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Pitfalls Linked With “Easy” Final Settlements

Pitfalls Linked With “E…

There are a number of instances where an individual is not badly injured in a car accident. Often when this is the case the individual focuses on having their vehicle repaired in order to get on with their lives. It must be noted that when this is the case it is less complicated and one can process their claim over the phone. However, there are pitfalls to take note of. This article will discuss some of the pitfalls associated with reaching a final settlement in respect of a vehicle damage claim.

In as much as it is easier to resolve a vehicle damage claim over the phone as compared to more complicated claims, speak to an accident attorney Alaska  about pitfalls to look out for. Some of these pitfalls include the following:

  • Sign at your own risk - after you and the insurance adjuster agree on a settlement amount regarding your car damage claim, the insurance company will send you a check and accompanying documents. These accompanying documents are referred to as the release[Release | Insurance Glossary Definition | IRMI.com] and require your signature. There are instances whereby the release document arrives before the check does, and you will receive the check after signing and returning the release. If your claim is not limited to just a property damage claim and includes a personal injury claim, it is of the utmost importance for you to read the document before signing and accepting the car damage settlement. The check and release document must have the wording “property damage claim” or “property damage only” written on both the check and release document. If the check or document is written “general release” and fails to clearly state “property damage”, do not sign the release or deposit the check. If you are unsure as to whether the check or release is marked properly, speak to the insurance adjuster to add the phrase “property damage only”, in addition, the adjuster must write a separate letter stating that this settlement amount is only in respect of property damage you are claiming for as part of your claim and does not relate to injury in respect of your claim.
  • Sealed in ink - it is of the utmost importance to remember that once you have accepted the settlement amount in respect of property damage in order to repair your vehicle, you will never be able to claim for any other damages to your vehicle. Whether you then discover additional damage later on does not negate the fact that you will be unable to add to your damage claim once you have signed the release. Hence the importance of having your vehicle checked for any possible damage that is hidden while searching for estimates for repairs.
  • Fault - every driver has a limited right to receiving compensation either from their own insurance company (uninsured motorist claims) or from a third party insurance company when they are partly at fault for the damage caused. Therefore, the compensation amount will be deducted based on the amount that accurately shows your percentage of fault in the accident. However, when you claiming under your own collision coverage the issue of fault is not a factor.
Categories: Auto Accidents
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