While accidents can cause a lot of stress and problems, it is important to not forget the rules regarding insurance claims. Missing a deadline can cost you money and force you to make repairs out of your own money.
To avoid these issues, it is best to start the process to contact your insurance company and file a claim as soon as possible. This will get your vehicle fixed and back on the road quickly in most cases.
Preliminary procedures before filing the claim
Every insurance company has slightly different procedures to file a claim. However, you should always make contact with the other driver immediately at the scene of the crash and contact the police if necessary. You can also take pictures of the damage at the scene.
The record of these transactions is important so that your insurance company can verify that the crash actually occurred and they may get further information about the damage based on the police accident investigation and any reports they generate. Some insurance companies may not allow you to make a claim at all if this was not done at the accident scene.
The time frame to file the claim
The underlying rules for when an insurance claim can be filed are actually set by state law. Most states have a statute of limitations that dictates that all insurance claims and lawsuits related to an accident must be started within a few years of the incident. Your insurance provider cannot give you more time than state law allows, however they will usually expect you to start the process to file a claim very shortly after the accident. This is partially done for practical concerns, as the facts surrounding an accident become less clear as time passes, and witnesses or investigators can forget what they saw if months or years have elapsed since the collision.
Your insurance company can also set their own rules for when you must file a claim with them, and give a shorter timeframe than the maximum allowed by law. If you have recently been in an automobile accident, it is advisable to contact them and ask about these time limits.
Issues with insurance claims
Sometimes, even if a claim is filed within the proper time frame and all other rules are followed, the insurance company may deny the claim and choose to not pay out any money for repairs and other expenses. This is done so that they can save money, but it can be a problem for someone who has already been paying into a policy and expecting help, but getting nothing in return. Many insurance companies are especially cautious about paying money out to accident victims because insurance fraud is a huge problem that costs both consumers and insurance businesses large amounts of money each year.
Fortunately, there are lawyers who specialize in fighting against insurance companies and making sure they are following the law regarding the claims process, rather than just making excuses and trying to save money.
Get in touch with a lawyer who can help during the claims process
There are attorneys available in your city who focus their practice on motor vehicle accidents and the insurance claim process. You can find a lawyer who matches your personal needs by using the listings on USAttorneys.com.