Dec 08, 2022 | CHASENBOSCOLO
If you have recently been in a car accident, you may be wondering how to report the accident to the insurance company. How you report a car accident to your insurance company depends on your preferred communication method and the insurance company. Some accidents may be reported via the insurance companies’ online customer portal, and sometimes you may be required to call an insurance company representative.
Understanding how to report a car crash to your insurance company will require a review of your specific insurance company’s instructions on such matters. Once your insurance company is notified, they will likely request information on other drivers involved so that they may contact those drivers’ insurance companies.
How to File an Insurance Claim
When calling your insurance company to report your car crash, they will likely walk you through the steps of filing an insurance claim and likely begin the claim process at that point. The insurance company will ask about the time and place of the accident, the circumstances of the accident (i.e., who hit who), the police report, other individuals involved (e.g., passengers and other drivers), any witnesses, and whether photos of the scene were taken. Not all accidents require a police report, but insurance companies may request that a police report be created or provided even for a minor accident to protect itself from fraudulent claims better.
How to File an Insurance Claim Against Other Drivers
The procedures for filing insurance claims against other drivers are dependent on the state where the accident occurs.
Maryland and Virginia
Both Maryland and Virginia are at-fault car accident states. This means drivers who cause a collision must compensate the other parties involved for injuries and losses resulting from the car crash. In at-fault states, filing an insurance claim against another driver is relatively easy. Either your insurance company will contact the other driver’s insurance or request that you do so. If you hire a personal injury attorney, your attorney will contact the at-fault party’s insurance company.
Washington, DC, is a no-fault car accident district. That means you must turn first to the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on your insurance policy for your accident-related expenses. To be eligible to file an insurance claim against another driver’s insurance company in Washington, DC, these circumstances must occur:
- The claim exceeds the limits of the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage on your insurance policy.
- The injuries sustained result in permanent scarring, disfigurement, impairment, or total impairment that lasts at least 180 days.
How Long Do You Have to File an Insurance Claim?
Filing an insurance claim within 30 days of an accident is usually recommended. Some insurance companies allow up to 180 days, but sooner is better.
There is a specific period for filing a lawsuit after an accident. The statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is dependent on the state where the accident occurred:
Virginia: The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Virginia allows two years from the date of the accident in which to file a lawsuit.
If you miss the statutory deadline for filing a lawsuit, your case may be dismissed, and you’ll lose your opportunity to pursue compensation in court.
How Long Does an Insurance Claim Take?
An insurance claim can take significant time to settle or reach trial if severe injuries are involved. For example, in Maryland, insurance companies have 15 business days to acknowledge an insurance claim. In Virginia, insurance companies have 45 days to investigate a collision. In Washington, DC, most insurance companies will take up to 45 days to complete their investigations. There is no set time limit for the insurance company to wrap up your claim.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Insurance Claim?
No. You are not required to hire an attorney for an insurance claim.
Should I Get a Lawyer?
You might want to hire a car accident attorney if the accident resulted in property loss or injuries. An experienced attorney can handle a personal injury claim’s complexities and ensure you miss no deadlines. Your attorney can handle communications with the insurance company and build a strong case on your behalf.
What Type of Lawyer Handles Insurance Claims
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and need to file an insurance claim or you filed a denied claim, the skilled and knowledgeable Virginia car accident attorneys of CHASENBOSCOLO could work for you. In a free consultation, we can discuss the accident and your options. Call us today at (301) 220-0050.