Car Accident Claim Tips – A Practical Guide to Auto Claims

According to the latest data reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 6.2 million auto accidents occur each year in the United States. Fortunately, most of these accidents do not involve personal injuries to the occupants of the car. However, a considerable number of people still suffer personal damages, and 20 percent of accidents even result in fatal injuries.

Regardless of how careful you drive, auto crashes will happen as long as there are rash drivers on the road. If you ever get into such an unfortunate situation, there are a few things that you need to follow to safeguard yourself and your interests.

It is challenging to keep your focus on the aftermath of a car crash, even if it does not involve any bodily damage. Similarly, dealing with the insurance adjuster and auto claims process can be more distressing than the accident itself. So, how do you go about the auto claims process and make it work for you?

In this blog, we will share all the necessary tips that you should follow to make this stressful ordeal less frustrating. Let’s begin.

Car Accident Claim Tips – A Practical Guide to Auto Claims

Deciding when and where to file a claim

Filing a claim after an accident is not always straightforward. Much will depend upon the type of coverage you have and who is responsible for the accident. In any case, here are the typical scenarios that may occur:

Car damage

  • The fault was yours: File a claim with your insurance company
  • The other driver was at fault: File a claim with the insurance company of the other driver
  • The fault is not clear: File a claim with both the insurance companies. You will get covered in one claim or the other, once the fault is determined

Personal injury

  • You were at fault: File a MedPay claim with your insurance company. Other policies may pay your expenses in part or full, but you need to make that you aren’t stuck with the bills as the documentation gets completed
  •  The other driver is at fault: File a claim with the other driver’s insurance company under their liability policy

Damaged car

  • •It was your fault: If the damage is minor and you can live with it, consider not filing a claim. It’s better to pay from your own pocket. The compensation you may get after the stressful process may account to nothing compared to the increase in premium rates in future
  • It was the other driver’s fault: File a claim under the driver’s liability insurance and get your losses covered by their liability policy

Pull over and inspect

Whether it is a minor accident or a major collision, you need to stop the vehicle and ensure that everyone is safe. Symptoms of an injury in a crash may not appear immediately, so you need to take a moment to collect yourself and seek medical help unless you are sure that no one is injured.

However, before you go to the hospital, it is necessary to look around and notice the environment around you. Note the license plate of the car and the number of people in it. If no one in the car is hurt, pull over to the side of the road if the vehicle is still safe to move. Otherwise, leave it at its position and secure yourself.

Call 911

Even in minor bender fenders, it is a good idea to call the police without wasting any time. In some states, you will be legally bound to make the call. The police officer will document the scene of the accident and complete the accident report.

If, for some reason, the police are not able to make it to the accident scene, you should visit the nearest police station yourself to fill out the accident report.

The accident report is important because, in most cases, you will need it to file a claim with your insurance company. The report will come in handy, even in cases that involve minor damages to the car. Moreover, the vehicle should remain at the accident scene unless it is hindering the traffic.

Exchange information

After inspecting the situation and the people involved in the crash, it is time to exchange personal contact, insurance information, and similar details with the other driver. It is the police job to obtain this information, but if they do not appear immediately at the accident scene, you should get the name, address, and contact detail of all the parties involved in the accident.

Converse with the witnesses and get their contact detail as well because you may need them in the future. Other information that you should consider exchanging with the other driver include:

  • Driver’s license
  • The license plate number of the vehicle
  • Location
  • Insurance information
  • The make and model of the vehicle

Avoid determining faults at the accident because it is the job of the adjuster to determine who was at fault by inspecting the vehicles. The information that you gather and other supporting documentation will massively benefit you when filing a claim.

Notify the insurance company

The insurance claiming process may vary depending on the rules of the state and the insurance company. After gathering the necessary information, you need to contact your insurance company. The agent will tell you what to do next and inform you about the requirements to process the claim.

The adjuster, in most cases, will try to save the insurance company some money. So, it is wise to inform your lawyer about the situation and ask for their suggestions. If you are in Florida, a qualified Winter Park lawyer can help you get the maximum benefit off the insurance. They will advise you about the things that can weaken your claim.

In most cases, the adjuster will ask for the following information.

  • Vehicle detail
  • Driver’s detail
  • Location and time of the crash
  • Description of the accident
  • Details of the other driver
  • Details of the witness and people involved in the accident

Write down the claim number that you’re provided and note the name and contact number of the person you were talking to for future use.


Conclusion

We hope that you never find yourself in an accident, but if you do, these tips will help you handle the situation much wisely. While the tips may not cover all the possible scenarios, it will provide enough of a start to let the adjuster know that you have the necessary information about how the system works.

Author Bio

Evie Harrison

Blogger

Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison

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It comes down to choosing an interest, creating a website, learning how to get ranked in search engines, and then making money through affiliate programs like Amazon. I will be there personally to help you every step of the way.

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