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How to Handle an Auto Insurance Claim

If you've never been involved in a car accident before, you may not be aware of how to file insurance claims. The process of filing a claim may seem nerve racking right after an accident, but it will be beneficial.

Call Your Insurance Agent

If you've been involved in an accident, it's important that you call your insurance agent as soon as possible - even if someone else caused the accident. Ask the insurance agent what forms need to be filled out and which documents you will need to include in order to support the claim you are making.

Choose A Repair Shop

In many states, an insurance company will NOT tell you which specific auto repair shop to visit, although they may make a recommendation. Finding a repair shop will be your responsibility. You will want to get an actual estimate on how much it would cost to fix your car. Before signing off on repairs for your car, make sure you find out about settlement costs.

Call A Lawyer

If you want to receive the maximum compensation for your insurance claims, you want to make sure the insurance company won't take advantage of you and that you will have someone on your side to stand up for your rights. Most lawyers offer a consultation which will allow you to bring your claim to them along with documents and evidence of the accident. At this time, they can tell you if you have a legitimate claim and if they can help you get compensation for that claim.

Keep Records

Make sure to keep a record of all expenses. Not only the cost for automobile repairs, but also records if you had to get checked out by a doctor, went through physical therapy, or needed pain medication due to injuries from the accident. This will help your lawyer get compensation for ALL of these additional expenses.

Take Photos

If at all possible, make sure you take some photos of the accident scene, other cars involved, buildings in the area, etc. Even using a cell phone camera would benefit you.

What NOT To Do

While there are steps you should take after an accident, there are also things you should avoid doing:

- Don't move anyone else injured in the accident. You could be held liable for making things worse.

- Don't apologize for the crash or say that it was your fault. In fact, don't apologize for anything that involves the accident at all.

- Do not accept any money for the accident - if you do accept cash you will automatically forfeit your right to even file a claim.

- Don't agree to forget about the accident. If you agree to just let bygones be bygones, down the line that the same person that waved it off, could sue you, even if the accident was their own fault.

- Don't become hostile, angry or agitated at the other vehicles and drivers involved in the accident. Keep your cool, call your lawyer, emergency services, and see a doctor right after you are allowed to leave the scene.

If you've been involved in an accident and you would like a free consultation contact Welmaker.