So you filed an insurance claim, and the insurance company has assigned an adjuster who is calling you fairly regularly to ask you questions. They want you to give a statement, they want you to sign a HIPPA form so they can order medicals, they want you to go get your car fixed at one of their fine preferred auto body shops.

It can be a little overwhelming. First, let’s talk about getting that car fixed.

You have to let the insurance company inspect the car, but you do not have to let them repair it at their preferred location. You are free to use any auto body repair shop you trust. Usually, the initial damage assessment is limited to what is wrong on the outside of the car, but once those panels or bumpers come off a good repair specialist can and will fight for additional insurance money to pay for the damage that had been hidden.

They also want a statement. Do not give it. You have to cooperate with your own insurance company, but giving a statement to the person who struck your vehicle is never a good idea. They are looking to do two things, 1) reduce their client’s liability, and 2) limit you damages if you have been injured.

car-accident-CTFor example, suppose you have some neck pain from the accident. It has only been a couple of days, but you expect it to go away. You tell the insurance adjuster you feel okay, pain isn’t too bad and you are not seeing a doctor.

Fast forward two months, you are in pain all the time and you cannot loosen up your neck muscle. It makes caring for your young kids difficult, and makes work more difficult. Your statement will later be used in an attempt to undercut your later claim of injury.

Finally, do not sign that HIPPA.
If you are going to attempt to make a claim for bodily injury because you were hurt in a car collision, you need to take ownership and gather you medical records and bills. Once you have them you can submit them to the insurance company.

Why not just let them do it?

Well, mostly because you don’t need to give the insurance adjuster free reign to decide whether they need unrelated medical records. If you are claiming a torn meniscus, there is no reason that they need to know about that time you got a STD.

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