When you’ve been involved in a car accident, it is your responsibility to make sure you report the incident to your insurance company. For the most part, this is common knowledge. However, what is confusing to many people is exactly when they should start the claims process and under whose coverage the claims should be filed under.
Reporting Compared to Filing a Claim
There is a difference between reporting the accident and filing the actual claim. As mentioned above, insurance companies require individuals involved in a car accident to inform them about the accident. This is because they want to be aware of any incident which may result in a request for coverage, that is if any parties ask the insurance company for monetary compensation. Most insurance companies require that the accident be reported in a reasonable amount of time which is generally a couple of days.
The process of filing a claim is when you or your Car Accident Lawyer in Waterloo make a request to your insurance company to clear the damages as per policy coverage. This will be based on your policy terms which can vary depending on the company and the coverage purchased. Potential coverage includes paying for medical bills and paying or vehicle repairs. A claim can also involve a request from the other driver for their losses caused by the accident. This is called a third-party claim.
In many cases a claim and an accident report blend together. Usually, when you or the lawyer report the accident, the insurance company will provide an insurance adjuster to determine what happened and if you will file a claim. The insurer will likely try to get a police report, get witness statements and contact the other driver’s insurance company.
The Settlement Process
There are many steps to the settlement of the claim that you need to make sure you’re prepared for. Filing the insurance claim is only the first step, although many people think that once they’ve filed the claim, they’re finished. The additional steps in the settlement process will likely depend on the types and extent of your injuries. When you file you claim, you’ll likely still be getting professional treatment for your injuries and the you might not even know how severe those injuries may be.
You may not know, yet, how much medical care you’ll require and the cost of the treatment. You may not know who your ability to return to work will be affected and it may not yet be determined who is the individual at fault for the accident.It’s important to be aware that there’s a difference between filing and insurance claim and filing a lawsuit. If you need to take a car accident claim to court for a personal injury lawsuit, the process to this is much more formal and time consuming.
Whatever the situation, it’s important to let your insurance company know about any vehicle accident, no matter how minor you might feel that it is. You want to be prepared in case the damage is more extensive than you thought, of if you or the other driver start experiencing pain.