- Filing a car accident claim is a straightforward process, but there are a lot of potential complications.
- Collecting the right evidence is crucial for filing a successful auto accident claim.
- Insurance companies are reluctant to pay out, which means it’s especially important to pay attention to the details.
- Working with an experienced car accident lawyer can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
There are millions of car accidents every year in the U.S., from minor fender benders to life-threatening impacts. There’s a good chance it may happen to you, and even if you walk away without a scratch, the emotional and financial toll can be intense. To offset these costs, you may decide to file a car accident claim.
After the car accident, you’re faced with a new problem: dealing with insurance. Medical bills and vehicle repairs can pile up, and the other parties involved in the crash aren’t always cooperative.
The experienced car accident attorneys at Werner, Hoffman & Greig can help make sure your insurance claim takes care of your needs. We have extensive experience representing car accident victims and a track record of success. Put our experience and skills to work for you by calling WHG at (800) 320-HELP or contacting us online for a free consultation.
How to File a Car Accident Claim
Many victims of car accidents have never been in this situation before, and that can impact the compensation they receive in the aftermath. Here’s a quick look at the basic steps you should take to file the strongest personal injury claim possible.
1. Make sure you’re safe
Your first priority in the aftermath of a car accident is safety. Check yourself and any passengers for serious injuries or pain. If possible, get out of the flow of traffic.
2. Collect information
Once everyone is out of immediate harm’s way, it’s time to collect the information you’ll need to file a successful car accident claim. It’s important to take care of this right away, while everything is fresh.
Make sure to take note of the details of the car crash, like its location and the basics of what happened. Take pictures of the accident scene and all vehicles involved, and get any information you need from other drivers, like insurance and contact info.
You’ll also need to call the police. In Florida, if you’re in a car accident causing damage above $500, you have to contact the police so they can create a police report. This may be stressful, but the police report will be a key piece of evidence when you file your claim.
3. Seek medical attention
Even if you feel fine, it’s still a good idea to seek medical attention after a car accident. It’s common for adrenaline to override pain in the hours right after a car crash, and you may have injuries you’re not aware of.
Your medical records and expenses will be key information for your auto accident claim later on. You want all medical expenses to be covered by your insurance carrier if possible.
4. Contact your insurance company
When you get in touch with your insurance company after an accident, they’ll ask you a few basic questions about what happened. This gives the insurance company an idea of what kind of reimbursement you’ll need for your car accident claim.
Your insurance provider will probably want:
- The names of everyone involved in the auto accident, and their contact and insurance information
- The basic details of the crash, like the time and place it occurred
- Photos of damage to the vehicles
- The name and badge number of the officers who filed the police report
You need to file within 30 days of your car accident to qualify for insurance coverage, so keep that deadline in mind.
5. Follow up with your insurance provider
A few days after you file your claim, an adjuster from your insurance provider will get in touch with you. They’ll assess the accident and determine what damages are covered by your insurance policy.
To do this, the adjuster needs to review the evidence. They may interview witnesses, inspect the accident, or read the police report.
From there, you usually have a few options. You can either have your insurance company set up the repairs or take a payment and handle the repairs yourself. If your car is totaled, there’s no need for repairs–instead, your insurance company will pay you the value of your vehicle.
Tips for a Successful Car Accident Claim
Getting the details right can make or break a car accident claim. One wrong move can hurt your chances of getting the full compensation that you’re truly owed.
Here are a few tips for making the most of your claim:
- Exchange information calmly and politely: It can be tempting to give the other driver a piece of your mind, especially if they’re at fault for the car accident. Remaining calm and courteous can help you get the information you need for your personal injury claim.
- Don’t apologize: Unfortunately, a polite apology can be construed as an admission of fault later. Avoid making any statements that could be viewed as taking responsibility for causing the car accident.
- Keep detailed records: Every step in the process should be thoroughly documented. Keep track of expenses like medical bills, rental car fees, or lost wages.
- Review your policy carefully: Understand what’s covered–and what isn’t–before you file your claim.
Car accident lawyers are experts when it comes to the details. If you’re working with an auto accident attorney, be sure to follow their advice on your case, even when it comes to the little things.
Why Work With a Car Accident Attorney?
Your insurance provider would probably rather you didn’t contact a personal injury attorney for help with filing your car accident claim. That’s because they don’t want to pay you what you deserve.
Insurance companies are experts at navigating the complexities of the legal system to minimize what they have to pay out in damages. You need an expert on your side, too.
An experienced car accident attorney can:
- Navigate the twists and turns of the claims process while you recover from your auto accident
- Gather the best evidence to support your claim
- Evaluate your injuries and assess how much you’re owed
- Negotiate with insurance companies to secure a fair settlement
- Represent you in court if necessary
Contact Werner, Hoffman & Greig for Help With Your Car Accident Claim
Car accidents can be intense, traumatizing events, and the legal complications and financial burdens victims may face afterward can be equally difficult to endure. You don’t have to face all this alone.
The team at Werner, Hoffman & Greig will fight by your side and make sure you receive the compensation you need to move forward with your life after being injured in a Florida car accident. We understand what you’re going through, and we have the skills and experience to help.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I’m at fault for the car accident?
Depending on your state and the specifics of your insurance coverage, you may still be able to recover compensation even if you’re partially or completely at fault for the motor vehicle accident. In Florida, under the comparative fault system, you can recover a portion of damages based on your level of responsibility for the auto accident.
If you were involved in a car accident, but you’re not sure if you’re at fault, get in touch with a car accident attorney for an individual evaluation of your case.
What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
If you’re involved in a car crash with an uninsured driver, your insurance coverage will determine what you do next. Many insurance policies include uninsured motorist coverage that can help compensate you for any injuries or vehicle damage.
If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, you may need to explore legal options to recover damages. Contact an experienced car accident attorney for help.
How long does it typically take to settle a car accident claim?
Every case is different. Depending on factors like the severity of the auto accident and the level of cooperation from all involved parties, your claim may be resolved within a few weeks or drag out for months.
A car accident attorney can assess your situation and give you a more personalized estimate of how long your case might take.