When you get your vehicle back after an accident depends on several factors. First, how soon did you start the process of opening a claim and getting your vehicle repaired? In the aftermath of an accident, it is easy to put this off but paying mind to your vehicle repair in the midst of everything else will get you rolling again sooner.
The shop you choose will also make a difference. We usually recommend against body shops under contract with the insurance company because these businesses usually depend on volume from referrals rather than building a base of customers. In our experience, this has tended to slow down the process of repair.
This is important: When you open your property damage claim, don’t discuss your injuries. Property damage claims are almost always much more clear-cut than personal injury claims, and the insurance company is going to try much harder to avoid paying out a fair settlement for your injury claim than your property damage claim.
This accident claim mistake is easy to make and hard to recover from
After your accident, you’ll be contacted by a claims adjuster. They will most likely pressure you into signing a release form that, if you sign it, doesn’t hold the adjuster’s company liable for your medical care resulting from the accident (though the language used is deliberately confusing and the adjuster certainly won’t be up front with you about this.) Do not sign this document, or anything else from the insurance adjuster! You are much better off talking to an attorney experienced in trying auto accident cases before signing anything from the insurance company. They will use every dirty trick in the book to lowball your settlement, leaving you on the hook for potentially thousands of dollars down the road. Many times, you can walk away from an auto accident feeling okay, while pain from your injuries takes a week or more to be felt. This is a common occurrence, and unfortunately, many have unknowingly signed away their right to be fairly compensated for their loss by the time they realize how serious their injuries really were.
Do you have questions about what to do in the aftermath of an accident? We’d love to give you some answers. Give us a call at 206-285-1743.