Most drivers, homeowners and businesses are required to have insurance coverage to protect them from financial liability if and when an accident occurs. When an insured person is involved in an accident, he or she typically files an accident claim to receive payment for damages or personal injury. An accident claim basically is a report of the incident, including what happened, who it happened to, who was at fault and what damages occurred. There are many steps in the accident claim process that typically involve the insurance company, including notification of the accident, determination of insurance coverage, investigation of the accident and payment or settlement of the claim.
The notification of the accident is one of the most important steps in the accident claim process. The injured person often is flustered and stressed, no matter if he or she was involved in a car accident, a work accident or simply was injured by falling down or tripping. However, the insurance company or manager must be contacted as soon as possible after the incident, in order to begin the claim process. The immediacy of the notification can help to record accurate details, such as location, time and witnesses, as well as to begin the repair or healing process. Most insurance companies and employment representatives have detailed and comprehensive questions that have the injured party walk them through the accident step by step.
During the notification process, insurance coverage typically is determined. This means that the insurance policy is looked over carefully to see how much and what types of coverage are available. Depending on the type of accident, the injured party might be able to file an accident claim with the other party’s insurance company. For example, if the injured person gets hurt at work, he or she might have the option to file an accident claim with the business’ insurance company. If the injured person was in a car wreck and not found to be at fault, he or she might file the auto accident claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
The insurance company that received the accident claim typically conducts an investigation into the accident to determine liability. This means they usually interview all parties involved, including witnesses, and read the accident report. After liability is determined, they typically review the damage claims, whether it is damage to a vehicle or bodily injuries. The insurance provider makes sure that the accident claim is only for the damages that occurred during the accident, to ensure that it provides no financial responsibility for previous injuries or damages.
When the investigation is completed, the accident claim usually is paid or settled. For a personal injury claim, this means the injured person receives monetary payment for damages suffered and medical bills. If the accident was a car wreck, it means the person found not at fault receives payment for damages to his or her vehicle.