The initial few hours, and days, that follow a car accident are filled with anxiety, stress, and confusion for almost all insured drivers. Many long for an expert to help them and take care of the whole procedure. Filing an insurance claim is when you ask the insurance company to compensate you for the damages caused as a result of a car accident, or when you request insurance agents to intervene on your behalf when you hold someone else liable for the accident.
You pay a considerable amount of cash for your car insurance. Hence it is only justified when you want to make a claim after being involved in an accident. Based on the insurance program you have opted for your company will provide you coverage accordingly. Insurance agencies are assigned to protect you and function as your advocate. At times, people want to handle things by themselves, which is not advisable when there is a third party involved.
Here is a step-by-step process of what you need to do to file a car accident insurance claim:
Contact the Police
When you are involved in an accident, the first thing you should do is contact the police and file a report. The report will contain a detailed description of the crash, eyewitness testimonies, details of the other driver and other relevant information. The police will also make sure you get the medical assistance to help handle your injuries. A police report will come in handy when filing a claim, as it can vouch for your account of what happened.
Call Your Insurance Company Right Away
Call your insurance agency from the scene of the crash if you can, while waiting for the police or after you are safe. This will help the company analyze the damages firsthand, and they can walk you through the next steps that need to be taken. If your car has been severely damaged, the insurance agency will guide you on what needs to be done with the car. A claim file will be opened, and all the necessary details will be added to it. If you do not call them immediately, you won’t know how they can help, and you may wind up burning through cash that you don’t have to.
An Insurance Adjuster Gets Assigned to Your Case
Once your claim has been filed with your car insurance company, a claims adjuster will be assigned to your case. The adjuster will most likely get in touch with you to elicit additional information. While describing the incident, always stick to the facts and avoid any speculation. Submit any photographs and testimonies that you collected at the scene. All of this will be used to determine who is at fault and hence your contribution plays a huge role. If you’re looking to file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance company, it will help to have an attorney present. An attorney who is well-versed with the nuances of personal injury claims will be indispensable in this regard.
The insurance adjuster will conduct a thorough assessment and provide an estimate of the cost to repair your vehicle, medical expenses, and other deductibles that your claim will pay out.
After all the evaluation has been done, the adjuster will authorize a final payment for the damages caused. If you’re happy with the settlement offered, you will have to sign a release, accepting the payment for the case.
In many cases, the insurance agency will try to low-ball you and offer a lesser amount for your case. After negotiating with them, if they are still not willing to provide a better settlement, you can get in touch with an attorney who will help you file a lawsuit. If you would like to express your views on the topic, do leave us a comment below.