Delaware Insurance Claim Accident Injury Lawyers
Call Knepper & Stratton at (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500
Delaware Insurance Claims Do’s & Don’ts
The Wilmington, Dover, Middletown & Newark personal injury lawyers of Knepper & Stratton help individuals throughout Delaware who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents. Personal injury cases are usually accepted on a contingency-fee basis, which means clients pay no attorney fee unless we recover money for them. If you have been injured due to another’s negligent or reckless conduct Call (302)658-1717 in New Castle County or (302)736-5500 in Kent or Sussex Counties for a Free Initial Consultation.
Do call your agent as soon as a covered event takes place. As soon as you get home from the car accident, or even before you go to the doctor, call you r agent.
Do review and understand your coverage before talking to your insurer or your agent. Read the “Coverage” and “Exclusion” sections of your policy in particular.
Do take and keep detailed notes of all conversations with insurance company representatives, and get names, phone numbers, and job titles of people you speak with, including their supervisor’s name.
Do consider whether you might have insurance coverage under some other insurance policy as well. Many people have more than one policy that might cover a claim. In particular, look at homeowner policies, “umbrella” policies, and materials that came with your credit cards.
Do take pictures, if possible. Take pictures of your destroyed vehicle, fire-damaged home, or injuries if you can.
Do talk to your insurance company. However, you may wish to talk to an attorney, such as the attorneys at Knepper & Stratton (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500 prior to providing a “taped ” statement to your insurance company. If you provide your insurance company with a taped statement, it is important to keep it simple and honestly answer any questions they ask, even if it is embarrassing, it is better if your insurer knows all the facts. Failing to be candid with your insurer might invalidate your policy or cause a denial of coverage. However, you only have to answer the questions they ask, you do not need to volunteer information for which you have not been asked. You are not required to give the other persons insurance company a taped statement and you should only give one taped statement, so that statement should be to the adjuster for your insurance company.
Do understand the difference between replacement coverage and depreciated or actual cash value. If your policy provides replacement coverage, don’t settle a personal property loss for “actual cash value.” You may be required to replace the lost items before getting your full reimbursement if you have replacement cost coverage.
Do keep all receipts for meals, lodging, and purchases made in connection with time spent pursuing your claim or recovering from your injuries from the time of the covered event until final settlement with your insurance company.
Do call the experienced Delaware personal injury and accident lawyers at Knepper & Stratton (302)658-1717 or (302)736-5500 for an appointment for a free initial consultation.
Don’t give any recorded or written statements to your insurer until you are sure you understand your coverage. Remember you are not required to allow the other insurance company to record your telephone conversation. If you have doubts, do consult an attorney.
Don’t automatically accept the estimate or appraisal of your losses given to you by the insurer. Insurance companies will often try to get you to accept their estimator’s or contractor’s repair or replacement estimates, which might be a bit low.
DON’T sign any releases or waivers of any kind until you obtain legal advice. A bad financial situation after a major loss may make it seem necessary for you to accept a premature, inadequate settlement from your insurer. But you may remember destroyed items after you have signed a release as to payment for your personal property inventory or other claims. For these reasons, it is advisable to consult an attorney before signing a release or waiver. Be sure to read the fine print on any payment from the insurance company.
Don’t accept any check that says “final payment” unless you are ready to do so.
Don’t ignore time limits set by your policy. Some automobile policies from states other than Delaware and many homeowner’s policies require a signed proof of loss within a certain time limit. Be sure you comply with this requirement unless you obtain a written waiver from your insurance company. Many homeowner’s policies allow you only one year from the date of loss in which to bring a legal action if your claim has not been adjusted fairly. If your claim has not been settled to your satisfaction eleven months after your loss, consult an attorney immediately. A failure to do so could result in the loss of your right to sue.
Don’t forget that you have a contract with your insurer. Your insurer has a legal obligation to provide the coverage it promised to you. Be insistent about enforcing that obligation.