Car accidents are incredibly stressful situations. Stress can be reduced after an accident by knowing how to take control after the accident and maintain your composure. You will need to agree on fair compensation for damage to you and your property after the fact with your insurance company.
Because they deal with claims every day, the insurance usually has the upper hand in this procedure, whereas you might be managing your first negotiation. Enquire about the costs of fixing your car, and be ready to bargain for the best settlement.
If you learn that your accident is not covered, discussing your options for additional auto insurance or looking for different carriers is a good idea.
What to do After an Accident
Document All Damages
Take multiple pictures of any damage to your automobile, the other vehicles involved, and any damaged property as soon as possible after an accident, as long as you are not hurt and can do so safely. If you can, take pictures of all injuries sustained in the accident.
When it comes to managing insurance claims, images are an absolute must. These insurance firms strive to give you as little money as they can. The appropriate paperwork, witnesses, and supporting proof will help maximize your payment.
Stay On the Scene and Call the Police
After a collision, you must remain there at all times. Always hold off until the police show up. Hold firm and never acknowledge fault to another driver or a police officer at the scene once you’ve reported the accident. By calling 911 after an accident, you not only help to capture the events but can potentially save lives. If there is a problem with your claim, police officers will help gather information about the other driver and provide testimony.
If you have any passengers, make sure they are unhurt before exchanging contact and insurance information with the other motorist. The following details are crucial for drivers to share after an accident:
- Full name and contact details
- Company name and policy number
- License plate number and driver’s license
- Model, make, and color of the car
- Location of the accident
When discussing the details with the other motorist, you should avoid pointing the finger at anyone. When a claim is filed with your insurance, the adjuster reviewing your claim will decide who was at fault. They determine this by examining the vehicles, the information provided by the involved parties, and any supporting documentation.
Notify Your Insurer
If your insurance company has a mobile app, you may use it to file a claim while you’re still on the scene. By doing so, they will be able to explain in detail what they will need to do to handle your claim and what to anticipate during the claims process. If your car is damaged, your insurance company can arrange to tow it to a licensed body shop.
Even experienced drivers can get anxious after an accident, but taking these precautions can lessen your anxiety. You can then concentrate on coordinating your vehicle’s smooth and speedy repair with your insurance provider.
You can bargain if the insurer’s initial offer is insufficient. Determine the amount you believe is reasonable based on your repair estimates. Try to remain calm if they’re offering less than expected. Ask your insurer to explain their offer so you may comprehend the influencing aspects.
What’s Covered by Your Insurance Policy?
Most states mandate that drivers have auto insurance, but the extent of the coverage varies from state to state. Liability insurance covers bodily harm and property damage and should be included in every policy. Property damage coverage pays for third-party property damage brought on by accident, whereas bodily injury coverage pays for third-party injuries.
Full coverage insurance is generally strongly advised. Comprehensive and collision insurance are referred to collectively as full-coverage insurance. Collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle if you are at fault in a collision. Comprehensive insurance covers all damages to your car that are not due to an accident.
Additionally, several states will request the following:
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Regardless of who caused the accident, this protection policy pays the driver’s and passengers’ medical expenses. Costs vary depending on several factors, including where you reside and the amount of coverage you choose.
- Uninsured motorist coverage (UM): This helps pay for any damage or injuries you may experience if an uninsured driver strikes you. Regardless of whether the state mandates it, having this insurance is crucial, given that nearly 13% of drivers lacked it in 2019.
- Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM): UIM can make up the shortfall if you are involved in a collision with a driver whose insurance does not fully cover your costs.
Going Through the Claims Process
The claim-filing procedure may be challenging if someone is seriously hurt or it’s unclear who is to blame. A statute of limitations, often known as a liability time restriction, may apply depending on where you live. The following should be considered when making an auto insurance claim:
- Don’t wait: Once secure in your house, you can submit a claim using an insurer’s online claims system, mobile app, or phone agents. While the specifics of the accident are still fresh in your mind, it is preferable to begin as soon as possible.
- Be aware of what to expect: You must pay a deductible if you are found at fault and submit a claim to your insurer. Your end won’t have a deductible if you claim the other party’s insurance.
- Make your passengers aware: Injured passengers in a car accident may claim with their insurance provider or the driver’s policy. Depending on who is at fault, you can claim the other driver’s insurance.
The question of fault is crucial in the immediate aftermath of an automobile collision. The decision of who is responsible will determine who has the right to file a lawsuit and who is responsible for covering the injured party’s damages. If you cause an accident, your insurance will be required to cover any damages or injuries caused to third parties.
No-fault states that mandate personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for drivers include New York and Michigan. PIP can assist in covering injuries and damages regardless of who caused the collision. The Insurance Information Institute provides a list of state-by-state requirements for auto financial responsibility.
Getting Over Your Car Accident
Anxiety-inducing events like car accidents can cause shock, rage, terror, and guilt. In addition to attending to insurance claims and other details, putting your health first is critical. The advice that follows can improve your emotional well-being.
- Talk to someone: You can better understand your feelings and get started on the road to wellness by talking about your stressors. Ask for advice, speak with loved ones, and confide in someone about how you feel.
- Create a routine: Resuming regular activities can assist you in getting over the trauma. Consider adding pleasurable hobbies, exercise, and stress-relieving activities like yoga to your routine.
- Consult your doctor again: If you’ve had a physical injury, you could need long-term medical care from a professional. You might have post-traumatic stress disorder if emotional stress negatively affects your life. Confirm that your health insurance is up to date to receive the care you require.
Need Insurance? We Have You Covered
The state of Minnesota requires auto insurance by law. We have you covered on everything from crash protection to bodily harm liability. Where you go, we go.
Our independent agency, All Things Insurance, is situated in Otsego, Minnesota. We can get you the most incredible discounts on coverage for your car, motorcycle, home, and business because of our access to over 30 carriers.