If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident, the first thing you’ll do is seek medical treatment. And while that’s an important step to take, you also want to file an insurance claim as soon as possible.

It’s easy to believe that your car insurance agent and company are on your side. After all, you’ve been a loyal customer for so many years.

But before you let them trick you, remember this: Your insurance company is in the business of settling claims for as little money as possible. And for that reason, you can’t trust them to do what’s right.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Review your policy: It’s critical that you review your policy before you file a claim, as it will help you understand your legal rights and what’s expected of your insurance company.
  • Make a claim as soon as you can: Don’t delay in filing a claim, as you want to get the wheels in motion so you can receive compensation as quickly as possible.
  • Don’t say too much: Your agent may begin to press you for information on the first call. You’re under no obligation to talk. Yes, you want to start the claims process, but that doesn’t mean you should begin to blabber about the accident, your role and what you expect from them. There’s time for this in the future once you better understand your legal rights.
  • Be mindful of tricks: For example, your insurance company may send you a check, without notice, that’s marked as final payment. You’re tempted to cash it and close your claim, but doing so could lead you to miss out on more compensation.

Even if you have a good relationship with your agent, don’t assume that they’re on your side when filing a claim. They’ll do whatever they can to minimize the amount of money they pay out.

Don’t go into the claims process with an agenda. Instead, review your policy, know what’s owed to you and stick to your guns. You’ve been paying for coverage, and now’s the time to take advantage. Don’t give in, as doing so will put you at a disadvantage in the future.