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5 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim after a Car Accident

Tennessee attorneys at Gilreath & Associates discuss the steps you must take following a collision

A car accident is devastating. The first thing you need to do is get medical attention.  Make sure there's a record of your injuries. It's important to gather evidence of your injuries.

As if the car accident wasn't stressful enough, the next thing you must do is call your car insurance company. It's vital that you have a good understanding of your benefits and coverage before calling your agent. When it comes to filing the insurance claim, it's no easy task sifting through the coverage percentages, deductibles and fine print.

You don't want to give a verbal or written statement to your insurance company until you understand your coverage. Find your insurance policy and review your insurance agreement before making the call. Pay careful attention to the "Coverage" and "Exclusion" sections of the policy.

The five tips below will make filing your insurance claim less difficult.

  1. After the accident, call your insurance company

    Following the accident, contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Most auto insurance policies require a signed proof of loss by a certain deadline.

    Your insurance company may want to record your statement during the telephone conversation. If you are uncertain whether or not this is a good idea, contact a Nashville-based car accident attorney at Gilreath & Associates immediately.

    It's important that you provide factual information to your insurer.  If you withhold facts, it could affect your claim or possibly invalidate your policy. During the phone call with your insurance company, write detailed notes. The stress of dealing with the car accident can cause you not to remember important details. You will want to record the following:

    • The insurance company phone number you called
    • The name of the insurance representative you spoke with and their job title
    • What you said about the accident
    • What the insurance company representative told you.
  2. Photograph your injuries and property damage
  3. Most cell phones have a camera. Be sure to take photos of the accident scene. The photos should show the damage to your car and other vehicles involved, and on-the-scene driving conditions and injuries.
    Photographs are important evidence, especially if you decide that you need a car accident lawyer. Reconstruction of the accident is more powerful when it includes photographs from the accident scene.

  4. Review your other insurance policies

    Homeowner policies, "umbrella" policies, and even credit card coverage may allow you to make an insurance claim due to the car accident, so be sure you review other insurance policies you may have. Any benefits available through other policies will come in quite handy if it takes a long time to settle with your car insurance company.

  5. Record expenses related to your car insurance claim

    You will likely face financial difficulties resulting from your car accident. You can incur many expenses from the time of your accident until you receive your settlement. It's very important that you keep track of expenses should you need to file a lawsuit.

    Keep a notebook of expenses with receipts attached. A log book makes it easy to record expenses and ensure none are forgotten.

    Expenses to keep track of include:

    • Expenses for rental car or alternate transportation
    • Medical care and supplies.
    • If you are injured and family members travel to provide you care, their expenses need to be noted as well
  6. Accepting the insurance claim settlement

    Your insurance company's estimator will appraise your losses and calculate a repair or replacement estimate. They will provide an appraisal and offer you a settlement. If the amount they estimate is on the low side, you don't have to accept it.

Insurance companies offer you the least amount of compensation possible. Don't feel pressured to accept an inadequate settlement offer. Do not sign releases or waivers without first talking to a Tennessee car accident attorney at Gilreath & Associates.

Also, you may be able to seek damages against an at-fault party involved in the car accident.

If you feel that you deserve more compensation or if you believe another driver was at fault, a Tennessee car accident attorney will gladly review your evidence and provide you with a free case screening.

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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilreath & Associates offer free and personal consultation to help you evaluate your legal options.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover financially from an injury stemming from someone else's negligence.