usually only the car itself is damaged in an accident, property damage can include items that were damaged in the car.
  • Most people have a comprehensive plan that incorporates both of these types of insurance.

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Recover Auto Wreck Expenses

39. Avoid negligent driving.

You cannot recover money from an insurance company unless “liability” exists.

To show liability, you must show that the other driver was “negligent,” .

Which means the other driver was careless.

You don’t want to be the negligent driver.

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40. Some examples of driver negligence are:

  • Not seeing another vehicle that should have been seen
  • Following too closely
  • Driving too fast for the circumstances (weather, visibility, etc.)
  • Making an unsafe turn
  • Disobeying traffic signals or signs
  • Talking on the phone/texting while driving
  • Rear-ending another car
  • Some states have negligence laws that may reduce your claim.
  • If both you and the other driver contributed to the cause of the accident, your claim may be completely defeated and the insurance company will not have to pay anything, or reduced in amount.

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