The Dos and Don’ts of Orlando Auto Accident Insurance Claims

Author: Hanson & Hanson/Thursday, March 13, 2014/Categories: Auto Accidents

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The laws that govern automobile accidents in Orlando are strict, however, some drivers choose not to follow them. If you’ve been in involved in a car accident, you might be interested in reading about our Dos and Don’ts of automobile accident claims in Orlando.

The Dos

Do call your agent as soon as a covered event tThe Dos and Don’ts of Orlando Auto Accident Insurance Claimsakes place. As soon as you get home from the car accident, or even before you go to the doctor, call your agent.

Do review and understand your coverage before talking to your insurer or your agent. Read the "Coverage" and "Exclusion" sections of you policy in particular.

Do take and keep detailed notes of all conversations with insurance company representatives, and get names, phone numbers, and job titles of people you speak with, including their supervisor's name.

Do consider whether you might have insurance coverage under some other insurance policy as well. Many people have more than one policy that might cover a claim. In particular, look at homeowner policies, "umbrella" policies, and materials that came with your credit cards.

Do take pictures, if possible. That doesn't mean you should sneak a "PatientCam" into surgery with you, but take pictures of your destroyed vehicle or injuries if you can.

Do be honest and forthcoming with your insurer. Even if it is embarrassing, it is better if your insurer knows all the facts. Failing to be candid with your insurer might invalidate your policy or cause a denial of coverage.

The Don'ts

Don't give any recorded or written statements to your insurer outside the presence of your attorney. Remember you are not required to allow the insurance company to record your telephone conversation. If you have doubts, do consult an attorney.

Don't automatically accept the estimate or appraisal of your losses given to you by the insurer. Insurance companies will often try to get you to accept their estimator's or contractor's repair or replacement estimates, which might be a bit low. DON'T sign any releases or waivers of any kind until you obtain legal advice. A bad financial situation after a major loss may make it seem necessary for you accept a premature, inadequate settlement from your insurer. But you may remember destroyed items after you have signed a release as to payment for your personal property inventory or other claims. For these reasons, it is advisable to consult an attorney before signing a release or waiver. Be sure to read the fine print on any payment from the insurance company.

Don't accept any check that says "final payment" unless you are ready to do so.

Don't ignore time limits set by your own insurance policy. Most policies require a signed proof of loss within a certain time limit. Be sure you comply with this requirement unless you obtain a written waiver from your insurance company. Many policies allow you only one year from the date of loss in which to bring a legal action if your claim has not been adjusted fairly. If your claim has not been settled to your satisfaction eleven months after your loss, consult an attorney immediately. A failure to do so could result in the loss of your right to sue.

Don't forget that you have a contract with your insurer. Your insurer has a legal obligation to provide the coverage it promised to you. Be insistent about enforcing that obligation.

Contact Hanson & Hanson's Central Florida Car Attorneys via phone at 407-872-1212 today for your free initial consultation.  We have Orlando Auto Accident Lawyers ready to meet with you now! We serve Auto Accident Victims in Lake, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.

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