Anyone who has been in a car accident in Georgia knows the terrible feeling that follows. Even if injuries and damage do not appear too severe, those involved are shaken and not looking forward to navigating the insurance claims process.
There are things you can do to make filing your claim with Progressive more manageable and less stressful. Of course, it is a good idea to reach out to an Atlanta car accident lawyer before you speak to your own insurance adjuster and insurance representatives for any other parties who were involved.
What to Do Before Filing Your Claim
Though no one wants to “plan” for an accident, it is important to know what to do should you be involved in one. The Georgia Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire (OCI) advises all drivers to keep their insurance claims service card in their cars, which lists their insurance policy number and their agent’s name and phone number.
If you are in a car accident, you need to call the police to the scene so they can file an official accident report. Take down the responding officers’ names and badge numbers, and ask when the information will be ready. The report and access to it are essential to your claim. If you need to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party’s insurance, the report will help your car accident attorney.
Other crucial steps to take after an accident include:
- Get contact, insurance, and car information from others involved in the accident, including passengers and witnesses.
- Make notes about the accident and take photos of the scene and any damage.
- Do not discuss the accident with others involved, including witnesses, and do not make any statements that could be taken as admissions of fault.
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What to Do and Not Do When Filing Your Insurance Claim
Insurance companies in Georgia want to hear about your accident quickly. Some even recommend calling from the accident scene if you and others do not need emergency medical care. While you need to notify Progressive promptly, it is not always best to call in the immediate aftermath of an accident while you are running on adrenaline and may say (or not say) things you will regret later. However, you do need to know if your policy has a deadline for submitting your claim and honor that deadline.
With Progressive, you can submit a claim through their mobile app, online, or by calling your insurance agent. Your best course of action is to speak with a car accident lawyer before providing information. Also, keep in mind that you are not legally required to provide recorded statements about the accident, and you should not provide a written statement without guidance from an attorney.
What to Say
When asked questions about the accident, keep your remarks strictly factual. Be prepared to give your insurance adjuster the following information:
- The time and date the accident occurred
- Where the accident happened
- Make, model, and license plate numbers of the cars involved
- Factual description of the accident
- Factual description of damages
- Your Progressive policyholder’s name
- Your Progressive policy number
What Not to Say
While being mindful of sticking to the facts, also be sure to avoid certain statements, and if you are not sure of a response, say “I don’t know” rather than make a guess.
- Do not admit fault, even implicitly.
- Do not minimize your injuries. In fact, do not even describe them to the adjuster. Your attorney is better suited to manage those discussions.
- Do not speculate about what happened or might have happened. This is where the “I don’t know” response is appropriate.
- Do not provide contact information for doctors treating your injuries or family members.
- Do not accept an initial settlement offer, even from your own insurance, without speaking to an attorney.
What to Ask
The “fine print” of insurance policies can be difficult to understand and easy to misinterpret. To ensure you know what to do next, the Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends asking your Progressive agent:
- What other documents you need to provide to support your claim
- When other documents need to be submitted
- When you can expect to hear back from Progressive
- Whether your policy covers a rental car
- What process you need to follow when getting estimates for repair costs
Progressive, lets you choose to accept covered car repairs or payment for damages. Should you opt to have your car repaired, Progressive has network shop locations you can choose from, or you can schedule an estimator to inspect the damage at a shop of your choice or at a Progressive drive-in location.
Important Ways to Support Your Claim
To recover from a car accident, you need to be fairly compensated and avoid unfair accusations of fault. Take steps to secure your settlement and avoid paying for something that is not your burden to bear.
Get Medical Care
You may not think your injuries are severe, and hopefully, you are right. However, you still need to see a doctor after an accident. The effects of some injuries take time to appear. If you immediately determine “I’m okay,” only to experience more serious symptoms later, you put your health and your insurance settlement at risk.
Remember, Insurance Companies Are Businesses
Progressive and other insurance companies provide essential coverage for drivers, but they are ultimately a business. Like any other business, they want to make money, not payouts. This means they may lowball the value of your car, cover the lowest (and possibly inferior) repair estimate, or cause other complications.
Partner with a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
By partnering with a car accident lawyer from John Foy & Associates, you know you have someone completely on your side. Your attorney will not miss any fine print or allow you to miss out on receiving the compensation owed to you.
We Make Dealing with Insurance Companies Easy
Car accidents are stressful. There is no need to add to your stress by attempting to navigate the insurance claims process on your own. The Georgia car accident attorneys at John Foy & Associates can manage your claim and work with your Progressive agent to ensure your best interests are served.
Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.