If you have been in an auto accident, it is not only inevitable for you to deal with your auto insurance carrier, you also have a contractual obligation to inform them that you were involved in an accident. While you have the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault driver, you may, for a number of reasons, still need to file a claim with your own insurance carrier to access coverage for things such as property damage and medical bills. The specific benefits available to you will, of course, depend on your auto insurance policy. Even navigating the path to access coverage from your own insurance carrier, however, can be complicated and can even feel like a struggle sometimes. Here, we will go through a general overview of the process of filing a claim with your auto insurance carrier.
How to File a Claim With Your Auto Insurance Carrier
After being involved in a car accident, you will want to immediately call 911. The police will arrive at the accident scene and an officer will record the details of the accident. As a result, an official police report will be generated. This is solid evidence to provide to your insurance company regarding the details and nature of the accident. Furthermore, calling the police will help ensure that ambulances or other emergency services providers will arrive at the accident scene to address things such as those injured in the accident.
If there was an injury resulting from the accident or there was at least $1,000 in property damage sustained in the accident, California requires that the accident be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Make sure that you uphold your legal responsibility to report the accident to avoid any type of penalties.
You should also be prepared to gather information relating to the accident. Your insurance company will want to see proof of things such as who was at fault for the accident and the extent of the injuries and property damage sustained in the accident. You can document these kinds of things by taking photos at the scene of the accident. You can also get your vehicle appraised for property damages and submit that report to the insurance company.
In addition to taking pictures at the accident scene and calling the police, you may also want to consider calling your own insurance company. You can get information regarding how you should proceed with filing a claim. You can also get more details about the benefits available to you. Is your car not drivable after the accident? Your insurance company can advise you about coverage for a tow truck. You may also be able to have your insurance cover the cost of a rental car until your own vehicle has been fixed.
Once you report your claim to your auto insurance carrier, you will be assigned a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster is tasked with investigating your claim and working to get the claim settled. While your insurance company may seem to be on your side, and they should be on your side, insurance companies almost always put their own interests first. The primary interest is saving money. Consider speaking to a trusted personal injury attorney to help ensure your own interests are being protected and advocated for as well.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Don’t try to deal with the big insurance companies on your own. After an auto accident, talk to the dedicated team at Compass Law Group about your legal rights and responsibilities. We are here to advocate for your legal rights and what you are entitled to. Contact us today.