Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law Articles The Do's and Don'ts of Dealing with Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident

The Do's and Don'ts of Dealing with Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident

By Terry Bryant  Apr. 26, 2019 5:09a

If you've been in a car crash, your life has very possibly been upended, especially if you suffered injuries or serious property damage. The last thing you need to worry about right now is the complicated auto insurance claims process and speaking to insurance adjusters.

Unfortunately, though, dealing with insurance companies is a reality everyone who experiences a wreck has to face. This "primer" describing what to do and not do in dealing with car insurance companies after an accident is designed to help make the process easier.


  • Do report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. If you don't file a claim within the insurance company's filing timeframe, your insurer could potentially deny your claim. Look at your policy for filing deadlines.
  • Do prepare yourself to speak with your insurance company by thoroughly reviewing your policy so that you understand the types of coverage you carry and the limits of your coverage. This preparation will allow you to recognize conflicting information should you be given it.
  • Do document all conversations with your insurance adjuster and everyone involved in your claim. Keep this record of conversations in an organized file that contains everything related to your accident, including insurance information, the police report, any witness statements, receipts for medical and other expenses you've incurred because of the accident, property damage estimates, and any other information or documentation that might benefit your claim.
  • Do consider consulting an experienced car accident attorney in your state. A lawyer who is knowledgeable about the insurance laws where you live can handle the claims process for you by communicating with the insurance companies involved and protecting your rights and interests.


  • Don't admit fault to your insurance company, the other driver's insurance company, the other driver, police, or anyone else involved in the crash or its investigation. Be truthful in describing what you believe happened, but let investigators look at all the facts of the crash to make the determination about who was at fault. Even if you believe you may have been at fault or shared fault, there may be other things that contributed to the crash of which you aren't aware, such as road or environmental conditions.
  • Don't be pressured into speaking with the other driver's insurance adjuster. The company will be looking out for their own policyholder and their own bottom line and may potentially try to trap you into saying something that could damage your claim. If the other insurer contacts you, refer them to your insurance adjuster or your attorney, if you have one.
  • Don't immediately accept the first settlement offer. Review it carefully to determine whether it covers all of your damages, which might include medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain and suffering, and even possible future health care costs related to your injuries. Be aware that once you sign on the dotted line to accept a settlement, you could forfeit your right to future claims related to the accident. If the settlement isn't what you need, you are free to turn it down and try to negotiate a better settlement.
  • Don't forget that an attorney can help you with your claim and lessen the burden. A lawyer who understands the insurance laws in your state and is used to negotiating with insurance companies, which most people are not, can handle the negotiations for you and potentially get the settlement offer increased. And if the insurance company isn't willing to negotiate further, an attorney can file a personal injury claim on your behalf in civil court, should you decide a lawsuit is your best path to being fairly compensated for your injuries and other damages.

Finally, should you decide to file a legal claim, be aware that there are statutes of limitations for bringing personal injury lawsuits. For example, if you've been in a car accident in Texas, you typically have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. The statute of limitations varies among states. Always consult with an experienced attorney from the state where your accident occurred to understand the deadlines that apply to your potential claims. If you're vehicle accident happened in Texas, contact Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law for a free initial consultation.

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