How to File an Accident Claim
There is much to deal with in the aftermath of an accident. You may be recovering from injuries at the same time you’re managing the damage repairs to your vehicle, collecting police reports, and undergoing medical treatments. In the midst of this, insurance adjusters may call you in an attempt to make a quick settlement before you even know the true extent of your damages.
The process of recovering from a car accident involves much more than physically recovering from your injuries. You also have to file a claim to recover the financial damages caused by your accident. If you’re not familiar with the claims process, it can be a daunting challenge.
If you’ve had an accident in Oklahoma, Dan Davis Law offers skilled and experienced Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers to help you recover financially while you recover physically. Here’s what you should know about the accident claim process in Oklahoma.
Begin Preparing at the Scene
The first step toward maximizing the compensation for your claim begins at the scene of the accident. If you are physically able, call to report the accident immediately. Document the scene by using your phone to photograph the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles as well as the area where the accident occurred and any other objects involved. Collect the contact information and insurance information of any other vehicles involved, such as traffic lights, stop signs, and obstacles. If you’re too injured to walk around freely, ask others at the accident scene to use your phone to collect information and photos. Another good tip is to video record any descriptions of the accident from eyewitnesses on the scene while it’s fresh in their minds.
Seek Medical Treatment
Be sure to let the first responders evaluate your injuries and transport you to the hospital. While at the hospital, ask your medical team to fully evaluate all of your injuries and keep detailed notes. Ask for copies of all notes before your discharge and follow up with any medical procedures or further treatment your doctor recommends.
If you don’t require emergency medical treatment at the scene, be sure to make an appointment for a full evaluation as soon as possible — preferably within 24 hours of your accident. Be sure to tell the doctor about every symptom you’ve experienced.
Gather Important Documents
Before seeing an attorney and filing your claim, you’ll need to gather together the relevant documents related to your accident and injuries. These records include the following:
- The police report of your accident
- Hospital records, medical treatment records, doctor’s notes, and medical bills
- Employment records including recent pay stubs and income tax filings
- Vehicle repair bills, estimates, or estimated vehicle replacement cost
- Proof of any other financial losses including rental car receipts and a list of any other damaged personal items
- Keep a pain journal recording your pain level each day following the accident, along with descriptions of any medical treatment or physical therapies are undertaken each day
Before you file your claim you should have all of these important documents at hand and ready to prove the validity of your claim for the maximum financial compensation.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Report your accident to your own insurance company as soon as possible and follow their instructions. Most insurance providers require you to report an accident even if you weren’t at fault. Oklahoma is an at-fault state, so the driver who caused the accident’s insurance should pay the claim. Your insurance company will work with the police to determine the fault in your accident. As long as you are less than 50 percent responsible, you can still collect compensation for the accident.
If an insurance claims adjuster from the other driver’s provider calls you after the accident, you shouldn’t speak to them in any detail about the accident. Nor should you accept any offer they make upfront. Instead, contact the experienced Oklahoma City accident attorneys at Dan Davis Law about your claim and direct any questions to your attorney. Our team of personal injury lawyers has helped our clients to claim over 400 million in compensation and damages and we’re ready to advocate for your rights to the maxim financial compensation in the form of a settlement or court award.