After a car accident, you may want to obtain compensation for the losses that you have incurred. Doing so will require that you take the proper steps, including quickly reporting your accident and contacting the correct insurance company. In many cases, you will be required to submit your insurance claim to the company of the person who caused your car accident. In other cases, you may have to file the claim with your own insurance company, even if someone else caused the crash. To learn about the relevant laws and other rules you may need to follow, you can discuss your concerns with a reputable personal injury lawyer.
Most insurance companies recommend that you notify your insurance agent as soon as possible after an accident. When feasible, the company will send an adjuster to the accident scene to take photos, record notes, and speak to you and the other people involved in the accident. However, if you are injured, it is important that you do not delay medical assistance while waiting for the adjuster to arrive. Seek medical care for your injury first, and then talk to the adjuster when you have been treated.
Your agent can help you file a claim in person, or you can file a claim on the insurance company’s website. Many insurance companies also offer an application for iPhone and other smartphones on which you can file an auto insurance claim. When submitting your documents, remember to tell the insurance company where your damaged vehicle is, especially if you have already sent it to a repair shop.
Some insurance companies will allow drivers to take their damaged cars to any repair shop of their choice, while others may dictate where the car needs to be repaired. You can contact your insurance company or adjuster if you are not sure where to bring your car for repairs. Many insurance companies can help you choose a recommended repair shop for your car.
If you have not already done so, the claims adjuster may want to view the damaged vehicle to take photos and notes. While waiting for the adjuster to contact you, it is recommended that you carefully review your insurance policy to refresh your memory of the type of insurance you have.
After inspecting your car, the insurance adjuster may want to interview you about the accident and any injuries you sustained. This interview is a standard part of the claims process. Try to answer each question honestly, and do not guess or speculate. If you do not know the answer to a question or do not remember, tell the adjuster “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember.” After an accident, it is common to become confused about the details, especially when you have been injured. If you receive medical care to treat an injury that you incurred in an accident, the adjuster may also ask for a copy of the medical bill for their records.
Other people involved in the accident may file a claim against you in some cases, claiming that you were at fault for the incident and the resulting injuries. If someone files a claim against you, the insurance agent or adjuster can investigate the claim against you to gain a clearer understanding of the facts. Your insurance company can help to defend you in court in some cases and pay the damages for which you may be legally responsible if your insurance policy covers it.
After the insurance company completes its investigation into your claim, the adjuster or agent may provide you with the settlement amount. Generally, if the insurance company deems your car to be a “total loss,” the insurance company may provide the compensation based on the amount of damage to your vehicle or its actual cash value, in addition to the costs associated with your medical expenses, if applicable.
If you think the settlement offer is unfair, you should consult an auto insurance attorney licensed in your state. If necessary, your attorney can help you negotiate a more reasonable amount with the insurance company or file separate claims against other parties.
Most insurance companies will require that a claimant submit a preliminary report as soon as possible after an accident, usually within a few days.
When you are still at the accident scene, you can call the insurance company immediately to start your claim. Then, when you learn more details about the car accident, you can follow up with the agent. Waiting too long to pursue a claim may give the insurance company a valid reason to deny your claim.
To file a claim with an insurance policy, you can call the phone number on the default driver insurance card. This usually connects you to a specific agent responsible for driver policies.
The agent will probably request a number of facts about your case, including the driver’s insurance policy number, license plate number, description of the vehicle involved, and the police report number.
You can consult an experienced San Antonio car accident lawyer to learn what you can do to pursue compensation for your losses.