There are thousands of car accident claim every year. For getting the most out for your car accident claim from your insurance policy then you are required to know a little process and about the people involved. The time period after the accident is filled with an overwhelming amount of the stress. Having the patience during this time you can easily navigate the claim process.
Responding at the scene of the accident
- Stay calm- to increase the amount which your insurance company will pay to you for your claim for that it is very important to pay the attention at the scene of the accident. After getting into a car accident there might be a stressful situation but try to stay calm.
- Check if anyone is injured or not- if you or other driver is injured in car accident then help as much as you can until the ambulance arrive. Remember that the injured party could sue you if you are not helping them in case of the car accident or if you are a defaulter.
- Call the police- make sure to call the police or other driver has called the police. Talk to the police and give them the honest statement about what happened with you. The insurance adjuster will talk to the police if there is any query on the fault. If you don’t call the police after the accident it could surely reduce your insurance claim amount.
- Do not argue with other driver- if you believe that the accident is caused by the mistake of other driver then also don’t argue with them. If you are arguing with the other driver it will surely get the best of you will not fix your car. It will also make the other driver angry and they can out the blame of the accident on you. There might be a chance that other driver will not cooperate with the insurance company.
- Get the information of other driver- if you want to be compensated by the other driver then try to get the following information:
- the name as well as license number of the other driver
- the type of vehicle and license plate number of the other driver
- the name of insurance company of the other driver
- Insurance policy number of other driver.
- Check the insurance policy of other driver- after the car accident there is two or more auto insurance companies are involved in the claiming process. The driver who is involved in the car accident there will be insurance company for them. Remember that the insurance policy of the other driver isn’t expired. If the insurance policy is not under the name of the driver then get the name and contact information of the insurance policy holder. You can also use the contact information to get in touch with the insurance company of the other driver and after that you can start a car accident claim.
- Keep the record of the accident- after the accident note down the every detail of the accident. Make notes like how you believe that the accident happened or any other detail which you remember from the crash. For instance note down about the road condition at the time of the car accident and what you were doing at the time when accident occurred. Click the photos of the accident scene. You can also show this to your insurance company. You can easily use your phone camera to click the pictures. Get the name and contact information of the witness if any.
- Find witness- find the people who saw your accident just to confirm your story. Talk to the witness and ask them to give the statement to you and to the police. It is necessary to get the contact information of the witness.
- Go to the Hospital- get yourself checked by the doctor so that you can document about the injuries which you received in the car accident. You must verify with the doctor if you think you are not injured. Many insurance companies are using a software system called colossus to determine the value of your claim. This system is based on the contents of your medical records and you are assigned the severity points for your injuries just to determine the claim value. The easily verified injuries are given the higher value like broken bones. The soft tissue damages such as the strains or sprains are having the lower value. After the accident if you don’t go to the hospital immediately then your claim will be having a lower value.
- Ask the doctor to evaluate you about the accident related injuries- there is certain type of injuries which will increase your settlement. These includes:
- Radiating pain
- Keep the track of all expenses which is related to your accident- always keep the track of all expenses which is related to your accident because it is very important to document all the cost or expenses which are occurred in the accident. Try to keep all the documentation which includes receipts, reports. Put all the papers all together in a file so that it’s easy to find when you need them. Keep the track of the people to whom you have spoken. If you are planning to claim an expense which is a part of the damages or loss from the accident then you have to provide the documentation of the expenses.
Tips for getting best claim settlement
Have a settlement amount in mind- before speaking to insurance adjuster about your demand just decide on a minimum settlement figure within the range which you are going to accept. That figure is your own information so don’t reveal to the insurance adjuster. If you are having a bottom line in your mind it will help you once the figures and discussion start going. Remember that don’t make the snap decision if insurance adjuster makes take it or leave it offer on the phone as you know whether it meets your minimum level or not. If the adjuster figure out some facts which is not considered by you but it will make your claim weaker at that time you have to lower your minimum figure. But if you discover any evidence which makes your claim stringer then you can revise your minimum to upward.
Do not jump at the first offer- it is a standard tactics of the insurance adjusters to begin the negotiation with the very low settlement amount. With this tactics the insurance adjuster is trying to find out whether you understand what your claim is worth. They also see that if you are impatient to get the any amount of money. When the first offer is made your response depends on whether it is a reasonable offer or not it is a simple tactics of the insurance company to see if you know what you are doing. If you think the offer is reasonable then you can make a counter offer which is little bit lower than your demand letter amount.
Emphasize some emotional points in your favor
During the negotiations mention some emotional points which will support your claim. For instance sent some strong photo of the smashed car or any severe looking injury to the insurance adjuster. If you found the bottle of beer or whiskey in the car of other party then you can refer this for the possibility of the use of alcohol. Just remind to the insurance adjuster if there is any similar accident occurred in the similar way at that location. All such things are very powerful in getting an insurance company to settle the accident claim.
Wait for the response- if you are having a new offer from your insurance adjuster then don’t reduce your demand more than once. It is not the good bargaining if you reduce your demand more than once without intervening the increased offer from the insurance adjuster. If the insurance adjuster comes with more reasons for the lower offer then try to go over each one in detail. Once you deal with the arguments of the insurance adjuster then either you will get the reasonable offer or not getting the reasonable offer. So always try to put some additional pressure on the insurance companies.
Know when to engage an attorney
If you are demanding for the compensation for the serious injuries or pain which is beyond a few thousand dollars and your insurance adjuster is don’t taking the claim seriously at that time you want the attorney to work on that.
If you are claiming for the future damages or any cost of the medical treatment which you will need later then at that time you want the attorney to work for you in the settlement effectively.
Put the settlement in writing- when you and your insurance adjuster gets agree finally on a number then try to immediately confirm your agreement in a letter to the adjuster.
No pain and suffering is a no fault insurance claim
Many states in the U.S. is following a standard fault based liability system after the car accident in which one person who caused the accident is deemed to be the negligent and financially responsible for all the damages which results from the accident. There are many states which follow the no fault system. In that states you can’t make a claim for the personal injury. You cannot collect the compensation for the suffering and pains unless your medical bills cross the certain amount of dollar threshold which is different from state to state. Some states require meeting the claim of serious injury threshold which is also different from state to state. If you prove someone negligence caused you harm then you can recover the compensation from that person including the sufferings and pain.
If you use your collision coverage then what about the deductible
In this case you are out of the deductible until it can be reimbursed. Your insurance company will recover the amount of the deductible from the insurance company of other driver if the liability is resolved and your attorney can include that with your damages. So try to recover more part of your case.