After getting into a minor car accident, many people wonder if they still need to tell their insurance carrier about it. The truth is that you should always let your insurer know about the incident. If you fail to notify them within the time frame specified in your policy, then they could deny a claim that you file or that someone else files related to the incident. These time frames are often as short as 72 hours.
Because your coverage could be denied, you are left in a vulnerable position where you could end up facing the full financial burden for your injury or someone else’s.
Many people think that they will not have to file a claim at the time of a minor accident, only to realize that they were hurt worse than they thought after the shock had worn off. You should, therefore, notify your insurer of any incident where you think it might be possible that you or someone else might file a related claim.
You can also work with a Portland car accident lawyer to ensure that your own injuries are covered when you are injured through the fault of another driver. Learn more about how car insurance works and why a minor incident might not be so minor by reading on.
When You Should Notify Your Insurer After a Car Accident
Rather than face a possible claim denial, you should inform your insurance of an accident within 72 hours of it happening under most circumstances. Your insurance policy likely has notification deadlines for any incidents, meaning that if you neglect to notify them within the deadline, you could be dropped or even face penalties.
Scenarios, where you should always notify your insurer without question, are ones where any party involved has a possible injury. Even minor injuries can turn out to be major within a short period of time. Car accidents transmit huge amounts of force into the bodies of drivers and passengers, so a sore neck can turn out to be something much worse within a few days.
You should also contact your insurance company for any incident in which you intend to file against someone else’s liability insurance. Even though their insurer will be the one reimbursing you, your own insurance often has a set of procedures it must follow to acknowledge that they would not be the ones to cover the damages for the accident.
Another time you should always contact your insurance company is when there is significant damage to either car. Once again, your insurance company may not end up paying anything for the incident, but they have to know about it to continue covering you and sometimes even to let you access the other party’s insurance coverage.
Be Wary of Talking to Other Drivers’ Insurers, Consider a Portland Car Accident Lawyer
While being honest and giving all the details to your own insurer is good practice, you should think strategically when dealing with someone else’s insurance policy. Give them only the most basic details about yourself and the incident. If you do not feel comfortable answering a question, you can say that the information is being withheld pending an ongoing investigation.
Having a Portland car accident attorney at your side to give you counsel before talking to insurers can help you avoid mistakes and make more strategic moves. Since you want to recover as much money as possible for any injuries you get from a car accident, their counsel can be crucial for your claim.
If you have been injured in a car accident, you can contact Lowry & Associates today at 207-775-3819 or fill out our free case review form. You will receive a free case review and could potentially start filing your claim today.