According to the National Highway Safety Administration, over 6 million car accidents occur in the United States each year. Each state has its own set of regulations when it comes to insurance claims and the amount one can be reimbursed for under these obligations. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with the local laws and regulations when pursuing these benefits.
1) Keep Accident Records: Accidents should always be recorded with the police department and the Insurance Company of the person who caused the accident. These reports can be used as proof of the accident and help avoid unnecessary legal problems.
2) Keep Medical Records: All medical reports and information obtained from the doctors and hospitals should be kept. This information is used to calculate compensation for accidents. If you have been released from a hospital without any serious injuries, they will most likely not be included in the final compensation. However, even if the injury was not significant at the time, you should still keep all medical records associated with the accident.
3) Seek Legal Advice: It is important to have an attorney on hand to help negotiate your interests and needs during the insurance claim process. Insurance companies are not always looking out for what is best for their clients after an accident, so it is necessary talking to a lawyer or have someone on your side who will fight for the justice you deserve.
4) Know The Statute of Limitations: There is a time limit on how long you have to file an insurance claim for damages. The average statute of limitations in most states is three years after the accident date. Therefore, it is important to be aware of this time limit and file your claim as soon as possible.
5) Understand Your Policy: As an informed consumer, you should know what is covered under your policy. Most policies will not cover very minor accidents such as fender benders or extremely low speeds. It is important to know what your policy covers before making any claims.
6) Take Pictures of the Accident: As an informed consumer, it is important to take pictures of the accident. These pictures should include all cars that were involved in the accident, skid marks if any were left, and damage done to the area where the accident occurred. If at all possible, witness statements should be included as well.
7) Know Your Insurance Company: It is important to know what type of company you are dealing with when filing a claim for damages. Some insurance companies hire investigators to follow their clients around who have just had accidents to discredit them and lessen the amount they get back from their policy. If this happens, it is okay to contact the insurance company and let them know. It is perfectly legal for you to be informed about your rights as a policyholder regarding dealing with your insurance carrier after an accident.
If you are considering filing a claim, research the companies in your area that specialize in this service. Insurance carriers vary greatly when it comes to how they handle claims, and the best course of action is to find one that specializes in claims related to car accidents. These specialists can handle everything from documenting the accident, negotiating with your insurance company for you, and getting you back on the road as soon as possible.