How to Efficiently Handle Property Damage Claim After an Auto Accident

property damage claim

Getting involved in an auto accident, no matter how big or small is something no one should have to experience. It makes matters worse if there are injuries involved in the loss. Did you know that about 35,766 fatal motor vehicle crashes happen each year? When you’re hurt from a severe auto accident, the last thing you want to do is file a property damage claim.

Of course, there are several resources, such as an auto accident, that you can use to take care of that for you. If you are in the process of filing a property damage claim and you aren’t sure what next steps to take, please continue reading below. We will cover all you need to know about the property damage claim process and who you can contact to make the process easier. 

What Is a Property Damage Claim?

A property damage claim through an auto insurance company is a claim made for you to receive compensation for your auto damages. If you have any additional property damaged in the accident, you can also make a claim for those items. For example, if your glasses, phone, or laptop sustain damage, you can ask for the auto insurance company to provide you with compensation for those items. 

What Coverages Does an Auto Insurance Company Have?

The type of coverage available to you depends on what the other driver has on their policy. For example, most drivers carry liability coverages which you can use to pay for your property damages and bodily injury. 

Property Damage

As mentioned earlier, property damage pertains to damage caused to your vehicle and any items involved in the accident. Most drivers carry the state-required minimums, and if they are found responsible for the incident, their insurance company will deploy these coverages to pay for your damages. 

Bodily Injury 

Bodily injury liability coverages pay for any injuries sustained in an accident. For example, suppose you suffered injuries, and the other driver is at fault for the accident.

In that case, their insurance company will use the bodily injury coverage to pay for your medical expenses. This coverage also pays for any attorney fees if you decide to retain counsel. 

Additional damages covered under bodily injury:

  • Lost wages
  • Future loss of earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral expenses

If you are treating your injuries, you will have to wait until you finish treatment until the insurance company will pay for your expenses. To ensure that you receive the correct type of compensation so you can receive the proper amount of treatment, consider working with a reputable attorney. 

What To Do After a Car Accident?

After you get into a car accident, the first thing you should do is take care of yourself and your passengers if you have any. If you have any injuries, be sure to get treatment. Once you are in a better place to create an auto claim, you will need to reach out to the other person’s auto insurance company to make that claim. 

Gather Your Paperwork

If you don’t have the information for the other driver on hand, you may have to reach out to the police department for more information, granted you made a police report at the scene of the accident. The police at the scene should have provided you with a case number if you did.

Depending on how the police department handles its crash reports, you should be able to retain the report online. If not, you may have to call them to schedule a time to pick up the report. You may have to pay to get the report; if you do, you can send the receipt to the auto insurance company for reimbursement.

Consider Counsel

If you want to hire an attorney for your claim, you should reach out to one before you start the claims process. It is best to reach out to one beforehand because there are things you can and cannot talk to the auto insurance company about. 

The adjuster will want to take a statement from you about what happened in the accident. This can be in the form of a written statement or a recorded statement.

If you say something that could damage your case, your attorney won’t be able to help you get out of something you said. Reaching out to an attorney beforehand gives them a chance to thoroughly review the case before giving out any statements about what happened in the accident. 

File a Claim

The police report should provide you with information about the other person’s insurance company. It will have their insurance company’s phone number and policy information. This should be enough to locate a policy and start a claim

The adjuster will ask you questions about what happened and gather details about your personal information so they know how and where to reach you. If you are the first person to make a claim, they won’t be able to do much for you. 

Before they pay out for any damages, they have to call their insured and speak with them about what happened in the accident. Suppose their insured has a different story, and the police report cannot clear up what happened in the accident.

In that case, there is a chance that they may deny liability unless there is additional evidence to prove your side of the story. If they deny the claim, you may have to go through your insurance company to take care of the property damage done to your vehicle. 

What Happens if They Deny My Claim?

If an auto insurance company denies your claim, you may have to go through your insurance company to file a property damage claim. If you believe that you are not at fault for the accident, you should contact a reputable auto accident attorney to help you with the claim. 

Why Should I Hire an Auto Accident Attorney?

You technically don’t need to hire an attorney to handle your claim, but if you want to get the best results possible, you should reach out to one. You have the opportunity to create the claim on your own and to tell the adjuster what happened in the accident. Again, if you say anything that puts you partially or entirely at fault for the loss, you risk diminishing how much you receive as a settlement. 

When you hire an attorney to handle the claim on your behalf, they will ensure they present the claim in the best possible light. They will also handle the negotiation process on your behalf. 

Experience With Claims Like Yours

Auto accident attorneys have experience handling claims similar to yours. This means they know exactly what type of damages to claim on your behalf. In addition to claiming things such as property damage, lost wages, and medical expenses, they can claim other things like pain and suffering or loss of quality of life. 

There are so many damages you can claim for your auto accident, as no two claims are exactly the same. Working with a knowledgeable attorney will ensure you get the compensation you deserve for your accident. 

Negotiation Skills

As mentioned above, when you hire an attorney to handle your case, they will deal with the negotiations. Your auto insurance adjuster will go back and forth with your attorney about the worth of your case.

It is best to have your lawyer handle that because unless you have experience or knowledge of how to calculate your claim correctly, you may want to leave that job to the professionals. These auto adjusters know you don’t have the experience or knowledge, so they will use that to prey on you.

They may make it seem like they’re offering you a fair offer when they are offering you less than you deserve. The less they offer, the more they save their employer, which can result in them receiving a bonus for their work. You are worth more than an employee trying to cut costs for their boss. 

Saves You Money

This may sound contradictory because you’re hiring an attorney, but it’s true. You save more money when you hire an attorney to handle your claim.

Medical bills are expensive, but your attorney can help negotiate to reduce them so that less comes out of your settlement. Most attorneys have a network of physicians they partner with who can offer you high-quality care at a fraction of the price due to their partnership. 

They also help you make more money by negotiating and handling the case on your behalf. They can negotiate a higher settlement based on the facts of the case and the type of treatment you need. 

Expedites Your Claim

When you’re trying to heal and get back on your feet, you may not have time to gather the necessary paperwork or photos to expedite your claim. The auto claims process is complex and has several different moving parts.

Adjusters will call you at random times of the day, and their working hours may interfere with yours. Instead of chasing down the adjuster and trying to gather all the evidence you need to move forward with the claim, your attorney can do that for you.

Your lawyer has a team of legal professionals that they will use to gather witness statements, photos, police reports, and other evidence needed to move the claim along. An attorney can do a large majority of the footwork in the fraction of time it would take you to handle everything. 

How To Find the Right Attorney

If you decide you want to move forward and hire counsel to handle your claim, you first need to find an attorney who handles personal injury claims. There are several attorneys out there who handle criminal law, family law, and more. So, ensuring you find an attorney that handles claims similar to yours is extremely important. 

Read Their Reviews

Another essential thing to look out for is their reviews. Most attorneys post their results about their previous cases on their websites, so that is a great place to start.

Another good place to look is the Better Business Bureau, Google Reviews, or Avvo. Avvo is a website that specifically hosts reviews about attorneys. Pay attention to what other clients did or did not like about working with a specific attorney.

The best way to find out if an attorney is best for you is to reach out to them yourself. Most attorneys provide their clients with free no-obligation case evaluations where you get to meet with them in person.

Some offer Zoom meetings if you prefer as well. When speaking with the lawyer, make sure you ask any questions that you have. Don’t be afraid to ask anything.

At the end of the day, they are your advocate and want to ensure you’re comfortable. If they make you uncomfortable, you may want to look elsewhere for counsel. 

Help With Filing Your Property Damage Claim

the property damage claim process can be long and tedious, especially if you aren’t sure what to expect. Even if the other party accepts liability for the accident, they may provide you with an offer that is less than what you actually deserve.

Instead of going back and forth with an auto adjuster who wants to close the claim out just as fast as you do, you should rely on a reputable auto accident attorney to handle the claim on your behalf. If you are in the process of filing a property damage claim and you need more help with the claim process, contact us for a free case evaluation. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you have about the claims process. 

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