Accidents happen to even the safest of drivers. Each year, more than 30,000 people will lose their lives in car accidents and more than 2 million people will find themselves injured in a car accident.
Automotive claims can be an inconvenient and time-consuming process. It’s important to remember that you should still consider yourself lucky if you’ve managed to walk away from your auto accident without severe injury!
No one ever gets in their car expecting to get in an accident, so it is important to prepare yourself with the information you’ll need if it happens to you. Follow these steps to make your car insurance claim as easy as possible.
Get to a Safe Location
The first thing you should do after a car accident is focus on safety. Regardless of rather you are in an automobile or a motorcycle, your first priority should be getting to a safe location.
If your vehicle is inoperable, you will need to get out of the car when it is safe to do so. If your vehicle has sustained damage, it can be unsafe to stay inside it.
Whatever you do, do not leave the scene of the accident entirely. Unless you are gravely injured and being transported to the hospital, you will be responsible for exchanging information with others who were involved.
Before you make your automotive insurance claim, you’ll want to be sure to exchange the information with the other drivers involved. This isn’t just a courtesy, you’ll need this information when you file your automobile insurance claim.
You’ll want to be sure to get the names of other drivers involved, contact information, drivers license info and license plate numbers. You will also need to get the name of their insurance company, insurance policy number, and what kind of car they were driving at the time of the accident.
You should write down the time and exact location where the accident occurred and any additional information that you believe may be relevant.
Call Your Insurance Company to File Your Car Insurance Claim
The first step in filing your claim is placing the call to your insurance company. You should do this as soon as possible once you have left the scene.
Your insurance policy should have a number listed to call to file your claim. If you cannot find it, a quick google search can usually provide you with the information you need.
Once you have reached your insurance company’s claims department, you should relay all the information you have collected. This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about your policy.
This can include the deductible that you will have to pay and rather or not your insurance company will provide you with a rental car as you wait for your vehicle to be repaired.
Insurance Adjustors, Estimates, and Assessments
After your initial call, you will be assigned an insurance adjuster who will be responsible for assessing the damage to your vehicle, repair costs, and who was at fault. This process can seem slow, especially if you do not have a rental car provided to you.
Your insurance adjuster will then circle back to let you know what you should expect. He will let you know if your vehicle is salvageable and give you an estimate for what repairs will cost. This amount will be what your insurance company will pay for your car to be repaired after you pay your deductible.
While some companies are more reputable than others, there is a good chance that the initial offer you receive may not be sufficient.
If you believe that the responsible insurance company is shortchanging you with an estimate that won’t cover the damage, you may want to consider getting a lawyer.
A lawyer, like Spohrer Dodd, can help you navigate the difficult litigation process often required to get the sufficient coverage required from your car insurance claim. This way you’ll be able to repair your car, recover from your injuries, and move on with your life.
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