When you meet with a car accident, you may be quizzed about what to do next and how to proceed to settle a vehicle damage claim against the other driver so that you get compensated for the damage that his or her negligence has caused to your vehicle. Here are few tips that will come in handy when it is time for you to deal with such a crisis and make vehicle damage claims after an accident:
1. Identify the driver and his or her insurance company
Even if the other driver has caused the accident due to his own fault, you will not be dealing with the driver directly. Instead, you will be dealing with the insurance provider of the other driver’s vehicle to settle your damages. To do this it is important that you make a note of the following while still at the scene of the accident:
· Name of the other driver
· Insurance provider of the other driver
· Witnesses to the accident, if any.
· Any law enforcement officer who has arrived at the scene.
2. Click pictures
It is wise to click pictures of the site of accident with your cellphone. Take the pictures of:
· physical damage to each vehicle
· locations of the vehicles
· license plates of each vehicle.
3. Be ready to divulge information to the insurance company
Be ready to convince the insurance provider that the accident was not your fault. Remember that the insurance company wants to prove otherwise and reject your claim on the plea that the cause of the accident was partly or wholly your negligence or that you have not provided sufficient documentation to prove your losses. You will have to combat this exasperating strategy of the insurance provider by providing them as much information as possible supported by documents. At times, negotiations may fail and the company may ask you to either accept the amount of claim they are offering or go for a lawsuit.
What type of damages can be claimed?
In case you wish to claim for damages to property only, you may be entitled to:
1. Vehicle damage: Costs of repairing the damage caused to your vehicle.
2. Personal property damage: Claim the cost of any item that may have been in the car and was damaged in the accident.
3. Car rental: The costs of renting a car during the period when your car was being repaired.
4. Out-of-pocket expenses: Expenses such as ones incurred on hiring a taxi to go home from the site of the accident.
The fact remains that the insurance company will leave no stone unturned to either deny you a claim or to intimidate you into settling for less. It is recommended that you hire an attorney in case you experience any difficulty in your claim settlement process.