How to File a Collision Claim After an Auto Accident
The NHTSA estimates that drivers are involved in at least three accidents in their lifetime. This makes auto collision claims more common than many people think.
If you get involved in one, you’ll have to file an auto collision claim to spare yourself from some hefty costs. An auto collision claim is a report made to an insurance company by an individual requesting compensation.
But many people don’t know the correct process of filing a collision claim after an accident. They end up losing millions cumulatively.
This blog will take you through a step-by-step guide to filing a car insurance claim so you can get full compensation for your damages and injuries.
Step 1: Record Details of the Accident
To successfully file an auto insurance claim, you’ll need to record details about the accident so you don't forget anything later. You can take photos and videos from your camera to document some of the details.
Step 2: File a Collision Claim
Failure to contact your car insurance company may result in you making a blunder that could destroy the whole collision claim process. You should contact your car insurance company, preferably at the scene of the accident when you are safe and composed.
Your insurance company will let you know what's required and the information that they'll need. Also, depending on your car insurance cover, your insurer might provide means for you to tow your car if severely damaged.
Step 3: Get a Car Accident Attorney
Once submitted, your claim is assigned a number. Get in touch with a car accident lawyer within 24 hours of the submission to go over the details of your auto accident.
They will verify the claim and ask questions. These may include whether anyone was hurt, who was in the car, if there were any passengers, and more. It is important to answer these questions precisely and to the best of your ability to help the collision claim process move faster.
Step 4: The Appraisal and Repair Estimate
After your collision claim has been confirmed, your attorney and an appraiser examine the damage and give an estimate for repair.
Once the evaluation is done, the appraiser files an appraisal report which your car accident attorney will go over. Afterward, the insurance can send a check for the payment of assessed damages.
The estimated cost would include if the insurance company will use aftermarket parts, and also include a summary of the work at hand. After you and the appraiser have reached an agreement, the repair process begins.
Step 5: Coverage for Your Auto Collision Claim
Car insurance companies consider your claim completed when repairs are done and your vehicle restored to its pre-loss condition.
Your insurance company can offer coverage based on the content of your auto collision claim concerning the party liable for the crash, and the type of wreck that took place.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Collision Claims
You might have several questions about how car insurance claims work, so here are some answers to some common FAQs.
Do I Need to File an Auto Collision Claim?
Yes, in many instances, it is recommended to file a car collision claim. You must report and file a claim immediately there has been an accident. If there are no injuries and insignificant damages, some individuals see it fit to settle with the other party.
Your car insurance company may not compensate you if you didn’t report it.
How Long Do I Have Before I Need to File an Auto Collision Claim?
You should file your auto collision claim immediately after your accident. It's advised to consult with your insurance policy to learn more about your auto collision claim deadlines.
Should I Use My Insurance Company’s Network of Repair Shops?
After an auto accident, your car insurance company may recommend a chain of auto repair shops to help fix the wrecked vehicle. These auto repair shops are highly reviewed and help keep costs affordable.
If you have another auto repair shop you’d rather work with, you can do so. Most insurance companies will not penalize you for this.
Should I File a Claim with My Insurance or the Other Person’s Insurance?
If an auto accident is your fault, it's advised you file a collision claim with your own insurance company.
If you have collision coverage and are not at fault, it's advised to file a claim with your own car insurance company.
What if the At-Fault Driver Has No Insurance?
In instances where an individual who caused the crash has no insurance, your auto insurance policy should come with Uninsured Motorist coverage. Also, you can seek compensation from your Uninsured Motorist coverage in instances where you get into an accident and the offender flees the scene before exchanging any insurance information.
Do I Need to Have a Permanent Injury to Receive Compensation After an Auto Accident?
No. Following an auto accident, you’re pursuing compensation for your immediate damages such as pain, lost wages, suffering, medical bills, and more. Even if your injuries are not permanent, a qualified car accident attorney can assist you to get compensation for damages that have accrued.
Why the Collision Claim Process Is Important
You must file an auto collision claim immediately after an accident. If not, you are jeopardizing the compensation for damages to your vehicle and injuries sustained. Also, if you caused an auto accident, don’t wait for the other party to file an auto insurance claim before you. Proceed to call your insurance company, so they get informed.
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