In addition to the injuries a car accident can cause, you are also likely to be dealing with heavy damage to your vehicle. Even a minor fender bender can require thousands of dollars in automotive repairs, and paying for these expenses out of pocket can wreak havoc on your finances. “How do I handle vehicle damage claims after an accident?” is one of the most frequently asked questions our car accident attorneys hear. If you are involved in a crash, it is important to be aware of the steps to take to file a vehicle damage claim.
Steps to Take to File a Vehicle Damage Claim
In the aftermath of a car accident, exchange insurance and contact information with other drivers and get information from any witnesses at the scene who can support your version of events. In terms of the steps you need to take to file a vehicle damage claim, the website DMV.org advises the following:
- Contact your insurance company immediately after your accident. Have your driver’s license information and insurance policy number handy, and be prepared to give some details about the accident itself, such as the exact time and date it occurred, as well as any information you have about other drivers involved.
- Meet with your claims representative. A meeting will be scheduled with the person who will be handling your claim, and he or she will want your version of events as to why the accident occurred. When dealing with the claims representative, avoid admitting blame or downplaying the extent of your damages.
- Have your claim evaluated. Your claim representative will likely take photos of the damage to your vehicle, as well as obtain doctors’ reports detailing any injuries you suffered.
- Carefully consider any offers your insurance company makes. Once your claim has been evaluated, your insurer will either deny your claim or offer you a settlement amount. Be aware that once you sign and accept this offer, you will no longer be entitled to any additional compensation.
Should I Hire a Lawyer?
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, you have the right to a written explanation regarding the amount the insurance company offers, and you have the right to appeal any decision made involving your claim. You also have the right to hire a lawyer to represent your interests with the insurance company, and the advantages of doing so include the following:
- We protect you against making statements that could result in your claim being reduced or denied.
- We conduct a thorough investigation into your accident, something most insurers will not invest the time or money to do.
- We carefully review and negotiate any settlement offers to ensure you are getting the maximum amount of compensation allowed by law.
In the event a settlement cannot be reached or the other driver was uninsured, we can take your case to court, where you may have a better chance of getting a judgment for damages.
Let Us Assist You Today
If you or someone you care about has been involved in a car accident, contact The Bob Richardson Law Firm today. We provide the aggressive legal representation you need to protect your rights and interests when dealing the insurance company, so that you can pursue the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to. We serve Austin, Waco, and the surrounding areas. Call or fill out our online form today to schedule a free case consultation.