Nothing can ruin your day quite like a car crash. You could be stopped at an intersection or cruising on the highway when you feel the car jerk and coming to a jarring stop. Reporting the crash to the police is just the first step in getting your car fixed. Your automobile insurance company should be one of the first calls you make. Alerting them to an accident gets the process for handling the claim started. Depending on the state you live in, this may involve finding a driver at fault. This process begins with a conversation between you and the adjuster assigned to your claim. Get prepared for this conversation in advance.
Report of Accident
Your first call to the insurance company will kickstart the claim. This representative will take down all pertinent information, including the other driver’s information. You will then have to give an account of the crash. Some of these reps may ask follow-up questions to clarify, but some may not. Instead, they may refer you directly to the adjuster that is assigned to the claim. This person still works for the insurance company, but their main job is to investigate and decide on who caused the crash.
When you speak with the adjuster, they will request a formal statement of the accident. This is called a recorded statement, and just as the name implies, it is an audio recording. The account serves a few purposes. It is used as an investigative tool. The details you give will help the adjuster piece together the events of the accident, which ultimately will lead to a liability determination. The recorded statement may be used in court, so it is crucial that you only answer questions you know the answers to. Don’t guess. If the investigation concludes you were wrong about elements of the crash, the adjuster may start questioning the credibility of the entire thing.
Dealing With Liability
The adjuster will speak with you and the other driver or their counterpart at the other insurance company. At some point, each will decide who is responsible for the crash. Depending on the laws in the state you reside in, liability may also be divided between you and the other party in some fashion. It’s important to talk to your adjuster for insight on how splitting responsibility like this may affect you.
Dealing with the insurance company after a wreck may seem impossible, but you must do it. Speak to a car accident lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Houston TX, if you need more help in dealing with the situation.
Thank you to the experts at John K. Zaid & Associates for their input into personal injury law.