The process of filing an insurance claim alone is enough to overwhelm someone if they are not used to it. If you find yourself stuck in the middle of a car accident or car crash, this guide from the trusted personal injury attorneys at Willoughby Shulman Injury Lawyers should help you through what you need to do to get approved for an insurance claim and receive a fair payout.

If you’ve been in a car accident or crash, your first thought may be to panic. But don’t!

One thing you should always keep in mind is that, if you have car insurance, you’re likely covered for any accidents that happen — you just need to know how to navigate the claims process. Here’s what you should know:

Step 1: Get details and information about the incident

The first step is to gather as many details as possible about the incident. You’ll want to note the date and time that it occurred, as well as information about the other driver and any witnesses who were present. It’s also smart to snap some photos of any damage your vehicle sustained and get a copy of the police report if one was filed. The first thing you need to do is get all of the info about the accident, including:

  • Police report number
  • Insurance policies for all drivers involved
  • Names, phone numbers, and addresses of all drivers involved
  • License plate numbers of all cars involved
  • Make, model and color of all cars involved
  • Photos of the scene, including damaged vehicles and injuries (if applicable)

Step 2: Contact your car insurance provider and file a claim

Your next step will be to contact your insurance provider, provide them with all this information, and file an insurance claim. Your provider will approve or deny it based on the coverage you’ve purchased. If they approve it, they’ll issue you a payout so that you can fix your vehicle or replace it if the damage was severe enough. The last step is to review your premium; if you have comprehensive coverage, your rates may not change much at all. However, if you only have liability insurance and do not have collision coverage or uninsured motorist coverage, your rates will likely go up!

Step 3: Call your personal injury attorney

When you have been injured in an accident, it is always good to call a personal injury attorney. They will be able to stand beside you and help ensure that your insurance company gives you the compensation that you are entitled to. If the insurance company tries to lowball you with some sort of pathetically low offer, then a personal injury attorney will be there to negotiate with them and ensure that you get a fair amount for what happened to you.