If you are the victim of a minor car crash, such as a rear-end collision, you will feel shaky at the very least.
Although your first move will be to check yourself and others for injuries, what you do next will matter in terms of receiving fair compensation from the other driver’s insurance company.
Documenting the incident
The more information you can gather, the easier it will be to prove your case if the other driver’s insurance company either tries to settle for a low-ball amount or seeks to deny your claim altogether. If you have a smartphone, take photos of the car damage and general photos that will identify the crash site. If you have an app like WreckCheck, provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, you can even record the time of day and create both written and audio information about the accident. If you do not have a smartphone, draw a diagram of the crash scene and jot down pertinent notes, such as weather conditions and the direction in which both vehicles were traveling.
Filing a claim
Statistics gathered by Consumer Reports indicates that vehicle damage from low-speed crashes may appear to be minor, but repair work could run between $3,000 to $6,000. A stiff neck resulting from such an accident could also be the indicator of a more serious injury that was not apparent at the time of the crash. If you are the victim, you will want to file a claim with the insurance company that represents the driver who was at fault.
An advocate accustomed to negotiating with the legal teams who represent major insurance companies can help you obtain a fair settlement. In addition to covering the damage to your vehicle, you should receive compensation for your medical bills, prescriptions, rehabilitation if needed, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress and more. The documentation you provide to your attorney will be valuable in helping to establish fault and obtaining the full and fair compensation you deserve.