If you’ve been in a car accident, it can be a very stressful time. Not only are you dealing with the aftermath of the accident, but you also have to worry about filing an insurance claim. This can be a daunting task, especially if you’re unsure of what to do.
The Washington, DC car accident lawyers of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. have a proven track record of success helping clients obtain the maximum compensation possible for injuries they have suffered due to the negligence of others. Our firm has consistently demonstrated we have the expertise needed to help our clients see that justice is served.
We have the resources needed to conduct thorough investigations of all the circumstances contributing to a motor vehicle accident, gathering the evidence to establish liability due to a driver’s negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation. We value the attorney-client relationship, and we will work to protect your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.
What is a Car Insurance Claim?
A car insurance claim is a request for reimbursement from an insurance company for damages you have incurred from an accident. This can include damage to your vehicle, personal injuries, or both.
What to Do Right After an Accident
If you get into a car accident, the first thing you should do is move your vehicle to a safe location if possible. If you can’t move your vehicle, turn off your engine and get out if you can. Then check everyone for injuries and call 911. Even if no one is seriously injured, calling the police and reporting the accident is important, especially if you want to file a claim.
Seek Medical Attention
If you or anyone else is injured, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Even if the injuries seem minor, it’s always best to get checked out by a doctor. Once you’ve received treatment, keep all of your medical records and receipts. These will come in handy when you’re filing your insurance claim.
Gather Information and Collect Evidence
You should collect as much information about the accident as possible. This includes:
- Driver and passenger names and ages
- Location of the accident
- Date and time of the accident
- Weather conditions
- Road conditions
- Witness (names and contact information)
- Pictures of any damages and injuries
- Year, make, model, and color of the other car
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in a car accident, it’s important to contact a lawyer who specializes in car accidents. They can help you understand your rights and options and guide you through the insurance claim process.
Understanding Basic Car Insurance Types for Claims
If you have car insurance, filing a claim should be relatively straightforward. However, it’s important to understand the different types of coverage to be sure to file the right claim. There are several major types of car insurance coverage, including liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and personal injury protection / medpay.
- Liability insurance pays for damages to other people or property caused by the driver at fault for the accident.
- Collision insurance covers damage to your own car if you’re in an accident, whether or not you’re at fault.
- Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car that is not caused by an accident, such as theft or vandalism.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance covers damages to you or your car if you’re in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance.
- Personal injury protection, also called medpay, may pay some portion of your medical bills and possibly lost wages if you’re injured in an accident, whether or not you’re at fault.
If you’re unsure what type of coverages you have, you can check your policy or contact your insurance company. Once you know what kind of coverage you have, you can start the process of filing a claim.
When Is it Worth It to File a Car Insurance Claim?
Generally, it’s worth it to file a car insurance claim, no matter how much damage there is. Whether you are involved in a minor accident or a severe collision, you may be eligible for compensation for property damage, medical expenses, and other costs related to the accident.
How Fault Impacts Car Insurance Claims
In most states, the person at fault for an accident is responsible for paying the damages. This means that if you’re in an accident caused by another driver, their insurance company will be responsible for paying your claim.
However, some states have a “no-fault” system.” This means that each driver’s insurance company will pay for their own damages, regardless of who is at fault.
No matter what state you live in, it’s important to know how fault will impact your car insurance claim. This can help you understand what to expect and how to prepare for the claims process.
What If the Other Driver in the Accident Doesn’t Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Most policies have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage that will help pay for damages caused by a driver who is uninsured, or who has too little insurance. If you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance, you may be worried about how you’ll pay the damages. If this happens, your best option is to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage exists if you are ever involved in an accident with someone who has no insurance, or too little insurance, to cover bodily injury or damage to your vehicle.
What Do I Need to File a Claim After an Accident?
After an accident, you’ll need to gather some information and evidence to file a claim. This includes:
- Your insurance policy information
- The police report (if available)
- Pictures of the damages and injuries
- Witness statements (if available)
- Any other documentation that may be helpful
The insurance claim process can be tricky, but it can be much less stressful if you’re prepared and know what to expect. Keep these things in mind, and you’ll be on your way to filing a successful car accident insurance claim.
When Should I File a Claim?
You should contact your insurance provider and file a claim as soon as possible after the accident. This will help ensure that your claim is processed in a timely manner.
How Do I File an Auto Insurance Claim?
The first step in filing an insurance claim is to notify your insurance company that you’ve been in an accident. It’s important to be as detailed as possible when reporting the accident. Include everything from the accident, including any damages and injuries.
Your insurance company will then investigate the accident and may contact the other driver’s insurance company.
The Insurance Claims Process
Once your claim is filed, your insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to investigate your case. The adjuster may:
- Inspect the damage to your vehicle
- Review police reports
- Talk to witnesses
- Visit the accident scene
- Review medical records, bills, and proof of wage loss
- Look at your insurance policy
After the adjuster has all the information, they’ll determine how much your claim is worth. If you’re not happy with their offer, you can attempt to negotiate for a higher amount.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer
Filing a car accident insurance claim doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You may want to hire a lawyer if the accident is severe or if you’re having trouble getting your insurance company to pay your claim. A lawyer can handle the claims process for you, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court if necessary. Most car insurance companies try to pay out as little as possible.
What Damages Can I Receive in an Insurance Claim?
You can receive two types of damages in an insurance claim: economic and non-economic. Economic damages have a specific monetary value, such as medical bills, property damage, and lost wages. If you have rental reimbursement coverage, you may even be able to get reimbursed if you need a vehicle while your car is in the repair shop.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In most cases, you’ll receive both economic and non-economic damages in an insurance claim. But it’s important to know that each state has different laws regarding how much you can receive in damages.
It’s also important to know that what an insurance company covers depends on your coverage limits. This means that if your damages exceed the limit, you may have to pay for the rest yourself.
What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do For You
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our lawyers have achieved more than $500 million in verdicts and settlements, and our attorneys have more than a century of combined legal experience. Two of our partners are certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our firm has also earned the highest AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, one of the most respected attorney-ranking service organizations in the United States. Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. attorneys work passionately on behalf of our clients to help them secure fair compensation – there is no type of case that is too complex for us to litigate.
Here are a few of our car accident case results:
- $6 million for a client who suffered a brain injury after being involved in a rear-end collision.
- $4.8 million for a severely injured client after another vehicle struck his motorcycle.
- $1.9 million for a client who suffered a permanent back injury due to a car accident.
- $1.5 million for a client who had to undergo multiple surgeries after a negligent motorist cut off his motorcycle.
- $1 million settlement obtained on behalf of our 19-year-old client who was a passenger in a car in which the driver lost control, causing a collision. As a result, our client suffered extensive brain damage with cognitive impairment. He was in a coma for an extended period of time. Although he has regained consciousness, he is unable to care for himself. The law firm asked the Court to appoint him a guardian to care for him. The law firm is helping to establish a special needs trust so that the proceeds from the settlement will be protected against any medical liens.
- $1 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered a brain injury when the driver of the car in which he was a passenger lost control of his vehicle.
Contact a Washington DC Accident Lawyer Today
If you are looking for the highest level of representation available for your personal injury case, turn to Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. Our firm has helped clients recover more than $500 million in compensation, and we have more than 100 years of combined experience. All of our partners are recognized by Washington, DC Super Lawyers®, and our firm includes three past presidents of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, DC.
We work to help our clients obtain fair settlement offers to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered, but our attorneys are extremely well-equipped to go to trial if needed. Call (202) 659-8600 or contact us online to get the proven legal representation you deserve.