We are now on the eighth and final tip in the nine-part series “What To Do In a Car Accident.” The seven previous steps have led up to the last but most important step: filing an insurance claim.
You cannot recover compensation for vehicle damage and injuries if you do not file a claim with your insurance company. When you file a claim, you are asking the insurance company to compensate you for damages you incurred from a car accident. Your premiums pay for insurance coverage. If you have comprehensive and collision coverage, the claim may be paid from one or both types of coverage.
Each insurance company is different, but most companies nowadays allow you to file claims by telephone or online. Some insurers even have smartphone apps to make filing a claim simple. You can start the claims process at the accident scene and continue later once you have more details. Let your insurance agent know about the crash as soon as possible. You can usually find contact information on your insurance ID card.
The insurance company will want to know details about the crash, such as when and where it happened, who was involved, damage to the car and any injuries. Answer questions as thoroughly as possible, but do not admit guilt. If the insurance agent pressures you to admit to the accident, you may want to get a lawyer involved who can advocate for you.
Once the insurance company files your claim, you will work with a claims adjuster. He or she will work with the third parties to determine liability and get your car fixed. If you have injuries, the adjuster will help settle those claims as well.
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The adjuster will finalize your claim and inform you of the estimated amount of damage to your vehicle. They will let you know the type of work that needs to be done and where it should be done. Make sure the work is approved by the insurance company or else it won’t be covered. If a deductible applies, they will let you know. If your car was damaged beyond repair, it will be considered totaled and you will receive a check based on the value of the car.
The claims adjuster should coordinate the entire claims process. If you have questions along the way, don’t be afraid to ask. If you are having issues, get a lawyer involved. You should not have a difficult claims experience.
After following the steps you need to take following an accident, make sure you file an insurance claim. If you don’t, you’re on the hook for paying for all your damages, which means you could lose out on tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. It can sometimes be difficult to recover an adequate amount of compensation from your insurance company. If you have questions or concerns, it may be wise to seek legal help.
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