If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, you will need to file an accident claim with your insurance company. It can be frustrating going through the necessary steps, but this expert advice will help you manage the process.
- Gather Information
Once you’ve established that everyone is ok, and any immediate injuries have been taken care of, it is very important to gather as much information at the scene of the accident as you can. Details are very important. You will need to record:
- The name of the registered owner of the car and their insurance company.
- Insurance policy number of the registered owner of the car.
- Name and driver’s licence number of the driver of the car (if they are not the owner)
- Name and contact information for any witnesses of the accident
- Date, time and location of the incident
- The name and badge number of any law enforcement officers at the scene
- Make, model, year, registration and licence plate number of the vehicle.
- Details of any injuries
- Number of other passengers involved
- Details about the damage to the vehicle
- Your description of what happened.
Pictures are very useful. If you can, take some pictures with your phone at the accident scene. Try to get a picture of the locations of all the involved vehicles, any physical damage to the vehicles and the make and licence plate of all involved vehicles.
2. Review Your Policy
It is a good idea to read through your insurance policy so that you understand exactly what is covered and what the procedures are. Your policy has detailed information and will list what your rights and responsibilities are. If you don’t have a copy of your insurance policy you can request one from your broker or insurance company.
It is also important to understand that the insurance company is not necessarily on your side. They will require a lot of detailed information and may try to claim that you haven’t provided sufficient information. The more accurate and detailed information you can provide, the better your chances are to receive the compensation you deserve.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company As Soon As Possible
If you have been in a car accident, you need to report it to your insurance company within seven days or as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the insurance company may claim they do not need to compensate you.
If you have been injured, you need to give yourself time to recover from your injuries. Sometimes injuries become apparent a few days or weeks after the accident. As soon as you are able, you should start to request documents (surveillance footage, police reports, etc) to support your insurance claim.
4. Stay Organized
You should keep a written record of all the accident details and any reports and correspondence from your insurance company or other parties. Written communication is always preferable, and if you do have a phone conversation it helps to take detailed notes.
Create a digital copy of all of your notes and documents – even if you have paper copies, it helps to have a digital backup. Also, keep your medical records separate from your auto repair and insurance records. If possible have them all in a handy envelope that you can access easily when you need to.
5. Hire A Lawyer
If you have any concerns that you are not being treated fairly or have questions about the process of filing a claim it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer. Michelle Linka Law can help you get the full compensation you deserve and can help you through the complex claims process.
It can be challenging to know your full rights when it comes to accident compensation claims. These tips can help you navigate the process and get you back on your feet and back on the road.