It’s likely that you’ll be involved in a car accident at least once in your life. When that situation occurs, it’s important for you to know the steps you should take next to protect your health, safety and finances. First, catch up on our past blog: 4 steps you should take following a car crash.
In this blog, we’ll discuss how to proceed with one of the most components of protecting yourself after an accident: filing an insurance claim. Keep reading to learn the process.
First, make sure you, the other driver and any passengers are OK and don’t need immediate medical assistance. Call the police at the scene, even if the accident was a minor fender bender. Even if your car isn’t damaged and you’re not in any pain now, damages and injuries may appear down the road and it’s best to have a record of the accident on hand. Additionally, having a police report will speed up the claims process when you file an insurance claim. Your insurance company will use the official report to make an assessment of the accident and determine who is at-fault.
While you’re waiting for the police, you’ll need to collect some information that the reporting officer and your insurance company will need. Gather the following documentation:
Don’t discuss details of the accident with the other driver — collect his or her information, but only speak to a police officer and your insurance company about everything else. Let the police and insurance determine who was at-fault.
Once the reporting officer arrives, take down his or her name and badge number, and ask for a copy of the police report before you leave the scene. Now you’re ready to file an insurance claim.
Filing a claim is fairly straightforward if you collected thorough notes and documentation at the scene of the accident. Florida is one of 12 no-fault states, which means that you have to use your own auto insurance coverage to pay for damages and medical expenses, regardless of who the at-fault driver is. Your insurance company will work directly with the other driver’s insurance company to determine fault and come to a settlement agreement for damages.
On your end, all you need to do is call your auto insurance company. Most companies have a claims department that is available 24/7, even late at night and on weekends. Call your insurance company as soon as possible following a car accident. Sooner is better because all the details of the accident will be fresh in your mind. Additionally, an insurance representative will walk you through exactly what types of coverage your policy has and the amounts for each.
Your policy will have some or all of the following coverages:
When you call your insurance company after an accident, a representative will walk you through filing a claim. He or she will take down information about the accident, tell you what kind of insurance coverage you have, help you find a car rental company if you have transportation expenses coverage, and ultimately pass your case along to an adjuster. An adjuster will handle the bulk of the claim — he or she will conduct a comprehensive review of the accident and work with the other driver’s insurance company to settle damage or personal injury claims from the at-fault driver.
Once you file an insurance claim, your insurance company will handle most of the work on your behalf. You may need to answer questions, send in documentation or make a statement, but you shouldn’t have to speak with the other driver or their insurance company. On your end, here are the things you need to do during the claims process:
Contact Integrity Spine and Orthopedics if you experience pain or injury from a car crash. Our board-certified team of doctors specializes in pain management, general orthopedics, regenerative medicine and minimally invasive spine surgeries to treat a wide range of spine, muscle and joint conditions.
Don’t let a car collision injury disrupt your life for long. Let us help you get back on your feet and back to participating in the activities you love. Call us today at 904-456-0017 to schedule an appointment or fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.