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Getting Started with a Car Accident Claim

Everything You Need to Know from Start to Finish

How to file a Car Accident Claim

Car Accidents Without Injuries

The process of filing a car accident claim can be confusing, especially if you’ve never had to do it before. And if you’re already dealing with injuries and vehicle damage, the last thing you want to deal with is red tape.

But understanding the basics of how car accident claims work will help make the process go more smoothly, and may even help you get a better settlement.

Car Accident Claim

Here’s what you need to know about car accident claims, from start to finish.

1. Seek medical attention

If you’ve been in a car accident, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you’ve been injured. Often, injuries from car accidents don’t become apparent until days or even weeks later. Especially with soft-tissue injuries such as whiplash which is caused by the sudden and traumatic movement of the neck muscles.

Getting checked out by a doctor will also create a record of your injuries, which can be helpful if you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

2. Notify your insurance company

Once you’ve seen a doctor, the next step is to notify your insurance company about the accident. Most insurance companies have a specific procedure for this, so it’s important to follow their instructions. Also, if you do not do so within the policy time limit your policy may become void.

If the other driver was at fault, you will likely file a claim with their insurance company as well. But even if the other driver wasn’t at fault, it’s a good idea to notify your own insurance company about the accident.

When notifying the at-fault drivers’ insurance company, make sure not to tell them much. What you say on the phone or to an insurance adjuster can be held against you in court.

3. Gather evidence

If you decide to file a car accident claim, you will need to gather evidence to support your claim. This may include things like medical records, police reports, witness statements, and photos of the scene of the accident.

The more evidence you have, the stronger your claim will be. So it’s important to take the time to gather as much evidence as you can.

4. Calculate your damages

Once you have all of your evidence, it’s time to calculate your damages. This includes things like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.

You will need to have a clear idea of your damages before you can start negotiating with the insurance company. The insurance adjuster will also need to see evidence of your damages before they can offer you a settlement.

5. Negotiate with the insurance company

Now it’s time to start negotiating with the insurance company. This is where having a clear idea of your damages comes in handy.

You will need to make a demand for compensation that covers all of your damages. The insurance adjuster will likely make a lower offer, and then you will negotiate back and forth until you reach an agreement.

If you’re not able to reach an agreement with the insurance company, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. But most car accident claims are settled without going to court.

6. Get everything in writing

Once you’ve reached an agreement with the insurance company, be sure to get everything in writing. This will help protect you if there are any problems with your claim later on.

Getting everything in writing may seem like a hassle, but it’s worth it to make sure that your claim is handled correctly.

7. Receive your settlement

Once you have everything in writing, you will finally receive your settlement. This is typically paid out in one lump sum, but sometimes it can be paid out in installments.

Receiving your settlement is the last step in the car accident claims process. But it’s important to remember that once you accept a settlement, you will not be able to get any more money for your injuries.

So be sure to take your time and consult with a lawyer before accepting any settlement offer.

8. Review your policy limits

Keep in mind that your car accident claim will be limited by your policy limits. So if your damages exceed your policy limits, you may need to pay for some of the damages yourself.

This is why it’s important to have adequate insurance coverage. If you don’t have enough coverage, you could end up paying a lot of money out of pocket if you’re involved in a car accident.

9. Hire a lawyer

You don’t technically need a lawyer to file a car accident claim. But there are many benefits to hiring one. Especially if that accident ended in injuries. Insurance companies are notorious for lowball offers and are only concerned with not paying the victims of car accidents.

A lawyer can help you gather evidence and build a strong case. They can also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.

And if you end up going to court, a lawyer can represent you and make sure that you get the best possible outcome for your case.

What Types of Damages Can I Collect?

If you have been involved in an automobile accident. these are some of the different types of compensation that you may be able to collect.

  • personal property damage – anything that was in the car that may have become damaged in the accident, laptops, cell phones, and other electronics.
  • Vehicle damage – If your car was totaled in the collision, the insurance company will most likely pay for the blue book value of the vehicle
  • Car rental – If your car is not drivable after the accident, you may be able to collect the cost of a rental car while yours is being repaired.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses – for example, if you hired an Uber or Lift to get home from the accident scene.

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Car Accidents With Injuries Damages

If Your Accident was with Injuries - hire a lawyer.

If you have been injured in an accident and have sustained injuries, those injuries can be more costly as they may require compensation for:

Medical bills – If you have to go to the ER or see a specialist, those bills can add up quickly. You may also need ongoing treatment such as physical therapy.

Lost wages – If your injuries are severe, you may not be able to work. This can result in a loss of income and cause financial hardship.

Pain and suffering – This is a non-economic damage that can be awarded in some cases. It is meant to compensate you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering that you have endured because of the accident.

Punitive damages – In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the person who caused the accident was acting recklessly or with gross negligence.

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can help you recover the maximum amount of damages that you are entitled to. They will handle all of the legal aspects of your case so that you can focus on your recovery.

The car accident claims process can be confusing and overwhelming. But if you take the time to understand it, you can make sure that your claim is handled correctly and that you get the compensation you deserve.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident, contact our car accident injury lawyers to discuss your case. We can help you understand the claims process and make sure that your rights are protected.

Rear-End Accident Injury

Posting on behalf of my mother, Shook and Stone has been great to her. She had a a car accident while at work and Mr. Stone helped with her case. Received workers compensation and is still working on her car accident case. Great communication, and good results!

Blanca Durazo

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