The moments following a collision are crucial for collecting the evidence to file a claim for damages. You must collect all evidence of the crash and the incurred damages and report this information to various authorities. Each of them – your insurer, the police, the DMV, and your lawyer – play a critical role in determining liability for your case, and therefore, your ability to receive compensation. It’s tough to remember all the details required in a car insurance claim, so review the guide below to remind yourself of how to go about this process.
The Steps to File a Car Insurance Claim
The first thing you must do after a car accident is to pull over to a safe location. As you’re gathering information for your claim, you do not want to remain in the path of danger or present the risk of collision to other passersby. Pulling over to the shoulder of the freeway, or even into a parking lot can significantly reduce your chances of further endangerment. When you do this, though, make sure to stay within proximity of the location of the crash.
If there is any evidence remaining at the scene of the collision, you’ll need a way to record photos or videos of it. Once all involved parties are safe, follow the steps below to start filing your claim:
- Call the police. This is a crucial step to building a strong case for compensation. Why? The negligent driver is likely to attempt to misrepresent details of the crash in an attempt to place you at fault. They may even lie about their presence at the scene altogether. A police report will objectively reflect all details of the incident, including a conclusion as to who may be liable.
- Take photos and videos of the scene. Make sure all incurred damages are represented in your images and recordings. If you have visible injuries, take pictures of those as well.
- Report the incident to the DMV. There is a brief period in which you are legally required to report a collision in which you were involved. Depending on state laws, this timeframe may change.
- Call your insurance company. Relay all information about the accident to your insurance company, without speculating or admitting fault.
Once you have all these details submitted, you’ll need to get in touch with a car accident lawyer.
Contact a Lawyer to Ensure a Smooth Claims Process
Even if you have secured all possible evidence of a collision that demonstrates negligence on the other driver’s behalf, there could still be challenges up against your claim. You may face difficulties in securing compensation without documentation of medical expenses or a mechanic’s repair estimates, for example. Without such paperwork, your insurance company is likely to resist your attempts to collect compensation or offer an underwhelming settlement.
To assist you in keeping your case as straightforward as possible, hire a car accident lawyer. They will secure all the necessary evidence that fully demonstrates not only your innocence but your exact financial needs following a crash. To get started in building a strong insurance claim, contact a car accident lawyer today.