After experiencing a car accident, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is paperwork and red tape. Although people may be dealing with injuries and damage to their vehicle after an accident, it is very important to file a car insurance claim. This will help ensure there is documentation of injuries, damage to the car, and other expenses that can arise out of the situation. Contacting an attorney early on in the process could make a case much easier to handle.
Filing a Claim
Insurance companies may have different time limits for filing a car accident claim. These timelines can vary depending on the type of claim or type of policy someone carries. When going to file a claim, the first step is contacting the insurance company. They will need to know which car was involved, which driver from your coverage was involved, where and when the accident happened, a description of what happened, information about the other driver and their insurance information, and names and information of any witnesses to the accident.
This information will likely be asked for on the first contact with the company or representative, so it is important to be prepared to offer it. They will then provide a claim number, and likely offer a person to talk to and contact with problems or questions. In addition to this information, the insurance company may ask for a police report number. In most places, the time limit for filing a police report is a matter of days, although it is required immediately in some jurisdictions. If the police do not report to the accident, a driver may need to file a report themselves.
What happens after the claim is filed?
Once a claim is filed, an insurance adjuster will take on the case and determine fault. They will also check the vehicle and investigate the other losses of the case. This investigation will give an estimate of how much repairs will cost. Some insurance companies will require the driver to provide a cost estimate for repairs. This can be done with the repair shop and they can then send the numbers to the insurance adjuster so they can calculate how much the policy will contribute to the repairs.
During this process and communications with the insurance adjuster, it is important to never speculate and answer questions directly. Don’t apologize or admit fault in any way. If a does not sound sure about how events occurred, it might affect how fault is assigned, and the money awarded. Attorney Gary Christmas says, “If you are in an accident, call a lawyer. We can help you communicate with the insurance company and work to preserve evidence so you get the compensation you deserve. Make sure everything is documented and if you have questions, talk to your car accident attorney.” After an accident, the money awarded can be very important to aid in recovery. A car accident attorney could help the driver feel at ease while getting the award they deserve.