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After a Car Accident: What You Need for an Insurance Claim

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 29, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If there's a silver lining in the wake of your car accident, it's that at least you had insurance. But as the saying goes, every silver lining has a touch of grey. Filing a car insurance claim can be complicated and the process can seem never-ending. It feels like your insurance company always wants more paperwork or documentation, and you begin to wonder whose side they're on.

But if you know beforehand what your insurance company will probably want during the claims process, it could take make the system more streamlined and less stressful. Here are some of the things you'll probably need for your car accident insurance claim:

Prompt Notification

The first thing you're insurance company will want is prompt notice of the accident. Most companies require notification within 24 hours of the accident. If you weren't at fault for the accident, you should also contact the insurance provider of the at-fault driver as well, which is why exchanging insurance information after an accident is so important.

Proof of Negligence

The most important factor in your car insurance claim will be determining who was at fault for the accident. Therefore, gathering any and all evidence of the accident will be the key to figuring out your car insurance settlement.

You will probably be asked to provide photos of the accident scene, the names and contact information of any witnesses, and a detailed account of the incident. So take pictures, if possible, of the damage to your vehicle and the accident scene, and take your own notes on what happened. You can also request a police report of the accident as well.

Personal Injury

If you were hurt in the accident, proof of your injuries will also be important. Any pictures, notes, or medical records documenting the extent of your injuries will be vital. In addition, you may have to submit to an independent medical examination by a doctor of the insurer's choice.

If you've been injured in a car accident, you may be considering a lawsuit, especially if your insurance claim was denied, in which case you'll probably want your own lawyer. You can contact an experienced personal injury attorney about your claim -- most are happy to provide a free consultation.

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