How to Report a Car Accident to Your Insurance Company

by Alex

You can call your insurance provider or go to their website to find out how to report a car accident to your insurance company specifically. Each company likely has its own protocol, but the general steps may include:

  • Going to their site and logging into your account
  • Finding the option that says Claims, File a Claim, Report a Claim, or similar
  • Providing as much information as you can about what happened, what car you were driving, and how much damage was done

Reporting Your Car Accident

When you tell your insurer about the car accident, they may request any or all of the following:

  • Photographs you may have taken of the accident scene, your injuries, or damage done to your vehicle
  • Basic facts about the accident date, location, the vehicle you were driving, and the names of those involved
  • Bills or receipts you have accumulated, if you have already sought to fix your car or rent or buy a new car

After you report the accident, the insurance company may contact you asking for additional information or requesting to talk to you in person. In some cases, they may offer you a quick settlement as well.

While it is important to comply with any reasonable requests the insurer makes, you should not make any hasty decisions. You may want to hire a personal injury attorney and review your rights before talking to the insurer.

How Much Will My Insurance Cover?

That depends on what kind of policy you have. If you want help reviewing your policy, you can speak to your insurance agent or get a car accident attorney to review the policy with you.

Why Report Your Car Accident?

Telling your insurer about the accident is a vital step toward pursuing compensation for your physical, psychological, and financial suffering. Motor vehicle accidents can be very expensive, and you would not want to be stuck paying those expenses on your own.

In addition, making a report can help to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions. Reckless drivers, not their victims, should be the ones to pay for the damage they inflicted.

When to Report a Car Accident to Your Insurer

You will want to report your accident as quickly as possible. Doing so can:

  • Make it easier for you to comply with legal deadlines
  • More effectively preserve your right to seek compensation
  • Establish a firmer connection between the accident and the damage to both your vehicle and your body

Reporting early may also make it easier to find certain types of critical evidence. This, in turn, could allow your lawyer or your insurer to independently corroborate your version of events and strengthen your case for damages.

The Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents

Another important factor to keep in mind is the statute of limitations. Found at CPLR § 214, this law generally gives you three years to seek compensation from the liable party.

It is up to you and your lawyer to decide if filing a lawsuit is the right move for you. By reporting your accident to your insurance company as soon as you can, you keep your options open and reduce the risk of running out of time to get compensation.

What if the Liable Party Has No Insurance?

All New York drivers are required to carry a certain amount of car insurance, according to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Unfortunately, not everyone follows this law.

If the driver who hit you has no insurance, there may still be ways for you to recover compensation. You can:

  • Ask for your own insurer to cover the damage
  • File a personal injury lawsuit
  • Talk to an attorney’s team about what your options are

Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?

Hiring a car accident lawyer to manage your case is a good way to:

  • Better understand and protect your rights
  • Make sure you do not make any errors that put your settlement at risk
  • Pursue compensation without putting in hours of your own time

The sooner you consult a lawyer, the more they may be able to help you with reporting your accident, investigating the collision, and fighting for the amount you truly deserve.

We Can Help You Report a Car Accident

No matter where you are in the process of reporting or seeking compensation for a car accident, Shulman & Hill wants to help. We can tell you more about how to deal with your insurance company and how to build a strong case for damages. Call (555) 555-5555 today to get started.

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