General

4 things to know about filing a claim after a car accident

4 things to know about filing a claim after a car accident

Image Source: Getty Images

It’s good for drivers to be prepared in case they ever find themselves in that situation.


Most important points:

  • Auto insurance should cover many costs that arise as a result of an accident, but not all of them.
  • If an accident occurs, drivers must report it to the insurance company and receive proof and information immediately.
  • It is not necessarily your insurer that pays for the damage.

A car accident can be very stressful, and drivers involved in it have a lot to deal with. But one of the most important things to do after an accident is to file an insurance claim. That’s because auto insurance companies offer significant compensation to save motorists from huge cash losses if an accident happens.

Unfortunately, many people do not really understand the post-crash process and what their rights and obligations are. This may mean that they are not getting the compensation they deserve. Drivers who don’t want this to happen to them should be aware of these four important tips.

1. Accidents must be reported immediately to the insurance company

The first and most important thing to do is contact the insurance company after a collision. Each driver must report the accident to his own insurer. This also applies if a motorist is not at fault for the accident.

When a driver was not at fault, the car insurance of the person who caused the accident must provide compensation. But this doesn’t always happen, because the driver of the fault may not have insurance or lack coverage. By reporting a collision to their own insurer, motorists can ensure their damages are reimbursed if they have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Once the crash has been reported to the insurance company, the insurer will take over and proceed with the claims process. This may involve working to get compensation from the defaulting driver’s insurance, if possible.

While a victim sometimes needs a lawyer to file a claim against the at-fault driver to get the full amount needed to cover the losses after an accident, it’s often best to start with report the collision to the insurance company and see what compensation is offered.

2. It is important to have evidence about the crash

Drivers should collect as much evidence as possible after a collision, as they may need to prove who was at fault. Some details to collect are:

  • The name, contact details and insurance of other drivers
  • The names of witnesses
  • A police report if the police are called to the scene (which should be in almost all cases)
  • Photos of the accident site
  • Documentation of injuries by a medical professional

Collecting this information can help a car accident claim go more smoothly, as this data can be used by insurers to determine who pays and how much compensation is appropriate.

3. It may not be your insurer that pays for the damage

In some cases, drivers will file a claim with their own insurer to obtain compensation. This can happen if the motorist is at fault for causing the crash and has collision coverage that reimburses the losses. It can also happen if the motorist uses underinsured or uninsured coverage.

But when another driver causes the collision and has liability insurance, it is this insurance company who should ultimately be responsible for paying losses and damages. The insurer can make a settlement offer that accident victims can accept, or those injured by the collision can go to court to file a personal injury lawsuit if they were injured in an accident.

4. After many accidents, you will lose some money even with full coverage

Finally, the last important thing to know is that insurance does not necessarily cover everything. For drivers who were at fault, a deductible usually applies when they call on their collision coverage to get compensation. And even if a motorist is dependent on another party’s insurance because the other driver caused the accident, he may only be reimbursed for the market value of his car and he may not be able to find another comparable vehicle for the same price. .

Being prepared for all of these post-claim realities is important so drivers know what to do and how to ensure they maximize their chances of getting the compensation they deserve back.

Ascent’s Best Auto Insurance Companies for 2022

Ready to get car insurance? Whether you’re focused on price, claims handling or customer service, we’ve surveyed insurers nationwide to provide our best-in-class choices for auto insurance coverage. Read our free expert review today to get started.