The car accident claim is the claim from the injuries which is caused by the negligent driver. In most of the cases the injured party is looking to receive the compensation for the expenses which is related to the accident. Keep in mind that the nature and the value of the car accident claim is different from case to case. There are many factors which will influence and how much the defaulter driver has to cover. If you are having the serious car accident injuries then you must contact to the experienced personal injury lawyer. The qualified lawyer is having the knowledge of the local laws and can help you to determine if you may have the valid claim for the lost wages or medical expenses.
Here are some factors that could affect your car accident claim:
- Medical attention- if you are having the serious injuries in the car accident then it is very important to consult the doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. It is very important to have the treatment or therapy for the injuries before they become serious. It’s sure that the judge will look your claim if you delayed to visit the doctor.
- A police report- A police is valuable document in case of the car accident claim. It will provide you the comprehensive as well as the credible information regarding the accident. It also contains the details about the law enforcement officials who are assisted at the scene. If you are claiming through the insurance it is like the representative from the insurance company which will verify all the claims with the attending officer who is listed on the report.
- Pre-existing injuries- if you are having the pre-existing injuries then you must have the scans and x-rays for the injured regions. The experts will compare the scans from before and after the accident. From this they will able to determine the extent of the new injuries.
Tips for filing the car insurance claim
If you are driving the car and get in the car accident or have another incident which damages your car then you must follow some steps to file the claim with your car insurance company to receive the reimbursement. The types of claims also include the bodily injury claims for medical expenses and the property damage claims for the vehicle repair and the stolen property.
When to file the claim
After the accident contact to your car insurance company as soon as possible because you need to file the claim for your vehicle if it is:
- Damaged from the non-accident related events such as fire or severe weather.
Remember that the phone number of your insurance agent or your insurance company is listed in front of your insurance card. You can also find it online or on your actual policy documents.
The information which you will need
When you talk to your insurance company to file the claim then make sure to provide the necessary details:
- Your full name and your policy number
- The start and end date of your insurance policy
- The date and time of the accident
- The name, address and contact number of the driver, passengers and the witness.
- The driver license of all the driver
Make sure to take the pictures of the damages and note down the personal harms which you notice. Your insurance company also requires you to complete the statement which details the events of the car accident such as the weather condition, time when the incident occurred.
Basic steps to file a claim
Once you talk to your car insurance company after that you have to go through the following steps:
- The case will be assign to the professionals by your car insurance company who will work on your claim
- Discuss about your coverage and the situation after meeting with your claim professional
- Some evaluation can be done by the claim professionals which include inspecting your car, examining the evidence of the injury claims or any initial payment.
- Resolution of the case include the appropriate payments
- Closing of the case
You are responsible to protect your own property and your car, insurance company wants you to make some temporary fixes for your car when you are waiting for the car repairs. As it can help you to prevent the further damages. Make sure not to make any payment for the repairs if you are not approved by your insurance company because those payments will not be reimbursed. Always keep the receipts of expenses as you fix your car.
Coverage for the bodily injury claims
If you are not defaulter for the accident then you are covered by the other driver bodily injury liability coverage. If you live in the no fault state then you can pay for your own damages from your own personal injury protection coverage (PIP). There is also optional medical coverage which will help you to pay for your own injuries which include:
- Medical payment coverage- this coverage will help to cover the cost of funeral costs, injuries which is suffered by your passengers or any injuries to you if the car hits you.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage- this coverage will helps to pay for the injuries which occurred in the accident with the driver who has no or little insurance to cover your costs.
Keep in mind that before buying the medical coverage or increasing your minimum deductibles firstly consider your own health insurance to cover all your injuries.
Handling a bodily injury claim
When you get injured in the car accident there are some steps which can make you the process of dealing with the personal injury claim easier. Don’t forget to:
- Click the picture of the accident scene as well as your injuries
- File the report to police and ask for the copy
- Visit the hospital immediately
- Note down everything which is related to your injury such as any activity which you miss due to injuries
- It is mandatory if you are going to file for the lost wages claim
- If necessary hire the attorney
Always remember not to admit the fault at the scene
Property damage claim
The ability to file the claim for your car repairs depends on the cause of the damages and the coverage which you have. The liability property damage coverage is mandatory in every state but it doesn’t cover your own car. It will only pay for the damages which you cause to other driver vehicle in the accident. The types of coverage which pay for the damages to your car are:
- Collision coverage will cover the cost of damages of your car after the accident
- The comprehensive coverage will cover the cost of the damages to your car which occurred from the events that are not related to the accident. For example vandalism or severe weather.
The coverage which covers the property damage includes:
- The uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage coverage will help you to get the reimbursement if you get in the accident and other driver who causes accident doesn’t have the insurance.
- The GAP insurance coverage will cover the difference if you are having the car on loan or leasing your car if it is declared as the total loss.
- Windshield and glass coverage will replace and repair the windshield, mirror which gets damaged in the accident.
First party claim vs. third party claim
There are two types of insurance claims which are first party claim and the third party claim. The first party claim is which you file with your own insurance company and the third party claim is which you file with other person insurance company. Many insurance holders having the coverage for the third parties who get injured by their own fault.
The type of claim which you file will depend on who is the defaulter in the accident and the type of accident that occurred or the extent of your insurance coverage. For instance if you get in accident while driving your car you must probably file the first party claim with your insurance company. On the other hand if you get injured by the car while crossing the road then you need to file the third party claim with the other driver car insurance company.
Denial of claims and the appeals process
There are number of reasons when your claim gets denied. For instance when you have waited too long to file your claim and failed to submit an independent medical examination. The type of accident in which you were involved in is not under your insurance plan.
If your claim is denied you will get the notification from your insurance company. The appeal procedure is different from company to company. You can also go through your policy if you have any query regarding the appropriate steps. If your appeal gets denied then you can consult with insurance attorney.
How much compensation you can claim for the car accident injury
The amount of compensation which you can claim for the car accident injury is different with many types of accident claims because the every car accident is not same. Talking to the insurance company representative will help them to determine what injuries you have suffered from the car accident. After the phone calls they can estimate what car accident compensation you are entitled.
Use the witness statement to support your car accident claim
The witness powerful is very powerful evidence of the fault. The third party witness is independent or unbiased. The statements of the drivers or their passengers whose statement are influenced for their own interest but the independent witness don’t have any personal interest. In case of your personal injury claim you must prove your injury which is caused by the negligence of another person which is also referred as legally responsible for the accident. Just secure the statement of the witness as the evidence which help to prove your case.
The effective evidence in car accident claims:
- Police accident reports
- Visible property damage
- The photos and videos
- Medical reports and receipts
- Statement of drivers and passengers
The eyewitness to car accident may be:
- The drivers and occupants of the other cars who is involved in the accident
- People who gets stopped to the render aid
- Road and the utility workers
- Any passersby
Immediately after the accident just grab the camera, pen to note down everything related to the accident. If you don’t have the digital camera you can use you phone camera. Try to approach the people who is the witnessed of what happened. Ask the people who saw the accident and ask them to describe of what they saw or heard.
The statement of witness is very helpful for your claim. Remember that your witness will show up in the court to testify if your case goes on the trial. If you have more witness then your case will be stronger. The claim adjuster will take all statement of the witness seriously. So try to gather more as possible.
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