A Guide for Wilmington Crash Victims on How Auto Insurers Handle Accident Claims
After a motor vehicle collision, you may face many insurance issues because insurance companies may be reluctant to provide you with the full compensation you deserve for your accident losses. It is helpful to know what to expect in the car insurance claims process so you can be armed with the information you need to fight for compensation to cover your damages. It is also important to understand what you should be entitled to by law, and to get legal help from a qualified car accident attorney if the insurance company refuses to provide compensation after an accident.
How Do Car Insurers Handle Accident Claims?
The majority of people file an auto insurance claim once every eight to 10 years on average, so crash victims do not have much experience in how the claims process works. Edmunds has a guide designed to help people understand what occurs in the aftermath of an accident when you are dealing with insurance companies.
The first step is to let an insurer know right away about the accident. Edmunds advises telling the insurer specific details of the crash immediately after it happens. However, you want to be careful about the information you volunteer because you need to ensure you do not say anything that could jeopardize your auto accident claim.
You should call the police to the crash scene as well as take notes about what happened, so you will have a police record of the cause of the collision. You should note the names and badge numbers of the officer who responds to the crash, as well as note whether any emergency personnel were called to the scene. You should also consider taking pictures of the car, the license plates of all involved vehicles, and anything else you think would shed light on how the collision happened.
After you have notified your insurer of the crash, you can expect the insurance company to follow up with a phone call. The insurance company will assign a claims adjuster, who is going to coordinate with teams at the insurance company who look at medical reports, examine vehicle damage, manage repairs, and conduct an investigation into the accident. Auto repairs and medical treatment should start right away, even as the adjuster is still going through the process of investigating an accident and determining the cause and the extent of losses.
Fault assessment is the next step in the process, and it may go on largely behind the scenes if you leave the matter to your insurance company. If you let your insurer handle everything, you will not need to do anything to prove fault. However, you will lose control of the process of proving your case and you will have to trust insurers to get it right. It is usually a bad idea to simply trust the insurance company in determining who is at fault and how much you should receive for losses because insurers are not focused on your interests.
If you are determined to be at fault, your insurance should pay for all covered losses. If the other driver was determined to be at fault, that driver's insurer should cover you for damages.