How to File a Car Accident Claim With Allstate
Being involved in a car accident in Arizona can be difficult for most people. Depending
on the severity of the crash, the experience can range from being a relatively minor annoyance to a major, potentially life-altering event. If you suffered injuries in a car crash, you might be overwhelmed by the physical, financial, and emotional consequences. If you were not at fault for your collision, you have a right to file an insurance claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company so that you can recover compensation to help you move forward with your life. If the insurance company involved in your crash is Allstate, here are some things to know about filing your claim and how to maximize your potential recovery amount from the car accident lawyers at Lamber Goodnow.
How to File a Claim With Allstate
While some states have no-fault insurance systems for car accidents, Arizona is an at-fault state for motor vehicle accident claims. This means that if you were not at fault in the accident, you will file your claim with the other motorist’s insurance company. If you were at fault and are insured by Allstate, you will report your accident to your company. If your company is Allstate, that is the company you should report your accident to.
If the other driver was at fault and has Allstate insurance, you can initiate the claims process online at allstate.com by creating a guest account. You will then be able to file your claim and track it online. You can also call Allstate at 1-800-255-7828 to file your claim. As the victim of the accident, Allstate will be the insurance company from which you seek damages. While the process should be straightforward, Allstate, like other insurance companies, is in business to make profits and will look for ways to minimize how much it might have to pay to you in your claim. For this reason, you should take steps to protect your claim and your ability to recover fair compensation for your losses.
What to Do After Your Accident
There are several things you should do immediately following your accident to protect your ability to recover compensation from Allstate. Make sure to call 911 to report the collision and remain at the scene until the police arrive. While you are waiting, check yourself and others to see if anyone has been injured, and provide first aid as necessary. Using the camera on your smartphone, take pictures of the damage to your vehicle and the other driver’s car, their positions to each other, and other details that could be relevant such as the road and weather conditions, nearby traffic control devices, speed limit signs, visual obstructions, and anything else that might have contributed to your collision.
If any witnesses saw what happened, encourage them to wait for the police to give statements. Ask for their names and contact information so that they can be contacted later. Tell the police what happened, but stick to the facts. Ask the officer how to get a copy of the police report, and make sure to follow through to get a copy. Finally, seek medical attention immediately. you should see a doctor following a car accident even if you are unsure whether you have been injured. You might have some injuries with delayed symptoms that could worsen without immediate medical care. Seeing a doctor immediately can also help to show that your injuries were caused by your accident and not something else. If you don’t get immediate medical care, Allstate will likely try to blame your injuries on a different incident.
Make sure to get copies of your medical records related to your accident, and keep copies of any bills you receive for your treatment. Retain wage records showing missed income caused by your injuries and your inability to return to your job during your recovery.
File the initial claim with Allstate as soon as possible. Ideally, you should report the accident within 24 hours. When you report your accident, explain that you were injured in an accident with one of the company’s insureds and want to file an accident claim. Make sure to contact your insurance company to inform them about your accident as well. Once you file your initial claim with Allstate, write down the claim number so that you can track it.
Maximizing Your Claim With Allstate
You should be very careful when you are dealing with Allstate following a car crash. All insurance companies employ different tactics to try to resolve claims for less than what they are worth in an attempt to minimize their losses. You should be aware that the company might try to give you a lowball offer, dispute the liability of its insured, or deny your claim even though it’s valid. The company might also drag out its investigation to try to delay having to pay you. These types of tactics are designed to try to get you to believe your claim is worth less than it is so that you will accept an offer that is too low to cover your losses.
The following tips might help you maximize your recovery:
- Report your accident to the police immediately
- Seek immediate medical attention
- Document the accident scene through photos
- Get names of witnesses
- Keep copies of your medical records and bills
- Don’t apologize or admit fault
- Limit what you say to the insurance adjuster
- Politely decline to give a recorded statement
- Don’t sign anything Allstate sends to you without having it reviewed by an attorney
- Retain a car accident lawyer at Lamber Goodnow to represent you
Once you file your claim, you can expect an Allstate insurance adjuster to contact you within a couple of weeks. Remember that the adjuster works for Allstate, so their loyalties will lie with their employer rather than with you. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask questions in such a way as to elicit information from accident victims that could be used by Allstate to reduce what the company has to pay.
If you talk to the insurance adjuster, limit what you say. Don’t discuss your injuries or provide conjectures about anything regarding the case. It’s best for you to politely decline to talk to the adjuster until you have spoken to a lawyer. You definitely should not agree to provide a recorded statement. If you do, what you say will likely be used against you later.
Allstate might also send a medical release to you and tell you that it can’t settle your claim without accessing your medical records. Like a recorded statement, you should not sign a medical release sent to you by the other driver’s insurance company. Like other insurers, Allstate uses medical releases to gain access to accident victims’ complete medical histories so that it can try to blame their injuries on something other than their car accidents.
Finally, if you receive a fast settlement offer, you should not sign it without having it reviewed by an attorney. Early settlement offers are often much lower than the actual value of the claims. If you accept an early settlement offer, you won’t be able to request more money later when you find that it wasn’t enough to cover your losses.
Talk to Lamber Goodnow
If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by a driver who was insured by Allstate, you should schedule a free consultation with Lamber Goodnow as soon as possible. We can help you understand your rights and help to prevent mistakes that could harm your ability to recover compensation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.