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Understanding The Car Accident Insurance Claim Process

Last updated: November 19, 2023

Over 6 million car accidents are reported in the United States each year. Car accidents can be traumatic, especially if you suffer from a disability. Making an insurance claim can be intimidating and overwhelming. Knowing the ins and outs of car accident insurance is key to ensuring you receive a fair settlement for your disability-related expenses. 

Read on to learn more about the car accident insurance claim process.

Car Accident Insurance Claim: Overview

Car accident insurance claims are typically filed with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. The claim process begins with filing a claim form, which includes details about the accident, the damage to the vehicles, and any injuries that occurred.

The insurance company will investigate the claim to determine who was at fault and the extent of the damage. If they find that the other driver was at fault, they will pay for the damages to the insured vehicle and any medical expenses. If the other driver is uninsured, the insured may file a claim with their insurance company.

Car Accident Insurance Claim Process

Car Accident Insurance Claim

The car accident insurance claim process can vary depending on the insurance company and the circumstances of the accident, but generally, it includes the following steps:

Step 1: Reach Out To Your Insurance Company

After an accident, the first step is to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This will alert them to the accident and start the claim process. You should have your policy number and accident details on hand when you make the call. When providing accident details, be as accurate as possible. It's also best to take photos and videos to prove what happened. 

Step 2: File A Police Report

It's important to file a police report as soon as possible after an accident. This will provide an official record of the accident, which can be helpful when dealing with your insurance company and other parties involved in the accident.

Step 3: Review Your Policy

Before you file a claim, reviewing your policy to understand what is covered and what is not is important. This will help you understand what types of compensation you may be eligible for and what documentation you will need to provide to your insurance company.

Step 4: Coordinate With Your Insurance Adjuster

Once your insurance company is aware of the accident, they will assign an adjuster to your case. This person will be responsible for investigating the accident and determining the extent of the damage and the cost of repairs. They will also review your policy to determine what types of compensation you are eligible for.

Step 5: Get Compensation

After the insurance adjuster has completed their investigation, they will determine the amount of compensation you are eligible for. This may include compensation for property damage, medical expenses, and lost wages. Your insurance company will then provide you with a settlement offer, which you can accept or reject.

It's important to remember that the insurance claim process can be complex and time-consuming. It's best to have an attorney to help you navigate the process and ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are the answers to commonly asked questions. 

What are 3 important tips for filing an auto insurance claim?

The car accident insurance claim process can sometimes be stressful, so it's important to ensure you do it right.

  1. Always remember that insurance companies are in the business of assessing risk, so give them as much detail as possible about the incident. 
  2. Keep copies of all documentation related to the claim — things like repair bills and insurance quotes can be helpful when it comes time to settle. 
  3. Don't dismiss insurance discounts. Most insurance companies offer discounts if you bundle insurance policies or stay accident-free for multiple years, so make sure you look into any options for savings. 

What happens if I'm at fault in a car accident?

Being involved in a car accident can be incredibly stressful and frightening, even if you're at fault. Depending on the accident, you may face legal or insurance implications. If anyone reports significant property damage or personal injury as a result of the accident, then you could face a lawsuit. 

In these cases, it's best to consult your lawyer and insurer. Additionally, if another driver involved reports the accident to the police, then further consequences can follow, such as fines and demerit points on your license. It's important to remain level-headed throughout an accident scenario and gather law enforcement and witness information at the scene. Doing this can provide protection against possible lawsuits down the line.

What should I do after a car accident that wasn't my fault?

After a car accident that you weren't at fault for, it's important to take certain steps and remain calm to ensure your legal rights are protected. 

Firstly, call the police and get a report filed — even if the accident seems minor, it's still essential to document what happened. Afterward, exchange contact information with the other driver and witnesses and take pictures of the accident scene if possible. Then, contact your insurance company and provide as much detail about the accident as possible. 

Lastly, talk to an attorney about any further legal steps you should take or questions you have regarding the accident.

What to do if your auto claim is denied?

If your auto accident claim has been denied, it is important not to get frustrated. First, take some time to read through your insurance policy and the claims process guidelines in order to understand why your claim was denied and what potential options you have for appealing the decision. 

Secondly, contact the insurance company via phone or email to discuss your situation. Be polite and prepared by having the accident report and any supporting evidence you may have ready. Make sure to ask questions and make clear any points that seem unreasonable or confusing so that an agreement can hopefully be reached quickly. 

In most cases, communication between yourself and the insurer should lead to a satisfactory solution for both parties involved.

What are the basic car insurance types for claims?

The types of car insurance claim you can make will depend on your personal circumstances, but in general, there are three major categories: accident coverage, comprehensive coverage, and liability coverage. 

Accident insurance reimburses costs related to an accident you caused, like repairing your vehicle or paying for medical costs. Comprehensive covers events that don't involve crashes like theft or natural disasters. Liability is the most important since it pays for damages caused to others in an accident, such as damage to another vehicle or property and injury to others involved. 

Researching these options can help ensure you have the coverage needed if something ever happens while you're on the road.

Accidents can be stressful, but following the proper car accident insurance claim process will help alleviate some of the strain. It will ensure you're on the right track to getting proper compensation. 

Should you file an injury claim right after an accident? Learn how long after an accident can you claim injury in this blog. 

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Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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