If you've been involved in an accident and have sustained any sort of injury or damage to your vehicle, you'll need to file a car accident injury claim with your insurance company and, potentially, with the insurance company of the driver who was responsible for the accident as well. Filing a claim of this type can result in increased premium costs for the responsible driver, but it is also legally required of all participants in the collision for the purposes of the insurance company records in all cases. Some insurance providers do set a car accident claim time limit after which you can face criminal penalties for failing to report an accident. Generally, it is a good idea to report an accident to your insurance provider as soon as you possibly can after that accident occurs. Take time to ensure everyone is safe and that anyone who is injured receives the proper medical attention. Then proceed by filing your accident report with the insurance company, the police (if necessary), and the DMV in your area.
Claim Filing Time Limits
Most insurance companies assume you'll file an accident report within a couple of days of the accident. It is important to do this for several reasons. The first is that you're legally required to report any accidents that occur. Failure to do so can result in hit and run charges by the police and a variety of other penalties as well. However, it's also important you present your side of the story regarding the crash and the collision as a whole, and if the other drivers report their stories first, the claims adjuster may not have any testimony of yours by which to review the scene of the accident. This can be crucial in determining which driver is at fault in the collision. Failure to report the accident or delaying your report can help to make you at fault for the accident.
Time Necessary to File the Claim
Your initial claim can be filed online or over the phone with a representative from your insurance company. These claims typically take between 30 minutes and 1 hour to file. Before you file those claims, be sure you have all of the pertinent info regarding the collision in front of you and easily accessible. Once you've filed that initial claim, you'll next receive instructions on how to have your vehicle examined for damages, and, if necessary, how to get an estimate for health services from a doctor. Next, a claims adjuster will examine your end of the story and record a testimony of yours as an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the collision. This typically happens within a few days of the initial filing of the claim.
If you have any other questions about the process of filing a claim, speak with a representative at your insurance company.