If you get injured in a car accident as the result of another driver’s negligence, you could seek compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company. How do you file a car accident injury claim?
A Formal Request to the At-Fault Insurer
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are approximately six million crashes each year in the United States, with about three million people injured or killed. With so many injuries, there are a significant number of car accident injury claims filed annually.
A car accident injury claim is a formal request for financial compensation made to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, also known as a “third-party claim.” The responsible party’s insurer will then process the claim, but prompt and fair payment may not come easily.
The insurance company will want to investigate the accident to determine that its insured was genuinely liable. Even in situations in which the insured is at fault, the insurer has an incentive to minimize how much it pays out. This may motivate the insurance company to downplay the insured’s liability or cast doubt on the extent of the claimant’s injuries. For this reason, the assistance of seasoned legal counsel could be invaluable to the claimant.
In certain cases, the responsible driver may not have liability insurance at all or lack sufficient coverage. When this happens, the injured party could file a claim through his or her Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) insurance policy, if such a policy is available.
Important Steps When Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim
Regardless of whether a UM/UIM claim is pursued, the injured victim should notify his or her insurance company as soon as possible. The claimant should be sure to provide all the necessary details, such as which vehicle was involved, who was driving, the time and location of the car accident, a description of the accident and the extent of the damage, the name and insurance of the at-fault driver, and the names and contact information of any witnesses to the incident.
Furthermore, pictures can be very helpful in putting together a successful car accident injury claim. If it is safe to do so, the claimant should take photos of the vehicles and the surrounding area, especially before the cars are moved. The positioning of the vehicles can be crucial in establishing liability.
Finally, the injured victim should always file a police report. Police officers are trained to obtain the information and documentation necessary in order to assemble a report documenting the series of events leading up to a car accident. It is essential that the injured parties convey their version of what happened and make sure that the party or parties at fault are accurately identified as such.
Retain a Knowledgeable Car Accident Attorney
Taking the steps to build a solid car accident injury claim is vital, since obtaining full and fair compensation may depend upon how compellingly the damages are presented to the at-fault party’s insurance carrier, a defense attorney, or a jury. For this reason, it can be useful to retain a knowledgeable attorney to help guide a claim, such as the car accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With more than $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the leading Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. Our car accident attorneys have the experience, the determination, the resources, and the reputation needed to get you and your family the justice you deserve.
Call our personal injury lawyers today for a free consultation.