The unexpected happens and you’re involved in a car accident. Now the dependable vehicle you drive to work and home every day is suddenly out of commission. You may or may not have been injured, but what do you do now?
It’s important to understand that car accident property damage claims are handled entirely different from car accident injury claims. Claims involving only property damage generally do not need the assistance of an attorney. If you were injured, it’s best to let an attorney handle your claim from beginning to end.
Above all else, make sure you address any and all injuries as soon as possible. If you or anybody else has been hurt, call 9-1-1 in order to obtain medical attention, and to make sure the police fill out a crash report.
You should always get the insurance information of the driver whom was at fault. Ask to see their insurance card at the scene of the accident, and take down all their information. They can (and sometimes do) give you a false name or may not own the car they are driving. To play it safe, call the police department and ask them to come to the scene.
Take photographs of the other driver’s identification, insurance card, etc. Make sure to take photographs of all vehicles involved in the accident, and get contact info from any and all witnesses.
The next thing to do to get back on the road is to file a claim with either your own insurance company, or directly with the at-fault party’s insurance company. There are advantages and disadvantages to filing your claim with either insurance company, but if you have questions, call us for a free consultation at 1-833-720-6090. If you have an accompanying injury claim, our Dallas car accident lawyers can handle your entire claim for no cost to you.
Once the property damage claim is filed, an adjuster will reach out to discuss the accident with you. If you’ve been injured, make sure to NEVER discuss your claim with an adjuster unless you’ve spoken to your attorney.
If the adjuster tells you they have not accepted liability (or they’re delaying by claiming they’re waiting to speak to their insured) you can get your car repaired more quickly by going through your own insurance company (if you have full/comprehensive coverage). The downside is that you will have to pay a deductible. The good part is that if the other insurance company accepts liability, you will eventually get this money back.
Remember that rental vehicle coverage is confusing, and is not always even provided. If it is provided by the other insurance company, it’s often only for the time that your car is in the shop being repaired. If totaled, a rental will often only be provided until an offer to pay for the total value of your car is made. You are responsible for any rental fees beyond those time frames.
Remember to always discuss your case with an attorney if you have been injured as a result of the crash. An attorney can assist you throughout the entire process and make sure you get every penny you deserve. Insurance companies are looking out for their best interests… We’ll look out for yours.