Filing an Auto Accident Insurance Claim
You won’t be able to get any kind of auto accident settlement until you file an insurance claim. It is important to use all the information possible in your claim to be sure that there are no gray areas. Even information that you assume is obvious should be a part of your claim.
Your auto accident claim begins the moment following the accident. You should get a digital camera or use a phone camera to take as many pictures of the accident scene and surrounding area as you can. Make several file copies of the pictures when you can get to a computer. These may be instrumental in negotiations with the insurance company.
If you have an auto accident attorney, they will ask for a copy of the accident report from the investigating authority. If you are representing yourself, be sure to get your copy along with any statements by observers or other documentation that indicates blame.
If you are injured, or think you may have a problem later, visit a clinic or the emergency room where you can be checked out thoroughly. Insurance companies view an accident more seriously when those involved seek medical attention, and many serious injuries are not obvious at the time of the accident.
If you do not see a doctor at the time of the accident, the insurance company can argue that any injuries you claim later may have been caused by something that occurred after the accident.
Other documentation that will serve you well in an auto accident settlement includes medical records and charges. Expenses that are required to get to and from medical facilities and lost wages due to the accident and subsequent treatments should all be filed as part of the claim.
Damages to your vehicle, car rental while repairs are made, and any towing charges are also a part of the auto accident insurance claim. Keep records of what you spent to have repairs made or estimates of what repairs will cost. Keep receipts for all associated expenses. Generally, insurance companies have certified repair shops that claimants are required to use for pricing out the damage repair.