When you have a car accident, you need to report it to the insurance company in order to obtain compensation for the losses you may have sustained in the accident. However, many people aren’t sure what happens next. How do car insurance companies handle accident claims in Atlanta, and what do you need to provide?
At the Accident Scene: Helping Your Claim Progress More SmoothlyYou can do your part to help a car accident claim progress more smoothly by carefully handling the way you deal with the accident scene. First, report the accident to the police if it involves significant property damage or any type of injury. Wait for the police to arrive. You can copy the liable driver’s insurance information and license while you wait. Snapping a photo on your phone can make it easy to keep up with that vital information. You may also want to collect relevant evidence from the accident, including:
- Photos of the scene
- Photos of both vehicles
- Photos of any damage to your vehicle or the other vehicle
- Photos of any features of the accident scene that may have contributed to the accident
- Contact information from any witnesses
Insurance ProcessingAfter the accident, you will need to contact the insurance company to start the claim process. If you suffered injuries in the accident, you may want to get in touch with a lawyer before you begin processing your claim, since a lawyer can help guide the potential outcome of your claim and ensure that you do not inadvertently limit the compensation you can recover.
Step One: InvestigationOnce the insurance company receives your claim and determines that you need to file an injury claim, the company will assign a claims adjuster to the case. The claims adjuster will open an investigation into your claim, including a look at all the details that may have led to the accident. The extent of the investigation may depend on the severity of your injuries as well as the circumstances that led to your accident. In conditions where one driver clearly caused the accident, it may take less time and effort to investigate the rest of the details of the claim. However, in many cases, the investigation process can prove quite complicated. The claims adjuster may need to:
- Take a look at any photos you collected from the accident scene (as well as any photos collected by the other driver)
- Look over the details of the police report
- Talk to any witnesses that saw the accident
- Send out an expert to examine the damage to both vehicles involved in the accident