Auto Accident Payment Recovery
Immediately following an auto accident you should contact your auto insurance company. Try to remain calm after the car collision; it is important you take note of who was impacted by the car accident (i.e. passengers, another driver). Provide the other driver with your car insurance carrier's name and your driver's license number.
Reporting Auto Accidents and Thefts
You will need the names of other drivers and passengers who were involved in the accident when you file your auto accident claim. If your vehicle was vandalized or stolen, contact your local police department.
Your car insurance company will ask for a copy of the police report before they process your auto accident payment. When you speak with the police officer ask for his or her badge number. Also get a telephone number where you (or your car insurance company) can reach the officer should they have further questions.
Auto Accident Claims Adjusters
Your car insurance company will assign your claim to an auto claims adjuster. The accident claims adjuster will examine your car or truck. He might even take photos of the vehicle. It is good advice for you to document auto accident damage as well; for example, take photos of your damaged vehicle yourself.
Should the claims adjuster declare your auto to be a total loss, your car insurance company must notify you of this determination (generally within 7 days). The insurance company is responsible by state laws to reimburse you in an amount that is equal to the fair market value of your auto.
In the event that your vehicle is stolen, your insurance claims adjuster will arrive at a fair market value for your auto. You can ask the claims adjuster for the vehicles that they used to determine your auto’s fair market value. The insurance company will issue you a check to cover the fair market value of your stolen auto.
Regarding auto repairs, the claims adjuster will either ask you to visit an auto repair shop that the insurance company regularly works with or they will direct you to take your auto to your own repair shop. You must notify your claims adjuster if the auto shop discovers hidden damages to the vehicle (i.e. damages the claims adjuster did not previously uncover).
Keep copies of all auto repair bills. You will need these for auto accident payment recovery.
Auto Insurance Deductions and Payments
You should receive a check that covers the auto accident (or theft) repairs or damages shortly after receiving the claims adjuster’s final decision (i.e. salvage, repairable). You are responsible for the deductible that is affixed to your car insurance policy.
For example, if your policy has a $250 deductible and the total amount of reimbursable damages that your auto suffered is assessed at $5,000, the insurance company will cut you a check for $4,750.
Insurance companies are permitted to deduct the costs of general wear and tear and auto damages (that occurred prior to the accident and have not been repaired) from the amount that they owe you.
Auto Accident Medical Payments
Additional payments that you are entitled to receive from your insurance company include medical expenses. Refer to your auto insurance policy to locate the specific amount of medical or bodily injury coverage that you have.
Before your car insurance company will write you a check to cover medical expenses related to the car collision you will need to visit your physician. Ensure that you get a copy of your doctor’s medical report that details the personal injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
Keep copies of all medical bills, including expenses for check-ups. Your insurance company might ask you to provide details and dated receipts for medical care that you received.