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Nobody plans to have a car accident; as a result of this, few people may know what to do should one occur, despite the many implications that it can have. This not only includes the damage to your vehicle, but personal injuries that may keep someone out of work for a considerable amount of time. This often leads to the majority of victims filing an insurance claim, which is one of the more common things to occur after an accident. Despite being a relatively common procedure, not a lot of people know what to expect with the process.
This doesn’t mean that filing an insurance claim has to be a complicated process. In fact, it can be quite simple as long as you know what you’re doing when you make the claim. On top of this, working with an attorney who specializes in car accidents, as this can make a considerable impact on the overall claim, especially if an insurance company is looking to avoid paying out on it. Should you be involved in a car accident, there are a few things that you should be aware of when making a claim.
Documentation and evidence can often prove to be vital in every insurance claim. While many people will know to exchange insurance information with the other driver involved, this isn’t the only thing that you’ll need when filing a claim. This is because a provider will need a considerable amount of information to base their payout on, which means that the more information that a claimant has, the better their case may be.
The first thing that any claimant should do is to take photos of the damage that was done to a vehicle immediately after the accident. You should also get cost estimates of the work that needs to be done to repair the vehicle; in many cases, you may also need to visit a pre-approved mechanic when getting the work done, in which case you’ll also need receipts of the work that was done.
With personal injuries, a claimant will also need evidence of the medical services and overall injuries that they sustained during the accident. While your own medical professional should be able to provide this, the majority of insurance agencies will also use an independent professional to assess and verify these injuries.
It should also be noted that a police report will be necessary for your claim, as many agencies refuse to pay a claim without one.
Compensation Can Vary Drastically
Many people may have heard about how much compensation others have received in the past. However, it should be noted that how much you receive from a claim can vary drastically from case to case. This can be dictated by how severe the accident was, as well as the damages and injuries sustained. Furthermore, even similar claims may receive different payouts, as there can be a significant amount of negotiation involved in filing a claim, meaning that one person may receive much more, or less, than another.
It Can Be A Long Process
There can be a significant amount of time between when a car accident happens and when an insurance company pays out what you may be entitled to. This is primarily because there can be a considerable number of steps involved in the process, depending on the insurance company that you’re dealing with, as well as the complexity of the process. In general, this normally involves;
- Filing the claim
- An investigation by the insurance company
While filing the claim may be relatively quick, it’s the other two steps involved that may take up a notable amount of time. The insurance company’s investigation will typically look at a variety of different things, with the most prominent being the extent of the damages to the vehicle and the injuries that you may have sustained in the accident. Damages to the car may be relatively straightforward to determine, and will normally entail using an independent mechanic to examine the vehicle.
When it comes to personal injuries, the process can be somewhat similar, aside from the fact that you’ll need to visit an independent medical professional to assess both the short and long term implications of the injury. This medical professional, as well as the car mechanic, will then issue reports that will help inform the rest of the process going forward. It should also be noted that there may be several examinations involved, depending on which insurance company you’re with. This is typically when the negotiation process will begin, which can often be a long process, and involves a significant amount of back and forth between an insurance company and a claimant.
While the process can seem relatively simple, that doesn’t mean that it can be easy for many of us to go through. Because of that, many people may be able to benefit from working with a car accident or personal injury attorney. This is especially true when dealing with an insurance company, as they may look to prolong the process as much as possible, as well as reduce the compensation that they may have to pay. While compensation can often be dependent on the severity of the accident, and the resultant injuries, insurance firms will still aim to avoid paying out a large amount of funds.
This will inevitably lead to a significant amount of negotiation, as we mentioned above, which can be something that many people may find overwhelming. This is something that a personal injury attorney will be able to help with, as it’s one of their primary specializations. By being highly-skilled in the area, these attorneys will be able to maximize the compensation that minimizing the amount of time between an accident and an insurance payout.
There’s also the complex jargon that many insurance companies may use during the process, which can quickly confuse many people. A personal injury and car accident lawyer, however, will be able to simplify this and explain what’s happening in terms that you’ll be able to understand, which can be another significant benefit.