How to file a car accident insurance claim
Christin Walker from Burlington in New Jersey is a reliable driver. For 22 years, she demonstrated her safety driving a school bus packed with loud and boisterous kids on country roads as well as city streets. Bad accidents can happen to even the most experienced drivers. Just a week after buying her Honda Civic 2006, she was struck and killed by a hit and run driver. The car accident insurance claim police report states that the driver had zoomed through a red stop light. Walker was fortunate to be uninjured. This same driver was involved with another accident less then a month later that resulted in the death of a pedestrian.
One of the problems is that she has not yet received a settlement form any insurance company. Also, she doesn’t have a car and still has to make loan payments for the Honda that is rusting at a recycling center. She is angry enough to file a lawsuit against the insurance company that covered the car she was hit by.
Walker may not be the only one who files an insurance claim. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTA), there are 6 million reported crashes each year in the U.S. This means that approximately 3 million people are killed or injured in car accidents each year.
A Claim for car accident insurance claim against Someone Else
In the simplest of cases, if another driver crashes into you you can file a claim against their liability coverage. This is called a “third-party claim”: You are the third person to the other driver or their insurance company.
Although the insurer of the other party will process the claim, you shouldn’t expect a quick payout. To determine if the customer is at fault, the insurer may want to investigate.
Use your insurance to fix the problem
However, if insurance claims could be car accident insurance claim as simple as that, then we all would feel like insurance professionals. When someone has caused an accident, it is natural to feel they should be compensated. You might have to get your own insurance if you are the victim of an accident. Here are some ways that this could happen.
Situation No. Situation no.
No-fault states have insurance laws that require you to first make an injury claim on your own policy. For this purpose, these states require personal accident protection (PIP). A driver can only sue another driver if they meet certain criteria, which are set forth by each state. A lot of times, you will need to sustain serious injury or death in order for someone to sue you for a car collision in a no fault state. (Property damages can be claimed on the liability insurance of another person.
PIP is often available in states with no-fault laws. These are available for injuries claims for you and your passengers.
Situation No. Situation 2: Underinsured driver
What if they don’t have enough coverage to cover the injuries they cause others? While you can still sue the driver for the remaining amount, it may not make sense to do so if they have no assets. You could also consider your own underinsured driver coverage, if you have it. It covers medical expenses if the other driver doesn’t have enough accident insurance.
Situation No. Situation 3: Don’t deal with it
It is possible to choose to use your own car insurance instead of dealing directly with the insurance company. You can use collision insurance to cover damage to your car caused by someone else.
Your insurance check may be affected if your collision deductible is higher than your policy. In some cases, your insurance company may reimburse you for the deductible.
Rental reimbursement coverage can be used to cover a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired in order to file a collision claim.
Situation no. Situation 4: You are stuck with your car loan balance
Your vehicle should be covered for any damage to it that results from an accident.
This doesn’t mean you can solve the problem. You could end up owing more on a car loan than you own. If you finance most of the car’s cost or if the car has experienced rapid decline in value, this could happen. Gap insurance can cover the difference between the insurance payments and the loan/lease balance.
On the Scene of an Accident
Protecting your rights to sue others starts at the scene. A checklist of accident information is helpful to gather all the necessary information.
Be sure to be safe.
The first thing you should do after being in a car crash is to take a step back and catch your breath. Soft tissue injuries can occur even in a bumper bump, which raises the possibility of an insurance claim.
It will be stressful for all involved, even if there aren’t any injuries. Avoid road rage, both yours and theirs, during the inevitable exchanges of driver information. If you can, move your car to a safer spot. You shouldn’t be standing on high-speed roads or crowded streets unless absolutely necessary. If you can, keep your car inside and dial 911 to wait for the police.
If the other drivers are responsible, you should ensure that they receive all necessary information to file a claim. The information you provide on your insurance card is all that is needed by anyone else. A lot of insurers offer a car accident checklist via their mobile apps. You can also print one and keep it in the glove box.
Your cell phone is your most valuable tool following a car accident. Take pictures of:
- You and any other cars involved may sustain damage to your car.
- License plates
- Road conditions like snow, rain, ice
- You can also consider other factors like road signs and intersections near you.
- Drivers’ insurance ID cards
The date stamp and time of the photos should be recorded on the phone. Notify witnesses by noting their names and contact numbers.
Find information about police officers
You should verify the name and number of the responding police officer, as they could be written inillegibly on any document. Get a copy to verify the accuracy of the police reports as soon as they are filed.
Talk to your insurance company
Do not waste time in calling your insurer, regardless of fault. You can file claims through your insurer’s mobile app. Technology could also come to your aid.
Loretta Worters is vice president of Insurance Information Institute. She advises, “Make sure you submit the claim within your insurance’s time limit.” “Deadlines for filing vehicle damages claims are generally 30 days. Check with your insurance company if you have a time limit to submit bills, resolve disputes or provide additional information.
Common Reasons Auto Claims Cannot Be Reported
Sometimes, it can be difficult to complete an auto insurance claim. The following are common reasons why claims are denied:
The accident was preventable.
If it believes that the accident is avoidable, the insurance company may deny your claim. For example, if you allow an unlicensed driver to drive your car.
You did not file a claim on time
Insurance companies want customers to file claims as soon and as quickly as possible. It is wise to file claims promptly, even if the damage has become complicated or accident witnesses vanish. States may establish deadlines for filing claims. This could be anything from one to 20 year.
Medical care delayed
It is possible to not be aware of the full extent and severity of your injuries until after an accident. However, if you delay getting treatment for injuries for too much time, the insurance company could be suspicious and may even deny the claim.
It is important to state the facts after an accident. Do not speculate on what happened or admit fault. Talking about claims isn’t the right time. Don’t share too much information. This could have an impact on the outcome of your case.
What to do when your Auto Claim is Rejected
If you have an auto insurance claim that was denied, make sure to ask for the reason in writing. You will need to know the reason behind the denial. If necessary, you will be able to appeal the decision. They could be wrong, or they could legitimately deny your claim.
Then, review the current evidence and send a letter describing how the evidence contradicts an insurance company’s decision. For legal advice, consult an attorney if you feel uncomfortable disputing just the denial.