After you’ve been involved in a car accident and received the police report, you need to contact your insurance company to file a claim. There are some important steps to take when filing the claim and some tips to remember so that you can get the maximum results possible after the claim has been processed. You need to understand the different types of claims that are filed, such as the medical claim for injuries that are sustained in the accident and the claim for property damage so that you can get your vehicle repaired. The information for property damage often includes towing your vehicle to the body shop if you can’t drive it and a rental car so that you will have a vehicle to drive.
An insurance claim is usually filed after a car accident, but it can also be filed if your vehicle has been vandalized, stolen or damaged in a way that doesn’t have anything to do with another car, such as if a tree falls on the car or it’s damaged from hail. The phone number for the insurance company should be listed on your insurance card, which you need to keep inside your vehicle at all times in the event of an emergency or if you’re stopped by an officer who wants to see proof that your vehicle is covered. You can also find your insurance information online as most companies have your documents available in PDF format.
When you contact the company, you will need to give your name, date of birth and the date that the incident occurred. Be prepared to give the names and contact information of all of those involved in the accident including the other driver. Some companies require that you give a sworn statement of what happened while others are fine with a verbal or written acknowledgement. Offer any details about the weather conditions at the time of the incident and the circumstances that led to the accident, such as swerving in the road or any mechanical issues that might have been wrong with the car that could have caused the accident to take place. Give pictures to the insurance company as there will be someone who can examine them and determine more as to what might have happened and the monetary amount that could be given to you and the people who were in the car.
A case worker will go through your claim with you once you have given your basic information. Sometimes, you might have to meet the claims specialist to talk about the damage done to your vehicle and the injuries that you or the passengers sustained. This is the time when you can give medical records and any other proof that you have to support your claim. The specialist will examine your car to see the extent of the damage and to see if you might be exaggerating your claim. If the claim looks to be proven, then the specialist will often make an offer for a settlement at that time. You shouldn’t take the first offer that is made. It’s wise to have an offer in your head that you want to settle for, countering back and forth so that you can reach an agreement as to the claim. At times, the car might need to be declared a total loss because of the extent of the damages. If this is the case, then the specialist will likely offer a payment for the value of the vehicle. This can help you to make a down payment on another car or to even buy a car with the money that you have.
The insurance company might require that you keep the car secure until the claim is settled. This would include keeping a cover over it so that there is no further damage or keeping receipts for any minor work that is done to the car before the claim can be paid out and settled. If the insurance company is difficult to work with, then you might want ot seek the help of an attorney.