Advice for Settling a Claim Due to a Car Accident

Many individuals have been in a car accident before. If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing this frustration, then you are in a very fortunate minority. When an individual gets into a car accident, there are some useful things that person can do to settle a claim against the other driver, in order to ensure that the process moves as quickly as possible and that all parties can put the accident behind them.

Gather Information

Most often, when two people get into an accident, the insurance companies will be the ones arguing about who was at fault and how much compensation should be paid. As the driver, however, you will have to obtain and provide a large amount of information to your insurance company. In addition to obtaining information on the other driver, such as his or her name, insurance company, and license plate number, you should also obtain any information about who was at fault for the accident. This can include the name and contact information of any witnesses, and should also include pictures of the scene of the accident and any damage to the vehicles.

Most of us have cell phones with cameras on them to take the pictures needed to document an accident, but if you are concerned about fraudsters or hit-and-run accidents, it may not be a bad idea to install a dashboard camera. While installing a camera may not directly lower your insurance rates, the evidence captured on the camera will be admissible in court and could prove to an insurance company that you were not at fault for an accident, despite what the other driver claims.

Get a Police Report

You can always call the police to the scene of the accident. When they come, they will most likely write an accident report that may give details, such as if any traffic laws were violated or if any other rules were broken. You can ask the police department for a copy of this report. If it mentions that a traffic law was violated by the other driver, you can use this to prove fault against that person.

Remember What Can Be Collected

Aside from any injury you may suffer, if you are in an accident, there are a number of different damages that you might be able to collect. In addition to vehicle damage, you can collect compensation for anything inside or outside of your car that was damaged, such as a bike or piece of furniture that you were transporting. You may also receive reimbursement for the rental car you use while your car is being fixed, as well as any out of pocket expenses you may have, such as taking a taxi home after the accident because your car is inoperable. The insurance company will only offer these types of compensation, though, if you notify them and property document all of your expenses.

If you have been in a car accident, and would like help dealing with your insurance company or the insurance company of the other driver, contact John J. Sheehan today.

Photo Credit: daveynin via Compfight cc

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