Once you get on the road, there is no guarantee that you will arrive at your destination safely. It could be your unlucky day, and unfortunately, are involved in a car wreck which hurts you, damages your car, or both. You have many options for the next steps, but filing a car accident claim with your insurer or the other party’s insurance company should always be part of the equation. This will help you get compensation, and in most cases the person at fault for the car wreck bears the liability for the damages caused by the collision.
The following steps will guide you into how you to make a successful claim.
File a car accident claim with your car insurance carrier
This is also referred to as the first-party claim. It is essential if the individual at fault for the accident is uninsured or underinsured. If you make a first party claim, you will have to work with a claims adjuster who will need to access your medical records, your auto repair bills and any other data that might help in the case. You must know that anything you say to the adjuster can be used against you if you end up getting in a dispute. You should, therefore, be careful with every statement you make and in general try to avoid speaking with the adjuster without your lawyer present. If you are not sure of what you should say, don’t speak before consulting with counsel.
File a third-party car insurance claim
Unless you live in a No Fault state, you can file your complaint directly through the at fault insurer. However, you should know that any statement you make to the insurer or its agents can be used against you and cause you lose the case or impact any recovery. A third party claim is an unfavorable process since the insurance company is obligated to the driver at fault and not to you. Having a personal injury attorney will help since he can guide you through the process and ensure that you do not say anything that could harm your case. The attorney will also help in the provision of medical bills and records in favor of your claim.
File a lawsuit against the person at fault
If after filing an insurance claim you do not get a settlement offer sufficient to cover your losses, it is time to file a lawsuit. (In fact, you may need to file a lawsuit even before any settlement is offered just to show the insurance company that you are serious.) In a motor vehicle accident, the lawsuit would be against the at-fault driver and not the insurance company. Again, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that you receive just compensation. The driver’s insurance company represents the driver and usually will be liable for any recovery or award.
When filing a car accident claim, it is important to gather some information immediately before leaving the scene. You should make sure you have the following:
- The name and contact information of the other driver
• The driver’s insurance company
• The name and contact of any witness
• Contacts of any officer who has arrived at the scene
• Take pictures while you are still at the scene if you have a camera or phone with you. The photos should entail the vehicles’ location, the areas where the cars have suffered damage and the plates of each car.
Following the above tips will help make your case filing process more comfortable and effective.
This blog post was submitted by Zhivov Law. The attorneys at the firm focus on personal injury law and can help you learn more about filing your car accident claim.