Why You Shouldn't Use a Car Insurance App after an Accident - Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney
While many people believe that their automobile insurance company is there to help them in the aftermath of an accident, their true motivation is often to pay out as little as possible. In order to cut costs and to make accident reporting more efficient, many insurers now promote the use of smartphone apps for customers to report accidents and injuries directly from the scene.
Should car accident victims be use these apps, or do they risk providing potentially damaging information to the insurance company without being aware of their rights?
Instead of turning to an insurance company’s smartphone app after an accident, get individual help from a real person who cares about your rights at Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney. Our experienced Binghamton car accident attorney can assist you in getting the compensation you are entitled to through a car insurance claim and settlement.
Should I Use an App After an Accident?
In order to facilitate the accident reporting process, many insurance companies now offer applications for your smartphone that allow you to report an accident directly from the scene.
According to a CNBC news report on car insurance apps, auto insurance companies such as GEICO, Esurance, and Allstate, now offer cellphone applications that allow you to report your accident, as well as take photos or videos of any damage your vehicle suffered at the scene where the accident occurred. The CNBC report states that using these apps could allow your insurer to resolve your claim faster by relying on the images you supply in making damage estimates, while saving themselves the costs associated with sending out a claims adjuster to take your statement and assess the damages associated with your claim.
Car insurance apps may save insurance companies money in the long run, but they can prove to be detrimental to consumers when it comes to receiving the compensation they are entitled to through an insurance settlement. Car insurance apps have the potential to actually hurt your claim in the following ways:
- Photos and videos of damage to your vehicle taken on your cell phone may be poor quality or insufficient to show the actual extent of damage your car suffered.
- Car accident victims are often in shock and in no condition to make clear statements about the accident or how it occurred.
- Symptoms of potentially serious car accident injuries, such as brain, neck, and back injuries, may take hours, days, or even weeks to appear. Using an insurance app at the scene could result in misleading information regarding the extent of the injuries you have suffered.
Tips for Dealing with Your Insurer after a Car Accident
In the aftermath of a car accident, before speaking to a claims adjuster or making any statements, it is important to consult with an experienced car accident attorney to understand your rights.
Car insurance companies are in business to make money, and one way to accomplish this is by limiting the amount they pay out to claimants. According to a Kiplinger report on car insurance claims, your insurer may undervalue your claim by providing low estimates for repairing or replacing your vehicle, as well as by downplaying or disputing the extent of your injuries. They may attempt to deny your claim outright, using statements you make against you to dispute your version of the events leading up to the accident and by claiming you were at fault.
At Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, our personal injury lawyer has extensive experience in dealing with insurance companies on behalf of accident victims. The following are our tips for dealing with insurance companies after an accident, based on things your insurer may not tell you:
- Having your car repaired versus being replaced is often a better value. The amount your insurer will pay you for a totaled vehicle is likely to be far less than what a replacement vehicle would cost.
- Insurance companies tend to use a system that undervalues your vehicle or repair costs, so investigate the actual costs yourself.
- Your insurance company will look for ways to claim you are to blame for the accident, so be cautious about admitting any liability and get your own copies of police reports to substantiate your claims.
- Carefully review your policy details and always provide complete and accurate information. An insurer may point to clauses in your contract that limit coverage in certain circumstances, and could use any false information you provided to deny coverage.
- After even a minor accident, your car loses some value. Make sure any new insurance premiums you pay reflect this reduction.
What to Do After a Car Accident
Car crashes are an unfortunately common occurrence, and even a minor fender bender can leave you suffering serious injuries while causing extensive damage to your vehicle. If you are involved in an accident, you have certain legal obligations at the accident scene that you need to be aware of. Based on the New York Vehicle and Traffic Code, the following describes what to do after an accident:
- Stop immediately at the scene of the accident, while being careful to avoid blocking traffic.
- Notify local law enforcement or the highway patrol.
- Exchange personal information with other drivers involved in the accident, such as your name and address, your driver’s license and vehicle registration numbers, as well as your insurance information.
- Offer assistance to injured victims, including calling an ambulance.
- For property damage in excess of $1,000, file a motor vehicle accident report with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days after the accident.
In addition to the above, you are also required to notify your car insurance company immediately after the accident occurs. Failing to do so could result in the denial of your claim.
Let Us Assist You with Your Case
If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car accident, Contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, today. Our New York car accident attorney can provide aggressive legal representation to protect your rights and interests. We can guide you through the insurance claims process, and assist you in getting the settlement you deserve. We serve Binghamton and the surrounding areas. Call or contact us online today for a free consultation.