Wednesday March 24th 2021
Every car accident is a stressful and overwhelming experience for those involved. But sometimes it is impossible to avoid an accident. As the average US adult, you have likely three to four car accidents during your lifetime, whether or not the accident is your fault. So it is a good idea to know exactly what steps to take as a result.
Talking to your insurance company is part of this process. The idea sounds intimidating to many, while others assume that a car accident automatically leads to higher monthly premiums and additional repair costs. Whether that is true or not depends very much on the facts that affect each individual accident. Asking specific questions to your insurance company after the crash will give you a clearer picture of what to expect in the future.
WHY SHOULD I TALK TO MY INSURANCE COMPANY?
Most auto insurance policies require you to tell the insurance company if you’ve had an accident, regardless of who is to blame. Failure to do so could cause problems with your coverage for this crash. If the other person involved in the accident sues you, that sudden lack of coverage means you can pay the damage out of pocket.
Below are some of the most important things to discuss with your auto insurer. Remember that, ideally, you have previously submitted a police report, taken photos of the scene of the accident, collected testimony and other evidence, and most importantly, received the information from the other driver. You will need all of these when you speak to your insurance company.
When you are armed with this information, move on to the following questions:
WHAT DOES MY INSURANCE COVER?
That depends on the type of insurance plan you bought. Illinois law requires all state-registered motor vehicles to be covered for liability damages. Liability is that part of your insurance that says your insurance company will pay a certain amount (as set by your contract) if you are at fault in an accident and are sued. In general, you want to have as much liability insurance as possible.
Collision insurance covers damage to your own car if you get into an accident. Illinois state law doesn’t require you to have this, but getting it is a good idea.
IF I AM INJURED, WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY BILLS?
Your health insurance coverage, also called MedPay, will help you pay for either you or your passengers if either of you is injured in a car accident. As soon as this amount is used up, you pay the rest out of pocket.
For example, if you have a MedPay provision of $ 5,000 and your medical bills from the accident total $ 3,000, MedPay will cover the entire cost. Conversely, if MedPay covers $ 5,000 and your bills total $ 6,000, the remaining $ 1,000 difference will be pulled out of your own pocket.
WHAT SHOULD I REPORT?
One of the reasons it’s so important to collect photos, notes, and testimony after an accident is that your insurance company needs all of this information. You want to know the date and time of the crash, as well as the road conditions, weather, and any surrounding events such as unusually heavy traffic.
It is important that you also include the other driver’s information, including name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance information.
SHOULD I TALK TO THE OTHER PERSON’S INSURANCE COMPANY?
Avoid talking to the other driver’s insurance company and never sign or agree to any document you receive. As a rule of thumb, you should communicate strictly with your own insurance company and let your attorney speak to the other driver’s transport company.
Pinpointing a bug in a car accident can sometimes be tricky. If you believe the other person caused the accident, it is best to discuss your case with an experienced auto accident attorney. In Illinois, you have two years to file a claim for damages. However, sooner is better when it comes to taking this step.
© 2021 by Clifford Law Offices PC. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 83