Because Indiana is a “fault” state for car insurance purposes, as an accident victim, you have several options for collecting an insurance settlement when you are injured in a crash. If the other driver is found to be at fault, you can file a claim against his insurance company. You may also have to file a claim against your own policy, depending on what kinds of coverage you have. Filing a claim is not difficult, but you should make sure you are filing against the right policies.
Getting the Information You Need
If you will be filing against the other driver’s policy, you will need to get his name and insurance information. An official copy of the police report should have details, including the policy number under which the other driver is insured. To file the claim, you will need to provide the name of their insured, policy number, date of accident and item or accident report number
Contacting the Insurance Company
Virtually all insurance companies have toll free numbers for reporting claims which can be used to report the accident. Once you report the accident, a claim number will be assigned to your case which you can use for future communications or for reference when checking on the status of the claim.
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.
Contacting Your Own Insurance Company
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.
You May Not Have to Do Anything
In most instances, the other driver's insurance company will attempt to 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.
When You Need an Attorney
Sometimes, car accident claims can be handled by those involved with no problem. When there is a dispute over fault or the seriousness of injuries, however, you may need the help of an experienced Indiana car accident attorney. Call Keller & Keller if you have any trouble filing a claim or getting the settlement you need and deserve.