Car accidents are common on the roads, and they cause severe injuries and fatalities. No matter how careful you are, you might still end up being a victim of a car accident because of someone’s negligence.
When this happens, you may have a right to file a claim with their insurance company. The right type of insurance policy can protect the at-fault party, the other driver, passenger, or pedestrians from financial ruin and other negative impacts of the accident. Whatever kind of damage you are dealing with, you can file a claim for a car accident and get compensation.
However, dealing with insurance companies is never easy. To increase your chances of a successful claim, you may need to consult a car accident attorney from your state for the right legal advice and help you with the insurance claim.
What Is a Car Insurance Claim?
A car accident insurance claim is a formal request that one makes to an insurance company requesting them to compensate them for hospital costs, repairs, and other damages or effects of the car accident. One can file the claim with the at-fault insurer or their insurer, depending on the state laws.
How to File a Car Insurance Claim
According to the Insurance Information Institute, car insurance claims are rising, which means that insurance companies have a lot of claims to handle. If you are making a claim, it is crucial to do it right as per the policies and laws to avoid a denial or rejection.
Therefore, to file a claim, you should adhere to the following pointers:
1 – Call the Police and Your Insurer
After a car accident, it is important to immediately call the police or report the accident to the police. While at the scene, the police will collect witness statements, driver’s information, secure the scene, and help determine the at-fault driver. The police will then compile their report and make it available to all parties involved in the accident. One of the documents you should have when making a claim is the police report because it proves that the accident happened.
You should also call your insurer when on the scene to advise you on the claims process. They can also have the car towed and, depending on your policy, get you a rental to use. If you are in a fault state, you should call your insurer to keep them in the loop, even if the other insurance company is liable.
2 – File the Accident Report
If your state requires you to file the accident with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), you should also ensure that you do so as soon as possible. Your attorney will advise you on your state’s laws, your responsibility, and how to file the report.
3 – Gather All the Necessary Paperwork
Try not to file a claim if you do not have any evidence of the damages or documents to support your claim. This includes medical records, bills, and pictures of your injuries, damage to your property, and more. Get estimates from auto repair shops and the information you need to support the non-economic damages claim. It is best to have an experienced legal representative to get the right information to support your claim.
4 – File the Claim
Car accident claims have statutes of limitations or the deadline that a victim has to file a claim. Depending on the insurer and your state, you may have between 30 days to three years to file a claim. Ensure you file the claim before the deadline to avoid rejection. Once you have the information you need, file the claim as soon as possible to allow time for investigation, negotiation, and, if possible, a settlement. Should the case fail to settle, the next step would be to file a lawsuit against the insurance company.
Consult a Car Accident Attorney
Car accident claims are common. However, they can be challenging, especially if you have never filed one before. To get the best advice and help, talk to a car accident attorney in your area to know the laws and procedures so that you can make a successful claim with the insurance company.