How to File a Car Accident Insurance Claim
Christin Walker, Burlington, New Jersey is a safe driver. It was evident by her 22-year experience navigating a school bus filled with noisy, sometimes boisterous, children on country roads and in cities. Even the best drivers can get into serious Car Accident Insurance Claim. A mere week after purchasing her 2006 Honda Civic, the vehicle was hit by a hit-and run driver. According to police reports, he had zoomed through an intersection. Walker is grateful that she was not hurt. The same driver was also involved in an accident that killed a pedestrian less than a month later.
There are several problems. She hasn’t received any settlement from any insurance company. She also has no car. And she still has to pay the loan payments for the Honda, which is now sitting in a recycling centre. She is so frustrated that she filed a claim against her car’s insurer.
Walker can make an insurance claim. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately 6 million accidents reported each year by police in the United States. These car accidents result in approximately 3 million deaths or injuries, which means that there are many insurance claims and lawsuits.
How to make an insurance claim against someone else
In the simplest case, you will file a claim against their insurance company if someone crashes into you. This is known as a third-party case: You are the third party to the other driver’s insurance company.
While the other party’s insurance will process your claim, don’t expect a quick payment. Insurers might investigate the accident to find out if their customer was actually at fault.
You can fix the problem by using your own insurance
If insurance claims were easy, all of us could feel like insurance experts. It’s normal to feel that someone else should be held responsible for an accident. In some instances, you may need your own auto insurance even if someone else has crashed into you. This is how it could happen.
Situation no. Situation No
You must first file injury claims against your own insurance in states that have no-fault insurance laws. This is why these states require personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Only certain requirements are required to sue another driver. Each state has its own definition. You must be able to prove that you were seriously injured or killed in order to sue another driver for a car accident in a state with no fault. Property damage claims can usually still be made under the liability insurance of the other party.
PIP and similar coverage, called MedPay (or medical payments), are available in states that do not have no-fault laws. These can be used to cover injury claims for you or your passengers.
Situation no. Situation No. 2: A driver who is not insured
What happens if the driver does not have enough insurance to pay for injuries caused to others by an accident? Although you could sue them for the rest, it might not be worth it if they don’t have assets. If you do not have your own coverage for underinsured motorists, one option is to get it. If the other driver does not have enough insurance, it can pay for medical bills.
Situation no. Situation No
You might decide to use your insurance for car damage instead of dealing with another person’s insurer. Collision insurance can be used to cover car damage that has been caused by another person.
- Your collision deductible will reduce your insurance check. If your insurer reimburses the other person, you might be able to get your deductible back.
- You could also use your rental reimbursement coverage to rent your vehicle while you are in the shop for a collision repair.
Situation no. Situation No.
Insurance should pay you the amount of your car’s value at the time of the accident if your vehicle is totaled. This applies whether you are making a claim against another person or using your own collision coverage.
However, this doesn’t mean that the problem has been solved. Sometimes, you might owe more than the car’s actual value on a car lease or loan. You might find yourself in this situation if your car loan or lease exceeds the vehicle’s value. Gap insurance is a way to cover the difference between your insurance payment and the loan/lease balance.
An Accident Scene
Protecting your right to sue another person starts at the scene. To help you get the right information, it’s a good idea to keep an accident checklist.
Stay safe and make sure you’re okay
First, take a deep breath, and check that you and your passengers are not hurt. Even in bumper-bump situations, soft tissue injuries can be a problem. This raises the risk of filing an insurance claim.
Even if there are no injuries, the incident can still cause stress for all (or most) of the parties. In the inevitable exchange of driver information, try to reduce road rage (yours or theirs). If possible, pull your car to a safe place. If you are unable to do so, don’t be afraid to get off the busy or fast-moving road. If possible, call 911 to get help.
If you feel the other driver(s) are being reasonable, ensure they file a claim and you also get it. Your insurance information is only needed by someone else. You can either download a checklist for car accidents from many insurers’ mobile apps or print one and keep it in your glove box.
Your cell phone is the most important tool after a car crash. Take photos of:
- Your car and other vehicles may be damaged
- License plates
- Road conditions such as ice, rain, or snow
- Other contributing factors, such as intersections nearby and road signs
- Insurance ID cards for other drivers
You should also record the date stamp on your phone and the time that the photos were taken. It is important to note any witnesses’ names and numbers.
Information about police officers
Verify the name and badge number of the responding officer. These could be difficult to read on any document that you receive. You should obtain a copy the police report as soon it is filed and verify its accuracy.
Get in touch with your insurance company
Contact your insurance company immediately, regardless of who is at fault. Technology can also help you, as many insurance companies allow you to file claims via their mobile apps.
Loretta Worters, vice-president of the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group, advises that you submit your claim within the time limits set by your insurer. “Deadlines to file vehicle damage claims are usually 30 days. Ask your insurer if there is a time limit for submitting bills and/or resolving disputes.
Common Reasons Why Auto Claims are Denied
Sometimes, the process of filing auto insurance claims proves to be frustrating. These are the most common reasons for denial of claims:
The accident could have been avoided or prevented
If the insurance company believes the accident could have been avoided, such as allowing an unlicensed driver to operate your vehicle, it may deny the claim.
You haven’t filed a claim in the time allowed
Customers should file claims as soon possible to insurance companies. It’s a good idea to file claims as soon as possible, before the damage is exacerbated or witnesses disappear. States may have set deadlines for filing claims. These could range from one to twenty years.
Refusing to receive medical care
You may not be able to assess the extent of your injuries immediately after an accident. If you delay seeking treatment for injuries, your insurance company might be suspicious. This could lead to an investigation or even a denial.
After an accident, it is important to be able to present the facts. If you aren’t sure what happened, don’t speculate or accept responsibility at the scene. The claims process is not the place to get too chatty. Do not share too much information. It could affect the outcome of your claim.
What to do if your auto claim is denied
Ask for the reason why your auto insurance claim was rejected in writing. It is important to find out the exact reason for the denial and how you can appeal it. You could be wrong or they could be right.
Examine the evidence and submit a letter explaining how it contradicts the insurance company’s decision. You may need legal advice if you are uncomfortable disputing the denial.