How to File an Insurance Claim After an Auto Accident
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If you are involved in an auto accident, one of the first things you need to do is file an insurance claim. In Michigan, you are required to carry auto insurance and Personal Injury Protection insurance (PIP) to cover you in case of an accident, but in some cases, your injuries may allow you to file a personal injury claim against the other driver’s insurance to cover your medical bills.
No matter which type of claim you are filing, it is helpful to understand how to file an insurance claim after an auto accident. If you are involved in a car accident, follow the general steps below to file an insurance claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Before you do anything else after an accident, make sure that no one is injured. If you need to seek medical help, you should do so before calling the police or gathering information for the insurance claim. However, if you are involved in a minor accident where nobody requires medical attention, your first step after an accident should be to call the police.
Call the Police
When you call to make your insurance claim, the insurance company needs to see a copy of a police report. Insurance companies use police reports to assess your claim, so it is critical that you contact the police so that you have this document. A police report contains vital information used in an insurance claim, such as witness statements, information about the cars’ makes and models, and the officer’s opinion on what occurred.
When being interviewed by police at the accident scene, remember not to make statements about who caused the accident. Make matter-of-fact, truthful statements, but refrain from indicating yourself as the cause of the accident.
Your insurance company needs several pieces of information from you when you call them to file a claim. If you are able, gather the following pieces of information so that you can report them to your insurance company.
- The other driver’s information, including phone number, name, insurance information, address.
- The color, make, model, and year of the other car
- Any information about passengers in the other car
- Location of the car accident
- Date and time of the collision
- Weather and road conditions
- Witness contact information and statements
- Police information, including the time they arrived, names, and badge numbers.
If possible, supplement this information with photos from your cell phone. Take pictures of the other car’s license plate, the vehicle damage, traffic signs and signals, skid marks on the road, and any injuries you suffered.
You also need to make sure that you keep all records related to hospital stays, medical treatment, and physical therapy. To ensure your PIP insurance covers these expenses, you will be expected to submit these documents to the insurance company. Additionally, keep records of the days you missed work because of the accident, as well as proof of lost wages.
Call Your Insurance Provider
Your next step is to call your car insurance company to file a claim. Your insurance agent will walk you through the claims process and possibly get you set up with a rental car while the insurance investigation is going on.
The company will send a claims adjuster to investigate and corroborate the details of the accident to determine how much they will cover for your accident. Because Michigan is a no-fault state, damages to your vehicle will be covered by your personal collision coverage, and your PIP will cover any minor medical bills that you incur as a result of the accident.
Depending on your choice of PIP insurance, which ranges from unlimited coverage to a PIP opt-out for certain situations, your medical bills will be covered up to a certain point.
Hire Legal Representation
It is always a good idea to seek legal advice from a qualified auto accident attorney when you are involved in a vehicle collision, especially if you or a loved one suffers severe injuries due to the accident.
In Michigan, if your injuries are caused by another driver’s negligence and meet the serious bodily impairment threshold, you are entitled to seek compensation from the at-fault driver within certain time limits. This compensation seeks to give you recompense for the mental anguish, emotional stress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life that you have suffered due to being seriously injured in a car accident.
If you have lost a loved one in a vehicle collision where another driver is at fault, you may also pursue a wrongful death suit to seek compensation for pain and suffering, as well as for loss of future wages and loss of consortium. This applies even if your loved one had life insurance.
A knowledgeable car accident attorney from Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. can represent you in a personal injury claim and walk you through the legal process. With their representation, you won’t have to worry about dealing with communicating with insurance companies, obtaining police reports, and gathering information about the scene of the accident, as they handle these aspects of your case as part of the personal injury suit.
Consult With an Auto Accident Attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C.
If you have been injured in a vehicle collision or if you have lost a loved one due to another’s negligent driving, it is important to consult with an auto accident attorney as soon as possible. The legal team at Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. has years of experience handling auto accident personal injury suits and wrongful death cases in Michigan.
To have one of our attorneys review your case, contact Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. at 866-MICH-LAW to set up a free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.