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How to handle insurance claims after a holiday accident

During busy holiday seasons, there are more drivers on the road. Should you find yourself involved in a drunk driving-related or other motor vehicle accident during any of these periods, there are a few steps that you can take to make filing an insurance claim easier.

In the aftermath of an unfortunate incident, you have enough on your mind dealing with personal injuries, medical bills and transportation issues. Luckily, there are processes you can follow and support readily available to you when it is time to file an insurance claim after a motor vehicle accident. 

Holiday travel increases your likelihood of an accident

A Consumer Reports article reports that in the year 2012, more than 125,000 motor vehicle accidents were likely to have occurred over just one holiday weekend. Drivers possibly filed anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 insurance claims as a result - for only one weekend of driving! As many as 26 percent of those people could have encountered a claim-related problem, so you can see why having help filing your insurance claim can be so important. 

Three tips to help you after an accident

Following the appropriate steps after a motor vehicle accident can prove invaluable toward getting your life back to normal in the timeliest manner possible. By using the following procedures, you could reduce the likelihood of frustrations from many insurance-related issues: 

  • Contact your insurer -- If you are able to, always contact your own insurer right away after an accident. This is especially true if the accident involves another car or another person. 
  • Don't make a deal -- The other party in an accident may offer to pay you out-of-pocket for any damages as long as you don't report the incident. You might be tempted, but don't fall for this. It is important to protect yourself by informing the insurance company of any motor vehicle accidents with damages that involve another vehicle or person.
  • A caveat to avoid a claim hike -- If your vehicle is the only one damaged, and the damages are minor, you may choose not to report the accident. If the damages are minor, you will likely have to pay them out of your insurance deductible anyway. You aren't mandated to report such minor accidents, and doing so may increase your premiums. 

Do you need a lawyer for help with insurance claims?

It's possible. If you are in a severe motor vehicle accident with personal injuries, you may need the help of a lawyer to battle against insurance companies to ensure you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled. An experienced lawyer can help guide you through this challenging process in the aftermath of your accident, allowing you to better focus on your recovery.

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