How to File an Insurance Claim and Repair Your Car after an Accident
Car crashes are traumatic events, and filing insurance claims, getting the right repairs and working with insurance adjusters can seem more stressful than the accident itself. To ensure your case progresses smoothly, CarTek Collision explains the insurance claims process that drivers in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Glendale go through after an accident, and what happens when they need repairs. Read on to learn more:
1. When should you file a claim?
Choosing to file an insurance claim depends on the coverage you carry and which party was at fault in an accident. Here are some tips to help you decide whether filing a claim is right for you:
Your Car is Damaged:
You are Injured:
No One was Injured, but Your Car Sustained Minor Damage:
2. So, you’ve Decided to File an Insurance Claim. Here’s How:
Procedures for filing an insurance claim after a car accident vary from company to company, but here’s a general overview of how the process works:
Contact Your Insurance Company and be prepared to give them the following information:
Most insurance companies will request a police report number.
If you did not get a police report immediately after the accident, you can still go to your local police station to file one.
Follow up with Insurance Adjuster.
An insurance adjuster will be assigned to your claim, and will probably contact you for more information. When they do, avoid making assumptions or speculating what happened and stick to the facts as much as you can. If you have any photos from the scene or contact information of witnesses, be sure to provide those.
Keep in mind that these conversations are recorded and determine which party was at fault. If you are filing a personal injury claim with the other party’s insurance, consider contacting an attorney before this step.
Your insurance adjuster will evaluate your policy, what occurred, inspect vehicle damage and potentially make a payment.
Your claims adjuster will approve a final payment. At this point, you will sign a release of liability, accept the payment as payment in full, and close the case.
3. Whose Fault was the Accident?
Since the responsible driver’s insurance coverage are required to pay for the losses, determining fault matters a lot. These are some things to keep in mind regarding how fault is allocated:
The insurance adjusters will determine fault using statements from the drivers, witnesses, police reports and other damage.
If they disagree on fault, they will communicate to come to a final agreement. In rare cases, fault will be determined by a lawsuit of insurance companies cannot agree on fault.
Fault can be shared.
If you are found partially at fault, the amount you can recover from the other party’s insurance provider will be reduced in most cases.
Your insurance company will represent you in court.
If the other driver sues you in personal injury cases where you are at fault, your insurance company will represent you in court and any litigation to reach a settlement.
If the other driver is at fault, you will have to deal with their insurance company.
Assistance may be available from your insurance company or broker. However, you’ll end up filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance and get coverage under their policy.
Consider getting legal representation if the other driver is at fault.
If the other party sustained severe injury, their insurance company may be unwilling to pay some bills in full or in a timely manner. You should contact a personal injury attorney in these cases.
4. How to Get Car Repairs after a Property Damage Claim
Your insurance provider will give you instructions for getting your vehicle fixed, but you should always be aware of the following factors and take them into consideration:
Refrain from getting any repairs before your insurance adjuster’s inspection.
The only exception is when delaying repairs will incur more damage. Even in those cases, you should discuss repairs with your provider first. Most insurers won’t pay for damage that was avoidable, so follow these steps in those scenarios:
You can choose the repair shop you use.
Even though there may be advantages in using the repair shop an insurance company recommends, you’re never required to do so.
You do not have to accept parts from third-parties.
If there are cheaper replacement parts than the ones from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), your insurance provider may not be willing to cover the more expensive options. They are not required to pay for OEM parts, but they must give you the option to cover the extra costs associated with original parts.
You can appeal any decision the insurance companies make.
When you’re concerned about the way insurers handle your claim, you have several options at your disposal, including:
Need Post-Accident Repairs? CarTek Collision Has You Covered
When you need post-accident repairs or an appraisal after a car accident, CarTek Collision is in your corner. We work with all major insurance companies and provide top-notch service to drivers throughout Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, Pasadena and Glendale.
Make an appointment with us online, or call 323-255-7711 to speak with a representative from CarTek Collision.