Living in the US, consider yourself extremely lucky if you have never been part of a car accident in your life. According to Statista, there are approximately 273 million registered vehicles along with over 225 million licensed drivers in the United States with an average of nearly 10 million car accidents every year. With over 313,000 miles of public roads the most of any state, Texas alone, has more than 13 million licensed drivers. Further, the car insurance industry estimations say that the average driver will file a claim for a car collision about once every 17.9 years, suggesting that if you got your driving license at the age of 16, the odds are that you are going to experience some kind of car accident by the time you turn 34. The average person has a total of 3-4 accidents over the course of a lifetime.
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Being involved in a car accident is a shocking and frustrating experience. Moments after a car crash, adrenaline is rushing and emotions are running high. In order to protect your health and your financial interest as well, it’s of the highest importance to remain calm and to know what further steps to take. After checking everybody involved for injuries, it’s time to take the necessary steps following every regular car crash such as filing an insurance claim.
Such a claim is a request made to an insurance company for compensation regarding the traffic accident that happened to you. Car repairs can be quite expensive, so if you are involved in a crash, you’d want to know how to file an auto insurance claim. Therefore to know what to do about the claiming process, we’ve highlighted the key information you may need.
What to do right after the accident?
First things first, move your vehicle to a safe location out of traffic. If you can’t move it that’s okay too, just turn off the engine and get out of the vehicle if you can. Even if there is no one seriously injured, you should call the police and report the accident.
Gather the proper set of information and details about the car accident, so when it’s time to file a claim you will have everything written down and pictures you can use as evidence. Don’t place blame on the other driver, you’ll figure everything out later with your insurance company. Take photos of the crash scene, photos of the vehicles involved, drivers involved, license plates and any damage done to the vehicles. Also, exchange information with the other driver including contact and insurance details.
Call the police
Call the police! As you will probably be shaken up after an accident, having an officer take down the details of the traffic jam in the police accident report is always the best option. Officially titled “CR3 Peace Officer Report”, such a report is used by law enforcement to record the details relating to your accident involving any type of vehicle. You can also claim your Texas crash report online, which is indeed a very important piece of paper to have in order to file the insurance claim.
Whose insurance do I call after the accident?
In general, in accidents where the at-fault driver accepts responsibility, you probably won’t need to call your insurance company unless you were at-fault. In simple clear liability accidents, the sooner you call your insurance provider – the sooner the provider can help you get things back to normal.
What happens if the other driver doesn’t have an insurance policy?
In general, if you get into a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for the damages and injuries. Yet, if the other driver is uninsured, things get a little bit more complicated and here’s what you should know.
Driving a car without car insurance for any period of time is considered illegal and that’s why uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is very important. If you get in an accident by a driver with no insurance, your uninsured or underinsured insurance will kick in and help you cover your medical expenses. Also, if you’re at fault, not only you will be paying out of your pocket for any medical expenses or damages to the vehicle, you’ll be responsible for paying the other driver’s injuries and damages. You might even get sued by the other party for the damages you caused them, could be issued a ticket, potentially lose your license and registration and face jail time.
How do I file an insurance claim?
Just give a call to your insurance company and they’ll walk you through the process and ask for all relevant information. As soon as your claim is filed, a claim representative will contact you to go over and claim the process to follow. The insurance company will review your claim and work with you to correctly evaluate it. After that, they will assess and try to complete it as quickly as possible.
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What relevant documents do I need to have in order to file a claim?
According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, when filing a claim you will need to submit the policy number which can be found on your insurance card; date, time and location of the accident; a detailed description of how the accident occurred; you will have to name the police department involved and the police crash report number and provide insurance and contact information of the other party involved.
This is why it’s very important to collect all relevant information right after the accident and to write down as many details as you can.
What happens with the car insurance claim after an accident?
When your claim is filed, your insurer will assign a claims adjuster to examine your case. The adjuster will do a number of things such as reviewing the police crash report; conduct interviews with other parties involved and witnesses; inspect and take photos of your car for damages; review medical records and proof of wage loss and of course, they will interview you to get your side of the story.
At the end of it, the insurance adjuster will decide who’s at fault for the car crash, and they will work with the other party’s insurer to work out how much they will cover.