So you’ve been in an accident. Whether you’ve been involved in a trucking accident or a collision with another car, you need to understand the process for filing a claim to ensure that you don’t miss out on the compensation you deserve.
This guide will walk you through how to file a claim after a car accident, to leave you in no doubt as to how to proceed should you become a victim of another negligent driver.
Step #1: Call Your Insurance Agent
It doesn’t matter whether you are at fault or not; the first step you need to take is calling your insurance agent.
They will give you direction regarding the documentation you need to fill out, the information you need to gather from the accident scene, and whether or not you need a police report.
Step #2: Document Everything
After ensuring all parties do not require urgent medical treatment, you must note down as much information as possible before you forget the intricate details of the accident.
You might also want to get a few statements from witnesses (make sure to take their contact information too!), take photographs of the scene, and document the injuries you’ve suffered.
If your accident is with a commercial driver, you must notify the company and driver of your intentions to file a claim.
Step #3: Contact the Insurance Company and Submit Your Claim
The next step is to contact the insurance company of the negligent party in your accident.
There’s plenty of information you’ll need to ascertain, so make sure you have something ready to note everything down.
First, you’ll need to know the time limitations for filing claims, submitting bills, and resolving claim disputes.
Next, you should ask when you can expect one of their adjusters to contact you and whether they require estimates for the damage caused to your vehicle or whether they need to review your medical records.
Once you have received all of the information, it’s time to start filling out the paperwork for the claim process, ensuring that you don’t miss deadlines.
Step #4: Await Response and Settlement Offer
Once you’ve successfully submitted your claim, an insurance adjuster will get in contact to request your medical records and any other pertinent evidence.
In cases where their client is clearly liable, the insurance company will most probably offer you a settlement.
It is then up to you to deem whether you feel this settlement is fair. If you think it’s an acceptable amount, then great, you accept the payment and receive a check.
You only have one opportunity for recourse for insurance compensation packages, so if you feel the offer is unreasonable, you may wish to refuse and pursue a large sum through a lawsuit.
Step #5: Consult with an Attorney if Unhappy
Suppose you’re not happy with the amount offered to you. In that case, you may want to enlist the help of an attorney who can either negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf or, alternatively, you can decide to pursue a lawsuit against the insurance company.
It’s always worth consulting with an attorney because they can not only help you with the claim paperwork, but they also understand what is and isn’t a fair compensatory package based on your losses and/or injuries.
As a general rule, the more serious your injuries, the less likely an insurance firm will give you a fair amount.
Step #6: Receive Compensation
Once the claims procedure comes to a close (via the courts or otherwise), you will then receive a check to cover the losses you’ve incurred due to the other driver’s negligence.
If your lawsuit is successful, you could end up with a lot more money than initially offered by the insurance company.
And that’s it folks! That is how to file a claim after a car accident.
If the worst happens to you and you are involved in a car accident, don’t forget you have only one chance for legal recourse.
So it always makes sense to consult with an attorney to ensure what the insurance company has offered you is fair.