Liability car insurance is required in most states and for good reason. If you are found at fault for a car accident, you are responsible for the costs to repair or replace any damaged property as well as cover the medical expenses of the other driver and passengers. Without car insurance, you could be liable for tens to even hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal injury and property damage.
If the other party is at fault, filing a car insurance claim is still important. Your vehicle may also be damaged, and you may need medical attention. You will also need to consider factors like needing a rental car while your car is being repaired or replaced or considering how much your insurance policy covers in damages.
Knowing what to do when you need to file an auto insurance claim can help you avoid some of the headaches and red tape involved in the process. It can also help you get a better value for your insurance. Keep in mind that every insurance company handles its claim process slightly differently, but many of the steps are similar.
A car insurance claim is a request for financial compensation for damages and injuries sustained in an auto accident. Insurance claims cover the expenses after a car accident. If you are liable, claims cover for representation or intervention on your behalf.
After you file the appropriate paperwork, the insurance company usually sends an insurance adjuster to investigate your claim. If the claim is validated and approved, you will receive the financial compensation needed to cover your losses.
To understand how to file a car insurance claim, you must first know the types of coverage offered by most insurance companies.
There are several types of auto insurance coverage that address different incidents. You can only file a claim if you have coverage for that specific incident in question. Common coverages include:
This type of insurance may also cover hit-and-run accidents. It is most often paired with underinsured motorist coverage.
Some people use comprehensive car insurance and full coverage car insurance interchangeably, but these are not the same. Though a “full coverage” policy does not exist, it is more than comprehensive car insurance.
Once you are safe, you should call the police. In Nevada, the law requires you to notify the police about any car accident that causes physical injuries, death, or property damage. Not only is it essential to do so in the case of a serious accident, but a police officer can help you begin the claims process by generating a police report that can be used as part of your claim.
In a worst-case scenario, a police officer can be there to ensure your safety should the other party become difficult. An officer can also make sure ambulances or emergency services are there to handle any injuries or dangerous conditions, such as fuel leaks or a burning car, at the scene.
You should also take note of any traffic cameras or store security cameras in the area. Even in neighborhoods, many people now have doorbells that take videos, which can help determine the cause and who is at fault for your accident.
Record all accident details, no matter how minor, including photos and videos of damage and the accident scene. Many insurance companies now have apps that allow you to take and upload pictures and videos to begin the claims process. Be sure to capture all angles so that the insurance company can see the full extent of the damage done to your property or car.
Besides evidence of damage sustained during the car accident, take photos and record any injuries from the collision, no matter how small. This includes any injuries your passengers may have suffered.
Include everything you can remember about what happened immediately before, during, and after the accident. While doing this, do not apologize or accept fault for the accident, and especially do not agree to settle the matter privately. It may affect your ability to file a claim and get approved.
Calling your insurance company will officially initiate the claims process. When you reach your insurer, explain what happened in as much detail as possible. This is where the relevant information and documentation come in handy.
In the case of an auto accident, your insurance company will try to determine who is at fault. Even if you believe you are not at fault, you should still call your insurer to begin a claim. Ask your agent how to proceed, and any necessary steps you need to take to ensure your claim is processed appropriately. Your agent may ask for a “proof of loss” form, as well as copies of any documentation related to the accident, such as the police report, medical bills, and auto repair bills.
If you choose to file a third-party claim, that means you choose to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance. The other party’s insurance will require the same information as your own insurance company to determine who is at fault. With this option, you may want to contact an experienced car accident attorney before proceeding.
The claims professional will also review any potential personal injury claims, handle the needed payments, and approve the costs for repairs. For this reason, be sure to provide the adjuster with all relevant information to make sure your claim moves quickly and avoids delays. The more information you provide, the easier it is for the adjuster to help you.
If there is any part of the process you do not understand, your claims professional should be able to answer your questions. Do not be afraid to ask for an explanation of the process.
Remember that while the claims adjuster may want you satisfied with how they handle your claim, their first responsibility is to the insurance company. They will want to keep expenses as low as possible. You may consider hiring a car accident lawyer to make sure you get full compensation from your insurance or the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Suppose you’re in an auto accident, your vehicle is totaled, and you have comprehensive or collision coverage. In that case, you will receive the value of your car pre-wreck in cash from the insurance company. The cost is usually enough to cover the cost of buying a new vehicle of the same value.
The process of filing a car insurance claim is similar across insurance companies, but who pays for damages, coverage costs, and whether you are covered at all vary. This is why it is important to contact your car insurance provider as soon as possible after the accident. They can help you better understand the claims process and your coverage policy.
There is a possibility of your claim being denied. Sometimes, insurance companies can reject your claim based on the nature of the accident or your coverage policy. For example, if there is evidence you violated state law during the accident, your insurance provider can deny you coverage.
If you are not satisfied with your settlement offer, you can negotiate with your insurance provider. You will need all the necessary evidence to support your claim, such as medical records, bills, and police reports. The better your evidence, the more likely you are to receive higher compensation initially or after negotiation.
Insurance companies are interested in their bottom line, which is especially true of the other party’s insurer. The goal of their claims adjuster is to spend as little money as possible. Insurance companies can also make it difficult to negotiate and will use any missteps in the process of filing your claim as evidence against increasing the payout.
Car accidents are traumatic experiences that can have life-altering effects on their victims. The process of filing a claim can be overwhelming and seem nearly impossible after an accident. There are many steps to worry about, including gathering evidence, and you only have a limited time to file your claim. At Dimopoulos Injury Law, we believe the last thing on your mind should be dealing with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance provider.
You need an experienced, exceptional, and trustworthy team to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our team will gather all the evidence and documentation you need to start the claims process and review this evidence to determine who is at fault. We will also investigate your case thoroughly to find all the damages you’ve endured due to your auto accident.
Dimopoulos Injury Law Firm will take care of the insurance companies so you can focus on your recovery. Our attorneys will communicate with the appropriate parties, including any witnesses and claims adjusters, taking the stress of the claims process off your shoulders. With our team at your side, insurance companies will take your case seriously.
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