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Navigating Insurance Issues After a Personal Injury: Tips and Advice

It can be difficult to find your way after being hurt in a motor vehicle accident. Navigating the details of an insurance claim is never easy. It’s even more challenging when complications arise.  

You deserve clear answers and trustworthy advice on how to handle insurance issues after a motor vehicle accident. The best way to get that is to connect with an experienced personal injury lawyer (Sault Ste. Marie’s Feifel Gualazzi is here to help you!).  

If you’re just turning your mind to starting a claim for personal injury compensation, read on for quick tips and advice on navigating insurance issues.  

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Tip 1: Be aware of reporting deadlines 

You must report the accident to the police within 24 hours of the motor vehicle accident so they can prepare a police report. You are also required to notify the insurance company within seven days of the motor vehicle accident to make a claim for accident benefits, and then you must submit a competed accident benefits application package within thirty days to ensure payment of compensation. Failing to meet these deadlines can result in your claim being denied. 

Tip 2: Watch out for limitation periods 

The usual rule is that a person has two years from the date of the accident to start a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation for their injuries, over and above any accident benefits that person may receive. While you have two years to start a lawsuit, you must provide written notice to the at-fault driver of your intention to start a civil lawsuit within 120 days of the motor vehicle accident. 

The limitation period is much shorter for certain types of personal injury claims. For example, if your lawsuit will be against a municipal government, you must provide written notice within 10 days of the accident. There are also different timelines and notice requirements that apply to hit-and-run claims.  

Tip 3: Start gathering evidence from day one 

You have the onus of proving that the other party is legally responsible for the motor vehicle accident, and that you are entitled to compensation for the injuries caused by the accident. It’s important to build a strong case. You do that by gathering information and documents starting from day one, including photographs of the scene of the accident, the police report, your notes about how the accident occurred, a pain journal, and medical records.  


Tip 4: Be wary of insurance company representatives 

Insurance adjusters and claims examiners may seem friendly and helpful—especially early in the claims process—but make no mistake: their goal is to close your claim as quickly as possible, for as little money as possible. Insurance companies aren’t usually forthcoming about all the accident benefits or types of damages available to you. 

All insurance adjusters and claims examiners work for the insurance company, and the insurance company is in the business of making money. You’re not on a level playing field with the insurance company, and the claims examiner and insurance adjuster are not on your side. 

Tip 5: Talk to a lawyer before you give a statement  

What you say can jeopardize your claim. The information you give—or forget to give—can be used to deny or significantly reduce your compensation. You may mistakenly forget to mention a detail. You may say your injuries “don’t seem too bad,” and then later your symptoms worsen. You may say something that the adjuster relies on to say you were at fault for the accident.  

The best way to protect yourself is to talk to a personal injury lawyer first. Our Sault Ste. Marie personal injury lawyers greatly prefer to meet with our clients before they meet with their own insurance adjuster or claims examiner. We also strongly urge our clients to never give a statement to the insurance company representing the at-fault driver without their

lawyer present to protect their rights and privacy. 

Tip 6: You don’t have to accept the insurance company’s view of your claim 

Insurance companies are all about protecting their bottom line. They do so by denying legitimate claims, delaying claims, and making low-ball settlement offers—even to their own injured clients. You are under no obligation to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, and in fact, our personal injury lawyers strongly recommend holding off on settlement discussions until your injuries have settled and you’ve reached maximum medical recovery.  

It’s also very important to understand that an insurance company’s conclusions are not the end of the matter. Their determination of fault for the motor vehicle accident and their view of the nature and type of injuries you suffered as a result of the accident can be challenged. If the insurance company has denied your claim, says you are at fault, or questions your injuries, talk to a personal injury lawyer ASAP about your options, which include going to court to have a judge or jury decide the outcome of your case.   


Sault Ste. Marie law firm Feifel Gualazzi is here to help you navigate insurance issues after a personal injury. We’re valuable advocates for victims seeking compensation through a motor vehicle accident claim. Our personal injury lawyers will help you explore your legal options to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries. We serve clients in Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma District.  

To schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers, please contact us today.  


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