Accidents can happen to even the safest of drivers, many times due to no fault of their own. After the accident, you’ll most likely file a claim with your insurer, who will then review the claim and determine whether to provide coverage for what occurred.
While you expect this process to be cut and dry, snags can happen for a number of reasons. Your claim may even be denied, which means you’ll be obligated to cover the costs of the accident, including vehicle repairs and medical bills. Taking the following steps improves the chance of your claim being approved and can also help you deal with any issues that come up during the claims process.
1. Contact Your Insurance Company
It’s best to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after the accident, while the event is still fresh in your mind. You’ll need to provide the names of other drivers involved and their insurance info, when and where the accident occurred, and contact information for any police that reported to the scene. If you have an accident report compiled by the police, you’re also encouraged to share it with your insurer.
2. Review Your Policy
Your insurance policy details your coverage and your obligations. For instance, you must cover the deductible before the insurer will pay out for a claim once it’s approved. Make sure you’re know your deductible amount, as well as the criteria for approving claims and why one might be denied. Having this information up front will help you anticipate and hopefully prevent any issues.
3. Get a Repair Estimate from a Mechanic
An estimate details how much it will cost for your vehicle to be repaired after an accident. Your insurance company may use an adjuster, who will inspect your vehicle and determine an estimate based on the damage. In other cases, you may be required to take your vehicle to a mechanic, who will provide his or her own estimate. If your insurance company requires you to get an estimate from an approved mechanic, you can also visit your own mechanic for comparison.
4. Know How to Handle a Denied Claim
Auto insurance claims can be denied for all sorts of reasons, from mistakes by the insurance adjuster to deliberate bad faith efforts by your insurer. In either case, bring together the necessary information to dispute your denied claim. Go through your policy and highlight portions that point to your accident being covered. You can also provide documents to back up your claim, including witness statements, medical records, and police reports. If your efforts are not successful, it’s time to hire a skilled auto accident attorney.
Hinkle Law Offices, LLCunderstands that a single car accident can have lifelong effects. That’s why our compassionate personal injury attorneys support clients in Albuquerque who are denied by their insurance companies. We can also help hold negligent drivers accountable for their actions, whether your accident involved distracted driving, or you were injured by an aggressive driver with no care or consideration for others.