Steps to Follow When Filing a Motor Vehicle Accident Claim
When you are in a vehicle accident, it is important that you follow the necessary steps to file a claim. This begins at the scene of the accident, as you need to determine your injuries, talk with the other drivers involved, and often file a police report. Here are some steps to follow when you need to file a motor vehicle accident claim.
File a Police Report
The first thing you should do is determine whether or not you need to file a police report. In general, moderate and severe accidents require filing a police report. The police officer will arrive at the scene of the accident and determine the cause of the accident. If you fail to report it and instead go directly to filing the claim, it may be difficult proving to the insurance company that the accident was not your fault. This could mean a higher chance of having your claim denied. In mild fender benders, a police report is often not required, but you should call your insurance company if you have any questions about whether or not it is necessary. Make sure you don't disturb the scene until the police officer arrives to file the report. During this time, it is a good idea to take your own pictures of the accident, including the damage done to your vehicle.
Call Your Insurance Company
After you have filed the police report, you will then need to call your insurance company. You need to let them know about the accident that occurred and they will give you instructions on what to do next. In some cases, an insurance adjuster will want to see the scene of the accident and will get to you quickly. In other cases, you will need to get medical attention for your injuries and have the car towed, which is when the adjuster inspects the vehicle when it is towed to your home. The insurance company will use your own documentation and photos in addition to the police report to determine the cause of the accident and whether or not they will accept your claim.
Get Medical Attention
If you received any injuries as a result of the vehicle accident, make sure you seek medical attention. For severe injuries, you should call an ambulance to bring you to the nearest hospital. If the accident was less severe but you have cuts from a broken car window or are experiencing pain as a result of whiplash, you should be able to drive yourself to the hospital. Make sure you save all documentation from the hospital or doctor, including co-pays and deductibles paid, prescriptions and any counseling you might need. In severe accidents, you may experience post-traumatic stress disorder and have mental conditions in addition to the physical ones.
Prepare the Claim Documentation
By this point, you are ready to fill out your claim information. Include copies of receipts and medical records in relation to your injuries, as well as the approximate cost of damages to your vehicle and personal property. Also include a copy of the police report when filing the claim with the insurance company. A lawyer will be able to help you file your motor vehicle accident claim.