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You have just been in a car accident and now have medical bills and repair costs to deal with. The people at your insurance company are telling you that they will take care of you, but should you trust what they say? The short answer is no.

The thought of an insurance company taking advantage of you can be frustrating, but you can get around some of these hurdles by following the right steps.

Know the claims process

Your insurance company will want to know the specifics of your accident, including information regarding your injuries, vehicle damage and the relevant costs. The process may seem straightforward enough, but one small mishap could lead to problems. For example, in California, you could lose compensation and have to pay a higher premium if it looks like the accident was more than 50% your fault. Your insurance company will not likely give you the benefit of the doubt if you make a mistake, so you must ensure that everything is in order.

Keep a log of all communications

You should document emails, phone conversations, in-person communication and any other correspondence you have with your insurance company. If you really want to be thorough, make a note of the date and time of each communication, as well as any potential witnesses that were nearby. A record should help you remember who you talked to and what the person said so nothing falls through the cracks.

No matter what insurers promise you, they are most concerned with their company’s bottom line. This is why you should be ready to protect your own interests after an accident.