Any form of auto accident can be a traumatic experience for the victims involved. The physical, mental, and economic costs of a car accident can be overwhelming. As a victim, you can make a claim to the insurance company and receive compensation for the medical expenses and property damage that occurred in the accident. You should consider taking the following steps filing a claim with the insurance company to improve your chances of recovering compensation.
How to File an Insurance Claim After an Accident
For your claim, the insurance company you should contact may be yours the at-fault party’s. Which insurance company you should contact can depend on the type of insurance you carry and in which state the accident occurs.
An investigation may be necessary to determine who caused the accident. The goal of most insurance companies is to minimize the amount of economic recovery that a claimant can receive. Many car insurers try to save the company’s money by limiting the amount they pay the claimant.
You can take the following steps to ensure that you have a valid insurance claim:
First, stay at the accident scene and collect evidence, such as photos of the crash and the names and license plate numbers of the other drivers involved in the crash. This evidence can help you later support your insurance claim.
Immediately after that, go to the hospital for a medical examination. Seeking immediate medical attention can help you prove that your injury was severe and that you satisfied your duty to mitigate the damage.
Get a copy of the official police report and be sure to keep a copy of your medical documentation so you can provide them to the insurance company at the time of your claim.
You should submit your initial road accident report to the insurance company within 24 hours of the accident.
Call the insurance company to file a claim or submit it online via the insurance company’s website. Some insurance companies also provide a mobile app that enables on-the-go crash reporting. It is a good idea to write down your claim number to track the claim after you submit the required documentation.
How can you maximize the value of your accident claim?
Be careful when dealing with insurance companies when submitting an accident claim. Many insurers often try to get the claimant to accept significantly less than their actual claim value. An insurance company can underestimate your damages or deny your claim.
The insurer can also extend the investigation and delay payment to the customer. This is a malicious tactic that can prevent a fair recovery. You can take certain actions to ensure proper claim procedures and negotiate maximum financial compensation for your damages.
- Report the accident immediately.
- Keep a copy of your medical record.
- Provides sufficient documentation.
- Do not accept fault for the accident.
- Limit the details that you provide to the insurance agent, but be honest.
- Do not sign legal documents unless required by the police.
- Do not accept the first settlement offer without legal guidance.
- Do not provide recorded statements.
- Hire an auto accident attorney to represent you.
Beware of misleading statements!
People who work for insurance companies can pretend to be on your side, but they are most certainly not! They were trained to ask tough questions that could damage your injury claims. An experienced Car Accident Lawyer can help you better understand the claims process and provide you with the advice you need to maximize your claim.
If you agree to make a recorded statement and you say something that you should not have, your claim may be compromised and the compensation to which you are entitled may be significantly reduced. The insurance adjuster will want to know all the details about the collision. If the accident was not your fault, you must not accept any responsibility. It is important to call a lawyer before communicating with the insurance company, especially before talking to insurance adjusters.
What do you need to know about filing an injury claim?
Regardless of your driving history or proficiency, crashes happen every day across the country. Some are minor, and others are fatal. The most careful and responsible drivers cannot prevent every accident, so it is important to know what to do if a crash occurs.
When filing an auto accident claim, be prepared to answer detailed questions about the accident. Be ready to talk about both damage to property and any bodily injuries. If you say you have not been injured on the phone, but the injuries later become apparent, this might come back to bite you in the claims process.
While it is important to be honest and factual when you speak to the insurance company, speaking too quickly or too freely (without your lawyer’s guidance) can make it easy for the insurance company to gain a position of power in the negotiations.
An experienced personal Injury Attorney can properly advise you on how to protect your legal rights when pursuing a claim for compensation.