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What to do when making an insurance claim after a car crash

A car crash has the potential to cause serious injury, while also impacting your mental health. The best way to protect against the longstanding impact of an accident is to receive immediate medical attention.

Once you understand your injuries and have a treatment plan to follow, it's time to contact your insurance agent. This sounds simple enough, especially if you have a good relationship, but there are a variety of challenges awaiting.

Here are five things you want to do when filing an insurance claim after a car crash:

  • Don't wait: It's okay to turn your immediate attention to receiving treatment, but once you're able to do so it's critical to file a claim. If nothing else, get on the phone with your agent so you can get the wheels in motion.
  • Review your policy: Don't let your agent tell you what type of coverage you have. Review your policy to ensure that you understand what you've been paying for. This will help you fight for every last dollar during the claims process, while also protecting your legal rights.
  • Take notes: Any time you speak with an insurance representative, write down their name, number, date and time of the call and what you discussed. This can help prevent disagreements in the future about what was and wasn't said.
  • Collect evidence and documentation: Evidence related to the accident itself, such as photos of the scene and a copy of the police report, is helpful. The same holds true for documentation such a medical records and doctor bills.
  • Stand your ground: You don't have to be overly aggressive with your insurance company, but make it known early on that you won't be pushed around. You understand the details of your policy and what you're entitled to, so there's no good reason to let your insurance company take advantage of you.

It's your hope that you're able to make a full recovery, while working with your insurance company to process your claim and receive the compensation you deserve.

Unfortunately, insurance companies will make you work for every last dollar, so it's critical to understand your policy, legal rights and the steps you can take to give yourself the upper hand.

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