How the Auto Accident Claims Process Works
When you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, the results can be devastating. When significant property damage/loss or severe injury occurs, the shock of the accident may leave you a bit rattled. You may not be thinking very clearly, and often the last thing on your mind is filing an auto accident claim. The sooner you begin the auto accident claims process, however, the better chance you have of receiving the compensation that you deserve so you can put the crash behind you and concentrate on healing and getting on with your life. Unfortunately, you may not be familiar with exactly how the auto accident claims process works, or how to proceed. Understanding what to expect and remembering a few “do’s and don’t’s” can be vital to achieving a successful outcome.
WHEN YOU ARE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT
- If you are capable, gather as much information as possible at the scene of the crash. Remember to obtain the name and contact information for the other driver(s), passengers and any witnesses.
- Photos of the accident can be extremely helpful when processing the auto accident claim. If possible, take photos of the location of each vehicle, any property damage, license plates and anything else that might be relevant.
- Contact your insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible. Be prepared to offer details about what occurred immediately preceding the accident, as well as answering any questions about damages, etc.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
It is extremely important that you remember that the insurance company is not on your side. Whether you are partially at fault, or the other driver is completely at fault, your insurance company (and theirs) will most likely do everything possible to minimize monetary compensation. They may offer you a lower amount than what you deserve or even deny your claim completely. Understand that the insurance company is not obligated to reach a settlement with you, and your best course of action is often to hire an experienced auto accident attorney, especially if you have suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash. Never sign a waiver or agree to a settlement without seeking legal advice from an accident attorney.
An experienced accident attorney can often maximize the amount of monetary compensation you receive for things like:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Mental and physical pain
- Property damages
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