So you’ve been in an auto accident. You’ve exchanged information with the other driver and documented the scene. Now what? Next, you need to navigate the world of insurance claims.
My Insurance or Yours?
If you were driving your car in Provo, Utah and hit another car when you ran a stop sign, you are at fault for the auto accident. That means you need to file a first party claim. A first party claim is filed through your personal insurance company.
On the other hand, if you are driving your car in Provo and are hit by a car that ran a stop sign, the other driver is at fault. This means you need to file a third party claim. A third party claim is filed through the insurance company of the driver who hit you.
If you are filing a third party claim, it’s still a good idea to notify your personal insurance agency to let them know you were in an auto accident. If your third party claim is denied, you can then use your personal insurance company to fight for you. It also protects you should you need to hire an auto accident lawyer and sue for damages.
Become Best Friends With the Insurance Company
Get to know the insurance company’s process. Ask your insurance agent what you should do next, what information he needs from you and what the estimated time frame for processing your claim looks like. Insurance companies from Provo to the Big Apple process hundreds of claims at once, so be persistent and follow up frequently.
Always be friendly and courteous. A good attitude will get you a long way with the agents helping you. Document each interaction you have with the insurance company by writing down the date and time of each call as well as the names of the people you talk to.
Don’t Take Their Word for It
Though we’d like to think all insurance companies will treat their customers fairly and honestly, this is sometimes not the case. Don’t implicitly trust what the insurance company tells you. Get your own estimates for damages to your car, get everything in writing, don’t sign anything without legal advice and don’t accept any final payments until you are completely ready to do so.
When Do You Need a Lawyer?
If you run into problems with your insurance company, it may be time to consult a lawyer. If your claim is denied, say in the case of being hit in Provo by a driver who ran a stop sign, a lawyer can help you understand your legal options.
Most states require that you file a legal claim within one year of the auto accident. If after 11 months your claim has still not been settled, contact a lawyer. Whether you are from Provo or from a city on the West coast, an experienced lawyer can help you understand your options and get the compensation you deserve.