Whenever you’re involved in a car accident, it’s always important that you carefully handle the claim that comes with it. Your insurance company can help you more quickly and effectively when you know which steps to take.
Here’s what you need to know about filing a car accident insurance claim successfully.
Filing a Car Accident Insurance Claim
So what happens after you get into a wreck? Here’s what you need to know about filing a car insurance claim:
- Get to Safety Following the Accident and Call the Authorities
The first thing that you need to do after a car accident is to get yourself and your vehicle to a safe place. This is especially important if your accident happens on the interstate or another high-speed or treacherous roadway.
Move the vehicle as far out of the roadway as possible and put the hazard lights on. Once you’re safe, calm down as much as possible, and assess whether or not you have any injuries. Find your cell phone and call 9-1-1 so that police can come out to the scene.
The dispatcher will ask you where you’re located and if you need medical attention. A police officer will be sent out to the scene to take an accident report and to redirect traffic so that everyone is safe.
They’ll stay with the scene until you get your vehicle towed away.
- Exchange Information With the Other Driver — and Nothing Else
Once an officer shows up, they can bridge the gap and exchange contact information between you and the other driver. Using the police officer as a go-between is the best way to expedite this exchange and keep it straightforward.
With that in mind, keep any other talk with the other driver short. Saying anything that can later be construed as claiming responsibility for the accident can end your case before it starts. Keep things neutral and save any conversation about the accident for your insurance company.
- Touch Base With Some Potential Witnesses
Your insurance company will need to investigate the car accident. In most cases, they will ask if you have any witnesses.
Get ahead of this step by speaking to some potential witnesses after the accident. If there were other drivers or passersby, ask them if they’d be willing to talk to your insurance company if called upon.
- Go Get the Medical Attention That You Need
Insurance companies serve to not just pay for damaged vehicles, but also medical injuries after car accidents. Go to the emergency room or an urgent care to see if you have any medical issues after your wreck.
The doctor can offer you an MRI and other routine checks and will ask you if you’re experiencing pain of any sort. Adrenaline can take days to wear off, so don’t be surprised if you become sorer as the week goes on.
- Contact Your Car Insurance as Quickly as Possible
In the midst of everything else going on with the car accident, make sure that you contact your insurance provider as quickly as possible.
You’ll need their assistance if you were at fault in the accident, and your insurance company can also put pressure on the insurance that the other driver holds if they were at fault. When you talk to your insurance company, they will start processing a claim.
For starters, an agent will ask you to walk them through what happened in the accident, point by point. They will ask in as much detail as possible so that your statement is on the record.
From there, your insurance company will begin investigating the claim and will work on your behalf to fact-find.
- Get Documentation of the Accident
While your insurance provider is hard at work, make sure that you’re also getting your ducks in a row. Start by retrieving a copy of the official police accident report.
The accident report is usually filed by the police authority that handled the accident and should be retrievable within the following week. Some agencies let you pull a copy from a secure website, while others require you to show up in person or make a request over the phone.
This report will show the police officer’s assessment of the damage and which driver’s narrative the damage is more consistent with. Having this accident report is a very important piece of the puzzle that will help you with your claim.
- Figure Out if You Need to Take Legal Action
Your next step is to consider your legal options. Your car insurance provider can work to get you a payout, but you may need to work with an attorney to seek higher damages in a court of law.
You’ll definitely want to hire a car accident lawyer if you’ve suffered injuries of any kind. Injuries like neck and back, concussion, and spinal cord injuries are high-priority cases that require litigation.
Working with attorneys at a reputable firm like Grothlawfirm.com can be valuable to your claim. When you work with an experienced law firm, it’s easier to get results from both the legal process and insurance reimbursement.
Your lawyer can win you either a court judgment or a settlement negotiated without it going to trial.
Handle Your Car Accident Head-On
If you’re facing a car accident insurance claim, using these suggestions can help you out a lot. Dig your heels in and start going through the process until you get paid for your case.
We’re happy to help you out if you’re looking for any other legal advice. Check back to read more of our topics about a variety of legal topics.