Car accident insurance claims can be settled in a number of ways. If you have knowledge regarding the same, you can get the best settlement. Here are a few tips to help you get the best insurance settlement for a car accident:
This is one of the first things you should do if you are involved in an auto accident. Photos are the best way to explain a situation. They can reveal much more information than verbally describing how the accident happened, etc. Remember to take pictures of the crossings and the street apart from the vehicles. Do not forget to take pictures of your injuries as well.
Report the accident
If there are serious injuries sustained, make sure that you report the accident to the police immediately. You should also do this if the damage is extensive.
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Move your vehicle
Make sure that you move your vehicle from the line of traffic. This prevents further damage to your car and also other accidents from occurring.
Get a medical report
You should ask the doctor who checks you after the accident to give you a detailed report of all the injuries you sustained. A hand-written report might be illegible so request a typed report from the doctor’s office.
Always make sure that you note down the details of the accident, the other cars’ license numbers and the people who are involved in the accident.
You can get a driver information exchange form from the police or you can directly ask the other party involved for their information and pass along yours as well.
Collect witness information
If there are witnesses near the scene of the accident, make sure that you get their details. It could be helpful later when you are filing for an insurance claim.
Stand your ground
Many times, the other party may ask you to forget the accident and convince you take cash on the spot. Make sure that you stand your ground and do not accept any money or fault.
Contact the insurance company
You should contact your insurance company as soon as you are able to and make sure that a complete claim is filed. Problems may arise while processing a claim if you contact your insurer too late.
Get the car repaired
You need to make sure that your insurance company agrees to make payments on all repairs before the work is done.
Always check your car
It is important that you always check your vehicle while it is being repaired. You need to be sure that you are satisfied with the job that is being done on your car.
Get a repair shop receipt
Always make sure that you get a receipt with every detail of the repairs done on your car. This will come in handy when you submit your insurance claim.
You should find out if your insurance company handles supplemental repairs. This will be in cases where the auto repair shop finds damages that were not seen in the beginning.
Prepare your answers
Your insurer will ask you a series of questions when you file a claim. You need to be prepared for answer to every question. If you are found to be withholding evidence or details, you will have problems in filing a settlement claim.
Choose the auto repair shop
Most insurance companies have a number of auto repair shops that have links with them. They will try to convince you to use a shop of their choice. Remember that this is not compulsory. If you prefer to choose your own, you can certainly do so.
Consult an attorney
Filing an auto accident insurance claim can be a tedious process. To make sure that you receive the amount that you are entitled to, you should consult an attorney who has experience in the field.
Settle or sue
If you are proceeding with the claim on your own without legal counsel, you will need to remember that you have two years to settle the case. If you have not settled, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Do not accept drop drafts
A check and a release form may be sent to you by your insurance company. You will be asked to sign and deposit the check. Do not do this. Drop drafts are settlements that are lower in value to what you should be getting. If this happens, you will need to hire a lawyer.
Always make sure that you check every document. You can end up with a settlement that is lower than what you deserve because all your documents were not in order. You need to be organized with all your papers.
Be wary of your insurer
Every insurance company wants to save money. You need to make sure that you do not fall for all the jargon they give you. If you are not sure about something, make sure that you consult a professional.
You have the power to negotiate the best settlement when you have knowledge about the accident you were involved in. You need to make sure that you know how the system works to help you with your car accident insurance claim.