When you’re involved in a car accident, one of the first things you should do is to report the crash to your insurer and file a claim. As a matter of fact, most insurance companies want you to report the accident as soon as possible. However, the process of filing a car crash claim isn’t as straightforward as you may think. Most often than not you will experience hitches here and there not to mention delays in getting your compensation. It is thus imperative that you get the claim process correct, right from the word go to avoid unnecessary delays. Below is a comprehensive look at the process of making a car accident insurance application to help you start on the right footing.
Start By Reporting the Accident
This almost goes without saying. It is of utmost importance that you notify your insurance company about the crash as soon as you can and let them know that you intended to file a claim for compensation as stipulated in your policy. The insurer will assign a claim adjuster to analyze your policy’s terms as well as assess the facts you have given concerning the accident.
If the crash is minor and the extent of damage is negligible, the claim adjuster will make a rough estimate of the losses and float an offer. However, in serious car crashes that involve severe injuries, your policy may not be enough to cater for the losses incurred. In such situations, your insurance company will take more time to analyze the circumstances surrounding your claim, which brings us to the next step.
Analyzing the Accident Claim
In serious car crashes resulting in severe injuries, the claim adjuster will want to know more about the collision. Thus, he or she will carry out further investigation in a bid to find out what was the state of affairs before and after the accident. The adjuster may get in touch with eyewitnesses, go through the police reports, look at the photos taken at the scene of the crash and may even seek the services of accident reconstruction specialists to try and find out what happened. Additionally, the adjuster will look extent of your injuries and the claims you’ve made. He or she may ask that you provide records showing your medical past. The adjuster will do this as an attempt to establish if the injuries occurred as a result of the accident or if the amount incurred as medical bills is as you have stated in the claim.
Note that the claim adjuster will do all this not in your interest, but that of the company. He or she would want to ensure that the insurer avoids liability, now that your policy is not enough to cover for your losses. You should, therefore, be very careful with the kind of information you give to the adjuster. Most of them will ask questions that will draw you in admitting liability. Give simple answers to inquiries and always keep in mind that you don’t have to answer every question the claim adjuster asks. While you are at it, do not make any recorded statements even when the adjuster asks you to. Once a statement is documented in any form, changing it at a later date to suit your claim may be impossible.
Initial Settlement Offer
Once the adjuster gets acquainted with the events surrounding your case and the extent of the extent of injuries, he or she will float an offer to pay for the losses. If the offer is enough to cover your losses and you accept it, the insurance company will write you a check. In most instances, however, the initial proposition is hardly enough to cover the losses. It is for this reason that you should always call a personal injury attorney to assess the initial settlement offer before you accept or decline it.
Negotiating the Settlement
If the initial settlement offer was not adequate to cover the losses, or if the insurance company denied your claim, negotiations for a better amount will start. Be sure to provide the evidence of you injuries and the medical bills incurred as a way of showing that the amount in your application is justifiable. Negotiating for a favorable settlement offer is not easy, and you will need the assistance of an experienced and skilled personal injury lawyer to get the amount that is proportionate to the losses incurred. Don’t hesitate to call a personal injury attorney whenever you want to file an injury claim, it will save you lots of hassles and will reduce the likelihood of your application getting denied.