After an accident, one of the first things most Bristol drivers do is file car accident claims so they can recover compensation for their damages. Unfortunately, though, many people hold beliefs about insurance claims that are untrue which can ultimately diminish or completely cancel a claim.
8 Myths about Car Accident Claims
Below are eight common myths about Pennsylvania car accident claims:
- All drivers can recover pain and suffering damages – Like many myths, this one comes from a half-truth. Pennsylvania is a choice no-fault auto insurance state where drivers are required to carry both liability insurance and medical benefits coverage. After an accident, each driver can file a medical benefits claim with his or her own insurer to cover medical bills. Your ability to file a tort claim against the other driver for pain and suffering depends on fault, your injuries and whether you have limited or full tort on your policy.
- I shouldn’t go to the hospital after an accident – Medical care is important for your health, but also for your car accident claim. Insurers may question your injuries if you didn’t receive medical care immediately or shortly after the accident. Even for minor accidents, you should seek medical evaluation. If you suffered minor injuries or even if you don’t feel injured, still seek evaluation and treatment from your primary care doctor shortly after the accident.
- I must give a statement to an insurance company – It’s a good idea to deny the insurer’s requests for recorded statements and interviews immediately after the accident. Insurers may use these statements to trick claimants into admitting fault in an accident or to downplay injuries. Talk to your attorney before giving any statement beyond the basic facts of the accident.
- I must sign forms authorizing the release of my medical history to the insurance company – You don’t have to release your entire medical history to the insurance adjuster. The adjuster will need to see evidence of treatment for your current injuries, but this need is limited to medical records related to the accident. Insurers might use other medical records to search for reasons to deny the claim. Ask your attorney before releasing any medical records.
- I will receive the balance of my car loan for my totaled vehicle – Insurers compensate drivers for totaled vehicles based on fair market value before the accident. If you owe more money on the vehicle than the fair market value, your GAP coverage, if you have it on your policy, can cover the difference.
- I don’t need a police report for my accident – Report even minor accidents to obtain a police report. These can be important pieces of evidence in a liability insurance claim to establish what happened as well as another driver’s fault and liability.
- I don’t need to consult an attorney – If you suffered serious injuries or are having trouble recovering fair compensation from an insurer, an attorney can be helpful. Insurance companies have a financial motivation to reduce payouts. Your lawyer can help you recognize insurance adjusters’ tricks and negotiate a fair settlement.
- I will get the same settlement as my friend, co-worker or family member – Each insurance settlement is based on the damages in the accident, and when filing a liability claim, the claimant’s percentage of fault. Depending on the extent of the damages and your fault, your settlement could differ from that of a friend or family member.
Need an attorney? Call Cordisco & Saile LLC
Consulting with an attorney is a good way to protect your car accident claim if you suffered significant damages. An attorney can assess the circumstances of your case and offer professional advice on how to proceed. Cordisco & Saile LLC is ready to help with your car accident case in Bristol or nearby communities. Contact our office at 215-642-2335 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.