Minnesotans aren’t strangers to car accidents. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety,over 72,000 car accidents were reported in 2011. A car accident can be a scary and frustrating experience. Between dealing with medical injuries and tackling mountains of paperwork, most people don’t know where to start when filing a car accident insurance claim. By understanding the claims process, the aftermath of a car accident doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming.

What to Do After a Car Accident

If you require immediate medical attention, call 911.
Call the police. It’s the police officer’s job to interview you, involved motorists, and witnesses. They will then write an official accident report that will need to be filed with your insurance company.

Write down the insurance and contact information of the people involved in the accident.
Call your insurance company after the accident. According to Minnesota Statute, Section 169.09(3), drivers involved in an automobile accident must file the accident report “within 72 hours after the accident.”

Take pictures of all vehicles (including your vehicle), property damage, and your bodily injuries. This is when a mobile phone with a camera comes in handy.

How to Work With Your Insurance Company

Understand the fine print of your insurance policy. What does your policy cover and not cover? If you aren’t sure, ask your insurance agent for clarification.

When filing your claim, your agent and the other insurance companies will ask a lot of questions. Do not lie or withhold information about the accident, even if it was your fault. If you aren’t honest about the accident, your claim could be denied.
Keep a written log of every conversation (include date and time) you have with your insurance agent.

If your car is damaged in the accident, a claims adjuster will be sent out to personally inspect your car. They will then determine if your car needs repairs. They will usually send you to their approved mechanic/auto body shop for repairs.

If the other insurance companies harass or bully you to sign off on paperwork (especially medical claims), refer them directly to your insurance agent or attorney.

Medical Expenses and Lost Wages

The cost of injuries can add up, especially if you have to miss work as a result of your accident. Check with your insurance company to make sure medical coverage is included in your policy. Verify the amount they will cover, because most car insurance policies have a spending cap for injuries.

Save receipts from hospital and doctor visits including prescriptions for medication. Your insurance company will request a written report from your doctor, especially if you require ongoing medical care.

If you work for an employer, record all wages and hours lost due to your injuries and submit to your insurance agent.
Do not immediately sign off on your medical claim. Sometimes injuries related to car accidents show up weeks or months later.
If you have questions concerning your car accident injuries, contact Meshbesher & Spence today for a consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.