According to the World Health Organization, between 20-50 million people suffer non-fatal car accident-related injuries every year. Many of them end up with some form of disability. But then, they are lucky to be alive because 1.3 million people die yearly from accident-related injuries.
If you survive an accident at some point in your life, you’ll need to file an insurance claim. It will help if you get as much help as possible because of the confusion that sets in at such times. This article will guide you on the steps to follow when filing an insurance claim.
Read to the end to ensure you follow the correct steps.
1. Report to the Insurance Company
The first step to take after an accident is seeking medical attention. You should contact your insurance company immediately after treatment. Check the insurer’s terms and ensure you report the accident within the set timelines.
Once you’re on that call, make sure you report everything correctly. Avoid withholding any detail that can help speed up the approval of your claim. The insurance representative will ask you a set of questions that you must answer correctly and truthfully for your claim to succeed.
It will help to understand your coverage well before you report the accident. Or before you fill out any documents sent to you by the agent. For instance, you should be familiar with the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value to ensure you make the correct claim.
2. Write Down Expenses Related to Your Claim
The period after getting involved in an accident can be devastating. First, you won’t be going on with your regular duties if you’re badly injured. That means your income will reduce if not halt completely. It could result in a financial strain that may affect physical and emotional recovery.Moreover, if the cause of an accident is driving under the influence, there is likely to be severe consequences of the same- economic and non-economical. Therefore, hiring a DUI attorney to protect yourself would be best. You can visit here to learn more about DUI accidents.
However, you shouldn’t stop spending as long as you file a claim. The court in its judgement will factor in all the expenses you incurred during the entire waiting period. You only need to write every expense down and keep the records to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Also, you can avoid financial strain by applying for an auto accident loan. This is a loan given by a company to help people with various personal injury cases continue with their normal lives. Car accident lawsuit loans are readily available; all you need to do is find a reliable lender.
The company you choose will provide for all your medical and daily expenses. You can then repay them from the compensation amount you receive. But then, do not forget to write down every expense related to your claim. You’re eligible for compensation for every amount spent.
3. Provide Evidence From the Scene
Evidence is vital as it supports your claim and increases your chances of success. Thus, you need to gather as much evidence as you can from the accident scene. If you’re severely injured and cannot do it, a relative or a friend can help you, for instance, take pictures of the accident scene.
There’s no need to panic if there’s no one to help you gather evidence. That’s the first thing that the police do once they arrive at the scene. They collect every piece of evidence that can help settle the case. Therefore, you can obtain an accident report from the police and use it as evidence.
Besides helping you claim your insurance, evidence is valuable in case you file a lawsuit. Your attorney will need it to support their arguments in court. The more concrete it is, the higher the chances of getting compensated. Thus, it would be best if you never ignored the benefit of evidence.
4. Submit All the Required Documents to the Insurer
The insurer will require various documents to process your claim. You should ensure that they get everything they need to avoid delaying the process. Failure to produce certain documents may also make them write off your claim, and you’ll have to cater for the damages.
Here’re some documents you should present;
- Copy of insurance policy
- Copy of car registration
- Copy of driving license
- First information report from the police
- Medical receipts if you got treated for injuries
- A duly filled up and signed insurance claim form
- Detailed estimates of incurred repair expenses
You should prepare these documents as early as immediately after the accident. Also, you should provide any other documentation requested by the insurance company. Presenting the required documents in good time can help speed up the process and bring you success.
5. Speak With an Attorney Before Signing Anything
There’s a lot of paperwork that you may have to sign on your way to filing a claim. But then, you should remember that every paper you sign is legally binding. Thus, you must be sure of what you’re about to authorize before you put your signature on any paper presented by the insurer.
If you’re not familiar with legal terms, you should seek help from a professional car accident lawyer. Do not guess the meanings of the insurance and legal terms used in the paperwork. Instead, have your attorney check every detail for you and explain what you are about to sign before you do so. Experts who handle car accident cases can take on your case and help you get the compensation you deserve after an accident.
That way, you’ll avoid penning your signature on the wrong paper. It will also ensure that you get the compensation amount you deserve if you file a lawsuit. Thus, it would help if you never ignored the need to have a car accident attorney on your side.
It is the best way to get through the process smoothly. Otherwise, you risk spending hours trying to understand legal and insurance terms. Or you could also sign paperwork that could put your case in jeopardy.
Following the correct steps is vital when filing an insurance claim. And, one thing many people forget is to follow the proper timelines. Every insurance company has a set period within which you must report an accident. However, it is vital to always keep it under 24 hours to be safe.
Also, it would be best to stick with facts to ensure your claim gets approved quickly. Incorrect details and contradicting statements can impact your claim. It helps to speak to your attorney before taking any step. Otherwise, you’ll never go wrong if you follow the process outlined in this article. And, if you are not sure How to make sure you can make an insurance claim after a traffic accident?, consult with an insurance consultant.