Were you recently the victim of a car accident that wasn't your fault? While you might be familiar with filing procedures for your own insurance company that deals with self-imposed or weather-related damage, claims with other companies are a whole different story. These are entitled "third-party claims," and they occur when you believe an opposing party or business is responsible for the damage to your car. To find out more about the filing procedures, make sure to read on.
Obtaining Insurance Information
In all car accidents, the first step after the fact should be exchanging insurance information with the other individual involved— even if it was a minor bump or scratch that didn't involve the police— because if you weren't at fault, you can get those repairs covered.
Reporting the Incident
Even if you weren't injured, any damage to your car that was caused by another person should be reported as fast as possible to their insurance company. This allows them time to investigate the claim and determine its validity (or falsehood). You will generally need your full name, address, license plate number and car information as well as a personal identifier (like a drivers license) to file your claim.
To assist in this process, it is a good idea to take pictures of the accident scene, write out a detailed version of your events, and if possible, present any witnesses that will back up your side of the story.
After deciding whether or not your claim holds value, the insurance company may present you with a settlement that they believe covers the cost of damage and treatment of your injuries (if there were any). The hard part of the claims process comes when you believe this settlement isn't adequate; this is called an appeal.
Appealing Your Claim
If you deem the settlement offered by the other driver's insurance company inadequate to cover the costs of repairs or if they deny your claim altogether, you will need to begin appeals procedures. While these differ from company to company, it is highly advised to consult or hire a public liability attorney to help you deal with the complicated process of fighting an insurance company. For accidents resulting in injury, it is difficult to put a dollar amount on pain and suffering, but an experienced lawyer will also help you get the expert medical opinions you need to prove the effects of the accident.
On paper, the insurance filing process may seem simple, but there can be unexpected turns in the road that prevent you from receiving a settlement. To combat this, make sure you do your research on in the insurance company, consult an attorney if necessary, and come 100 percent prepared to file your claim.Share
22 January 2016
My dad died when I was still pretty young so it's been a big surprise all the stuff I've had to do to sort out his estate. I'm an only child and my folks divorced when I was a baby so most of the work fell to me. He was kind of disorganised and grumpy, but at least he'd spoken to his lawyer and got a proper will drawn up which saved on confusion at a tricky time. If you are a young person dealing with the estate of a deceased parent, this blog is designed to help you navigate the legal processes.