Every year, tens of thousands of fatal motor vehicle accidents happen in the United States, and millions of people are seriously injured.
So, even if you are the most careful driver in the world, unfortunately, you could be involved in a car accident one day.
If it should happen, you need to know how to file an insurance claim for the first time, so check out the following helpful guide.
First off, you need to gather as much evidence as you can from the scene of the accident.
If you are not so injured that you cannot move, take photographs of the accident scene from various angles and get close-up shots of the vehicles and damage. The photos can be very helpful to your insurance claims adjuster later on.
You should also get the contact information of any witnesses so that your claims adjustor can speak to them later if necessary.
If you can gain video footage of the accident scene, either via your phone or from nearby security cameras, that can help your claim even more.
But if you are seriously injured, police can help to gather evidence.
At the end of the day, the more evidence you gather, the smoother your claim will be.
Contact Your Insurance Company
When any injuries you have from the accident have been addressed by a medical professional and you are back at home, it is time to contact your insurance company to file the car accident claim.
You should also consider contacting an experienced car accident lawyer who can give you invaluable advice for gaining compensation for the financial and psychological costs of your injuries.
Before you contact your insurer, make sure you have your policy number. You will need to provide that to start the claim ball rolling and verify your coverage and deductibles.
You will also need to provide the name, license plate, and insurance information of the other driver and the location, date, and time of the accident.
Furthermore, you will need to give information like whether your car was towed from the accident scene, whether the police were called, and any injuries you and others received from the accident.
Most insurance companies nowadays enable you to fill out your insurance claim online. If you are unable to do so, call your insurer to get a paper claims form.
You should file your claim as soon as possible. Every state has different limitations for deadlines.
Understand Your Claim
Numerous types of claims can be filed after a car accident, depending on the coverage you selected when you first took out the insurance policy.
So, you should review that information to better understand your coverage and your claim options.
If you are unsure about anything, speak to a representative of your insurance company who can talk through the type of claims you can make and the filing process.
Cooperate with the Claims Adjuster
The person assigned to handle your claim is known as a claims adjuster.
He or she will handle discussions with other insurance companies, witnesses, repair shops, doctors, and so on, to investigate your claim fully and review the estimates you received for things like medical bills and car repairs.
Typically, you will talk to your claims adjuster over the phone, although you may need to have face-to-face meetings as well.
Using the gathered and reviewed information, the claims adjuster will help to get your claim settled.