The Process for Filing an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident

If you have been involved in a car accident, you probably have questions about how to proceed. Every day, Charlotte residents are involved in car accidents that can cause many injuries. Some of these injuries include catastrophic injuries that will have long-term effects, such as traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. When it comes to completing insurance claims, calculating percentages, reading the fine print of car insurance policies, and negotiating with the insurance company, you will need as much help as possible. Taking the following steps can help you protect yourself and your claim for compensation.

Get Medical Attention

Many victims of car accidents assume that they are fine immediately after the accident. The shock of the accident can cause adrenaline to kick in and cover up some of the pain that they would otherwise be feeling. With some injuries, the full extent of the injury does not become apparent until days or even weeks later. Even if you are not sure of the full extent of your injuries, it is wise to seek medical attention after a car accident. Call 911 and request a paramedic to come to the accident scene. 

Allow the paramedic to evaluate you, and if the paramedic recommends that you go to the hospital, follow their recommendation. Not getting medical attention promptly after a car accident can hurt your claim. The insurance company may claim that you were not injured or that your damages are not as extensive as you are claiming because you did not seek medical attention.

Contact Your Insurance Company

After receiving medical attention, you will need to inform your insurance company and tell them that you have been in a car accident. The representative will ask you some questions and probably send you a document to fill out. You may fill out the information on your insurance company's phone app. Any information you provide will be given to the representative who will process your claim. 

We recommend keeping detailed notes of who you speak with, the dates and times you speak with them, and any important details about the conversation. You should be honest with your insurance company, but do not admit fault if you are not sure who caused the accident. Additionally, do not automatically accept the insurance company's appraisal or estimate of your losses. They will frequently provide estimates that are far too low.

Take Pictures and Write Down Everything

If you could do so, take pictures of the car accident scene and the cars involved in the accident. You should also take photos of any injuries you have and the damage to your vehicle. These photos will be valuable when proving that the car accident caused your injuries. Bruises, cuts, and scrapes heal quickly, so make sure you have pictures of the damage on hand. If you do not have a regular digital camera, use your cell phone to take photos of the accident scene. It is all so smart to keep a journal after your car accident so you can write down all of the pain and symptoms you are feeling and all the activities and work you have missed due to the car accident.

Keep Records of the Expenses Related to Your Insurance Claim

Dealing with a car accident is a stressful experience. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to remember all of the expenses you have incurred from the car accident. However, if you do not keep a record of your expenses, you will not claim the expenses. If you have been seriously injured, you will probably incur many fees during the insurance claims process. 

Keeping a record of your expenses will help you with your insurance claim and if you need to file a lawsuit in the future. You may want to keep a spreadsheet or a notebook to organize your digital or paper expense receipts. If you have questions about whether you should include a receipt or not as an expense, you can discuss your question with an attorney. When in doubt, log the cost, and you can always remove it later if you need to.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney

Filing an insurance claim after being in a car accident can be overwhelming. Dealing with insurance companies isn't always easy, and many insurance companies do not provide fair settlement offers to victims. If you or your loved one have been injured in a car accident in North Carolina, the attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, are here to help. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.

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