Settle Your Own Claim, Step 4

Step 4: Opening the Claim

Now that you have all the information from the police report (including insurance information), it’s time to open the claim.

Make That Phone Ring

In most cases, the person driving the car that hit you will have auto insurance. This simplifies the process.  Simply Google the company’s contact information and call to report a claim. While speaking to the representative from the company, explain the details of the incident, identify the driver at fault in the police report, and explain what type of injuries you’ve sustained. Also provide the representative with any demographic information they request (i.e. social security number, date of birth). Inform them that you will be sending a comprehensive demand package when you complete treating for your injuries and ask for an email address, mailing address or a fax number to send it. Let the representative know that they should direct all correspondence regarding the claim to you.

And So It Begins

Once a claim is open, the true process begins. Over the next few weeks or months, you’ll be in contact with the representative a few times. Remember, the representative is handling your injury claim and cannot assist in any property damage. For that, you will need to contact your insurance company and they will help you (this guide does not help settle a property claim). It is important to remind the injury representative that you will be sending a demand package once you have finished your treatment and you will not settle your claim before your treatment is complete.

What if the other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?

We don’t live in a perfect world. There are still some people that drive without auto insurance (uninsured driver) or don’t have enough insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries (under-insured driver).  If you’re involved in an accident with someone who is uninsured or under-insured, the process may seem more complicated.  However, the claim can still be processed if there is an uninsured and/or under-insured driver. The clauses of Under-Insured Motorist (UIM) and Uninsured Motorist (UM) are located in your auto insurance policy. If you selected to have this form of coverage, you can still process your claim against the other driver. UIM and UM coverage allows you to request your insurance company to cover the costs of your injuries.  However, if you do not have UIM/UM coverage, you will need to contact an attorney to evaluate your options.

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