Those involved in a car accident need to promptly contact their insurance provider or the insurer of the other driver to obtain compensation for any damages sustained. Following are some of the steps that need to be taken when filing a car accident insurance claim.
Call the Police
The first call that should after a vehicle accident is to law enforcement. An officer visits the scene of the accident and files a report with the details. This is important because those involved in the accident are likely distraught and may have injuries that need to be addressed by a medical professional.
If anyone involved in the incident becomes difficult, the police can step in to protect all parties. Law enforcement also handles the cleanup process to make certain the area is safe for other drivers. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report once it becomes available. It will be required as the process moves forward.
Gather Information About the Accident
As soon as possible, sit down and write out the details of the accident. Information may be forgotten over time, and this account will help during the claims process. Obtain information about the other driver, any witnesses to the incident, weather and road conditions, and more. All may be needed to prove liability or innocence.
Contact the Insurance Company
Reach out to the insurance company as soon as possible. Agents and their staff members can help walk drivers through the steps of filing a claim. In addition, the insurer provides information on what steps to take if the car can’t be driven. They may call for a tow for the vehicle and reserve a rental until the vehicle is repaired or replaced.
Interacting with the Claims Specialist
Insurance companies assign a claim specialist to each case handled by their company. This specialist works on behalf of the insured driver and represents him or her in all communications with other insurance companies and third parties involved in the case. He or she also deals with the vehicle repair facility and helps injured parties obtain the medical treatment they need.
Settlement of the Claim
When all issues have been addressed, including payment for medical expenses and repair of the vehicle, a settlement will be offered. Individuals need to make certain they alert the insurer about all expenses related to the incident, even those that may not be obvious. For instance, a someone who must pay for help around the house during the recovery process needs to let the insurer know. In this case, compensation may be provided for the outside help. There are other expenses related to the accident that may also be overlooked.
If problems arise during the claims process and the insurer isn’t helping, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer. Don’t delay in obtaining outside help when an insurance company isn’t treating you fairly.