Did you know that there are more than six million car crashes in the United States each year? The most common causes of car crashes include distracted driving, speeding, and severe weather.
Car crashes can result in injury, death, financial problems, and stress. If you are in a car crash, you should file a claim with your insurance company. Depending on your insurance, you may not have to pay to repair your car or get towing services.
Are you wondering how to file car accident claims? If so, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the accident claims process.
Make Sure Everyone Is Safe
Anytime you are in a car accident, the first step is to make sure everyone involved is okay. When your adrenaline is flowing, you may not notice injuries.
Take a second to breathe, check yourself for any pain, and then check on the state of your passengers. Once you ensure everyone in your vehicle is alright, check on passengers in other cars.
When you call 911, inform the operator of any injuries. Once you know everyone is okay, move the vehicle to a safe location. This could be on the side of the highway or in a parking lot.
Avoid leaving the scene of the accident. To reduce the risk of injury, stay in your car until emergency services arrive.
Call the Police
Once everyone is safe, the next step is to call 911. First responders and ambulances will arrive at the scene if anyone is injured.
If everyone is safe and the vehicles are out of the road, the police will respond. The police will file a report, including statements from both drivers, statements from witnesses, and driver information.
The police officer will also state on the report what they believe is the cause of the accident. Your insurance company will also investigate the accident, but they will consider what the police offer had to say.
Before leaving the scene, find out the police department and the name of the officer that filed the report. This will make it easier for you to find the police report.
After you are in a car accident, you should exchange information with other drivers in the accident. The most important things to write down are insurance and contact information.
If there are any witnesses on the scene, you also should get their information. When communicating with other drivers and witnesses, keep your conversations short and factual.
Anything you say during the accident could be used against you when it’s time to file a claim.
After you exchange information, you should take pictures and videos of the accident. You should include photos of the vehicles, property damage, skid marks, weather conditions, and injuries.
These photos and videos will give you proof when you file an insurance claim, so take as many as possible. You also can take pictures of the other driver’s insurance card.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Most insurance companies have a time limit for submitting claims, so don’t procrastinate. Some states, such as North Carolina and New Jersey, require you to submit a claim immediately.
If you aren’t sure how to submit a claim, check your insurance card. Most of the time, you will submit a claim online or call your insurance company.
When submitting a claim, you will need to include the location and time of the accident, all driver’s insurance information, weather conditions during the accident, photos, and the police report if it is available.
Review Your Policy
After you submit a claim, it’s always a good idea to review your insurance policy. If you understand your auto insurance policy, you will know what to expect when you submit your claim.
One of the most important parts to review is your deductible. This will tell you how much you will have to pay out of pocket for repairs. You should also see if you have medical coverage for injuries.
In addition to checking your insurance policy, you should see if you have gap insurance. Gap insurance will help you pay off your car loan if you owe more than the car is worth.
Work With the Insurance Adjuster
An insurance adjuster should contact you a few days after you submit a claim. The insurance adjuster will review your case, inspect your car, and get more information on any injuries.
The insurance adjuster may request that you get a quote from a mechanic to repair your car. They will use all this information to determine the fault and how much it will cost to repair your vehicle.
If you feel the insurance adjuster is offering you an unfair amount, you should consider hiring a lawyer. They can help you negotiate with the adjuster, file lawsuits on your behalf, and give you advice. If you are looking for a car accident lawyer, you can follow this link.
Replace or Repair Your Vehicle
Once you finish negotiating with the insurance adjuster, you can repair or replace your vehicle. You can choose a mechanic to take your car to, and your insurance will pay the bill.
In some cases, your car may be totaled. This means it would cost more money to repair your vehicle than it is worth.
In this case, your insurance company will send you a check for how much the car is worth, and you can use that money to pay off your car loan or buy a new vehicle.
Are You Ready to File Car Accident Claims?
If you are in a car crash, the first step is to make sure everyone is okay. Once you know everyone is safe, you can file car accident claims. Filing a claim can help cover the cost of other drivers involved in the accident, your vehicle, and towing fees.
Did you find this article on auto insurance claims helpful? If so, check out our blog for more insurance and driving tips.