Q: How do I make a claim against an insurance company?
An official copy of the police report will contain the names of the other driver and their insurance company. It also usually contains the policy number under which the other driver is insured. Virtually all insurance companies have toll free numbers for reporting claims which can be used to report the accident. Of course, you will need the name of their insured, policy number, date of accident and item or accident report number. They may also seek information about your insurance. Then a claim number will be assigned to your claim which you can use for future communications or for reference when checking on the status of the claim.
In most instances, the other driver's insurance company will attempt contact you once they learn about the accident. (If a police report wasn't filed, then you may need to contact the insurance company based on the information given to you by the other driver, as they may not report the accident themselves.) If the adverse insurance company does contact you, make sure you tell them that you want to know the claim number they have set up to process your claim against their driver.
It is also important to report the accident to your own insurance company, even if you are not at fault in the accident. You may have a certain coverage that will immediately pay for your property damage and medical expenses without having to wait and learn whether or not the other insurance company is accepting or denying liability.
When you file a claim with your own insurance company and they pay you benefits, they will then seek to recover their money from the other insurance company. This is called subrogation.
Be careful when discussing the accident with an adjuster for the other driver's insurance company. Avoid giving statements or recorded testimony about how the accident occurred. Those details are usually contained on the accident report which can easily be obtained by the adjuster. If the accident report is accurate, simply refer the adjuster to it.
Adjusters frequently try to elicit a statement from the opposing party in an attempt to minimize your damages or deny your claim. Give only the information that is absolutely necessary and contact an experienced Indianapolis accident attorney if you have any doubts or questions about what information to provide.