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Things to Consider Before Filing a Holiday Car Accident Claim

Craig McClellan

Christmas and New Years are some of the most anticipated holidays of the year—for most people, that is. Insurance companies brace themselves for heightened activity as the increase in travel means increase in accidents. The first thing to remember this holiday season is that if another driver was at-fault or you were injured in the crash, contact an attorney as soon as possible. A San Diego car accident attorney from The McClellan Law Firm can help you determine proper action, including filing a claim, following a car crash.

Holiday Accident Statistics

The period around Christmas and New Year's results in an average of 325,000 car accidents each year, according to the Consumer Federation of America. The high rate of car accidents and unfavorable winter weather means that this time of year is ripe for insurance claims related to car accident damage.

Think Before You File an Auto Insurance Claim

The following points are considerations recommended by Daily Finance.

Before filing a car accident claim with your insurance company, consider the following:

  • Recent Moving Violation: A recent traffic citation may cause you to be dropped from your insurance company or cause your rates to rise significantly following an accident claim.
  • Vehicle Damage Costs: If the claim barely exceeds the cost of the deductible, consider paying the costs of the car accident out of pocket. It may be less expensive.
  • Another Driver at Fault: If another party was at-fault in the accident, it's best to speak with a car accident attorney who may be able to seek compensation from the other party's insurance company.

When to File an Auto Insurance Claim

While there certainly are cases in which it is more damaging than beneficial to file a claim, you want to make sure your insurance can help you when you need it. In some cases, accidents that seem minor result in soft-tissue injuries that aren’t felt until days later. Your insurance is there to help alleviate medical costs involved with even a more minor accident.

If you are not at fault in an accident, you put yourself at legal risk if you verbally agree to not file a report with the other driver. After you leave, there is nothing to stop the other driver from filing a police report, and you may be charged with leaving the scene. Make sure you cover your bases before leaving an accident and consult an attorney for advice if you are unsure whether or not to contact your insurance company.